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To think encouraging kids to "drink" at christmas is a bit stupid?

(144 Posts)
jesusofutopia Sun 16-Nov-08 09:46:20

My friend told me yesterday she is intending to allow her 8 and 10 year old a bottle of lager each on christmas day shock she said she intends to make the bottles last all day by watering them down with lemonade to make weak shandys but even so, aibu to think this is bloody stupid?

littleboyblue Sun 16-Nov-08 09:48:57

Dunno. We were always allowed a drink on special occasions at a young age. Either a weak shandy or a martini and lemonade (was my fav at about 9 and still is!) don't think it did us any harm. My brother doesn't drink at all and I don't get time too.
I'd allow it for my children

TheProvincialLady Sun 16-Nov