to have told my 11 year old that no he cant have alcohol

(62 Posts)
mamamibbo Thu 15-Nov-12 22:17:52

after his teacher said she gives her (primary aged) children some now and then because if she doesnt then they will binge drink when they get older hmm

whois Fri 16-Nov-12 20:26:23

I don't see the harm in giving children a sip of beer or wine when they are little, or a small/watered down drink when they are 12ish and up

I had sips of beer and hated it.
My own small bucks fizz at NY, or an aperitif of my parents had friends over for dinner (mine with soda water and cassis more than wine) and I remember liking it because it meant there was a special occasion and I got to be a part of it. Suppose I would have felt the same of it ha been an entirely non alcoholic drink made up in a special way tho.

From the age of 16 or 17 I would join my mum in a glass of wine with dinner in the holidays.

I got v drunk and v sick on a school trip to Spain when I was about 14.
I got v drunk and sick at a NY party when I was 15.
Both because I hadn't appreciated that when you et the 'fun feeling' and carry on drinking you've had way too much!

Live and learn.

I also got accidentally quite drunk when I was about 15 at a family friends Xmas drinks party (day time). The host kept topping up my wine glass and I didn't realise how much I was drinking. Got in the car to go home and I was mortified to admit to my parents that I thought I might be drunk and needed to lie down when we got in! Mum laughed and said shed drunk more than she realised too as her glass kept being topped up.

I love the taste of wine and if I'm making a nice dinner I'll often have a glass with my dinner. Usually at work now until late so do that a lot less.

Don't like being drunk and I'm a massive light weight so tend not to drink of we go out clubbing and stick to high-energy sprite.

So basically I'm saying I was allowed alcohol, it didn't stop me from experimenting and getting sick, but it didn't turn me Into a raging alco either.

I certainly never drank in parks, nor was I going out on a Friday or Saturday bing drinking ever.

The good thing about my parents attitude was that I was never afraid to ring them and ask for help. At the Ny party wjere i got v sick I rang and they came and got me and didn't tell me off just put me to bed with some water and said "be careful next time, watch how much you're drinking".

I don't know really, i like a [bottle] glass of wine on a Friday night, and i have given my almost 17 year old a glass of wine with our Sunday Lunch, but i would rather him have a choice rather than coming home pissed (which i know he will )

redexpat Fri 16-Nov-12 19:37:44

I can't remember a time when I wasn't allowed a drink if my parents were having one. It was always half a small glass of wine with sunday lunch. DS is still under 5 so not really thought about it yet.

mummytime Fri 16-Nov-12 17:43:30

I'm not shocked that some parents would give their kids Baileys, but a MumsNetter? Surely not wink.

Enfyshedd Fri 16-Nov-12 17:37:16

I used to be given a small glass of port & brandy if I had a bad tummy at night from about the age of 6 - I think it knocked me out rather than settled my stomach. I was also allowed to have a sip of neat wine to taste and a glass of wine spritzer on the occasions we had it with sunday dinner (special occasions only - Xmas, Easter, birthdays).

The maximum I've ever drunk on any 1 occasion is 4 drinks (apart from my 17th birthday when I was sick in front of my DM after my friends phoned her to collect me) and at 30 years old, I only drink about 4-5 times a year.

The teacher is BVU though - I would be speaking to the head teacher as I think it's totally inappropriate.

whizmum Fri 16-Nov-12 16:46:19

""I wouldn't give my kids a Baileys!""

I once did a school sewing project with a group of year 5s. They told me all about the alcohol they liked - Baileys, Irish Cream, Breezers Vodka thingies etc! Tried not to look shocked or to quiz them too much! It was fascinating.

whizmum Fri 16-Nov-12 16:42:11

I had wine with my christmas dinner from 1 year old - half a special tiny glass, with instructions from my dad on how to drink it properly, ie use it to 'cleanse the palate' not swig it. That was enough to put anyone off drinking for life!

I have always let my children have a taste of my wine if they are interested, and they have not liked it.

Now all 3 at uni, 1 teetotal, 1 drinks occasionally but does not like most of it, 3rd has suddenly taken to it like a duck to water - has wine with meals, likes my gin shock and has been known to get drunk at uni. Still, a long way to catch up with the boys there who were buying armfuls of cans in intro week and sit in the kitchen drinking at the weekends! I'm sure there was not that much drinking when I was there - just a pint in the bar in the evening and more if going out on a college trip. Alcohol was not generally available at supermarkets when I was that age, and much more expensive!

I am not a big drinker, but my brother who was only a year younger is. He had lots of issues at school with social problems, being bullied and academic problems. Used to get drunk at gatherings with the neighbours - very embarrassing. Our family background is mostly anti-alcohol, so my dad's ideas were not approved of!

amazingmumof6 Fri 16-Nov-12 16:32:59

EuroShagmore
I don't encourage giving alcohol to them is perhaps a better way of phrasing it.

I see your point about forbidden fruit, but alcohol is not a mystery to our children! we have a wine rack fully stacked plus a shelf with spirits and apart from the toddler phase of wanting to play with the shiny bottles they never touch them.

Normally they see family and friends having a glass or 2 and not getting drunk, but enjoying it, and that teaches them the right attitude to drinking and that in moderation it is something nice and relaxing and part of life and celebrations and they can look forward to do when they are older (over 16-18 is my personal preference)
They understand that adults are allowed different things from kids and they accept it - for now anyway.

I see your point about the forbidden fruit and as I said before they pretty much all have tried sips of wine/beer/champagne thanks to DH,
Personally I don't even mind that,as they don't like it anyway, but would not want to turn it into a habit, so I say better not at all.

Am I contradicting myself? maybe, I don't know

I do cook with wine... and of course I had gotten drunk before, I'm not a saint..smile

I think my biggest problem is that I get annoyed at the sight of DH offering them a sip, and it's a bit of a teasing game.

<note to self, must figure out why it annoys me so much>

Maybe he is right (and some of you also) and I'm wrong, but I don't drink habitually so I don't see why should the children!
< note to self: have a chat about this with DH>

btw they have seen the effect of DH getting drunk before, so I think that's just as good a lesson to teach them about the moderation/demystifying part!smile

mummytime Fri 16-Nov-12 16:05:40

I wouldn't give my kids a Baileys! No alcohol that tastes like kiddy drinks or is too sweet. A little wine, a bit of beer (or a sniff of whisky, thats usually more than enough).
But again at present my kids don't drink (and yes I would know) and long may it continue. We do also talk about how it feels to be drunk, why its not a good idea, about staying with friends etc. etc. We also discuss drugs and smoking, and other issues.

trice Fri 16-Nov-12 15:22:52

I think 14 is a realistic age for a small baileys at christmas. Wouldn't dream of giving booze to a primary age child. I also think 'learning' to drink is bollocks.

Remotecontrolduck Fri 16-Nov-12 14:25:38

I don't think it's neccessary (though not 'wrong') at a young age.

I do think it's EXTREMELY counter-productive however to have a total ban until 18. Having no experience of drinking and then suddenly having free range to buy absolutely anything they want is an absolute disaster and I'd go as far to say is actually irresponsible of a parent not to prepare them adequately for the dangers of too much drink

From about 14+ a small low strength beer or wine along with some discussion of how easy it is to get drunk too fast is not an issue really. Banning is very rarely the way forwards

Mintberry Fri 16-Nov-12 13:03:28

Actually, I heard my Dad complaining about how, when I was little, the advice all over the news was that you should give your kids bits to drink from a young age so it gets rid of the mystery for them and they're less likely to binge drink behind your back later. Then, when I was in my late teens sat with them in the living room, it came on the news that "parents who gave their kids even little drinks when they were young are to blame for the binge drinking crisis".

The lesson is, 'expert' advice changes every few years - only you know your kids and you should do what feels right for your family in your situation.

That said, being given drinks from a young age didn't stop me embarrassing myself as a teenager. blush

CaptainSolo Fri 16-Nov-12 12:08:03

My mother is from a European country where it was usual to have wine with meals long before it became popular in England. I was always allowed wine from about the age of 7. I took it because it made me feel grown up but in all honesty didn't really like the taste. I certainly didn't turn into a raging alcoholic and very rarely drink now.

On the other hand a friend of mine was totally anal about her children not drinking alcohol until they are 18. The 18 year old has gone to uni and 'discovered' alcohol (not helped by the student union selling three whiskey's for £3) and has already had three alcohol related trips to A&E in the last 6 months. He has no idea how much is too much or how to handle it. She is now reconsidering her no alcohol until 18 policy for the two younger ones............

toddlerama Fri 16-Nov-12 11:44:50

I wouldn't care what my kids' teacher did at home. I think it's wholly inappropriate for her to be talking about parenting with the children. The motivation can only have been to get them to compare their own parents to her - it's not like she was training them to raise children of their own.

EuroShagmore Fri 16-Nov-12 11:22:24

I don't think it was appropriate for the teacher to say it to her pupils. But I do think that small amounts of alcohol from age 10 or so are not a problem. And it's not illegal.

amazingmumof6 just a word of warning - the people at university whose parents had a very strict approach to alcohol were the ones who went absolutely bonkers during Freshers week - couldn't control their drinking, had unsafe sex, etc. I think demystifying alcohol for older children is a good thing.

slhilly Fri 16-Nov-12 11:13:09

Many Jewish kids (including me and my DCs) have a sip of kiddush wine on Friday nights right from from babyhood. Rates of alcoholism are pretty low in the Jewish community. But heart attacks from too much fatty food are a different matter...

FrequentFlyerRandomDent Fri 16-Nov-12 11:12:32

YANBU. Up to you.

Bt there are plenty of "others do that" out there.

My DD's teacher apparently explained two weeks ago that DD was entitled to 6 pounds pocket money a week because she is 6 years, the 7 pounds for 7 years old, etc.

I killed that idea pretty instantly.

Ragwort Fri 16-Nov-12 11:09:46

Very unprofessional of a teacher to talk to her class about this - if indeed it was discussed in a formal setting at school. (Would love to hear the exact context of the conversation).

Personally I do allow my DS to have the odd sip of wine/beer etc and my DM even gave him a sip of Pimms when he was 2 but if you choose not to then that this is absolutely fine and you shouldn't feel you have to justify your parenting decisions.

amazingmumof6 Fri 16-Nov-12 11:07:40

bue communion is different as it is has nothing to do with drinking.drunk issues!

CheerMum Fri 16-Nov-12 11:06:59

Thinking about it, I suspect dd is going dh's way as she won't even drink fizzy pop, it's water or decaf tea for her

WaitingForMe Fri 16-Nov-12 11:05:06

I meant tasted it once under our care. Obviously they have, I just think that was the only instance.

WaitingForMe Fri 16-Nov-12 11:04:18

I think my stepsons have tasted alcohol under our care once. I was making a casserole and DH had picked up some cider for it and let DSS1 choose the bottle. I only needed half of it so was splitting the rest between two glasses when I noticed DSS1 watching intently. I poured two minute measures and we gave one to each of the boys then aged 3 and 6. They declared it gross and it barely touched their lips. It's been 18 months and they've displayed no curiosity since.

We're just taking it as it comes but I was allowed small glasses of wine from about 11 and DH and I think that was reasonable. I'd be unimpressed with a teacher raising it in this way though.

CheerMum Fri 16-Nov-12 11:00:06

My parents went along with the idea that letting me have a small glass of wine on a Sunday would remove the mystery of alcohol.
It didn't work and I spent many years as a heavy drinker.

They also made me have a puff of a cigar to show me how gross smoking was. That didn't work either and I spent years as a heavy smoker.

I've got things under control now but I think a lot of it comes down to the type of person you are.

(It'll be interesting to see what dd does as Dh is teetotal and has never smoked)

Bue Fri 16-Nov-12 10:49:41

Actually cory makes a good point. Are people also shocked by children taking communion? confused I took it from age 8. And it sure wasn't grape juice!

Bue Fri 16-Nov-12 10:47:41

Bizarre that the teacher discussed this with pupils, but completely normal attitude - I was always allowed a mouthful of beer foam (definitely when I was under 5 - there was probably no law back then!) and would have a teeny glass of wine or beer on special occasions. It's what I'll do with my own kids too.

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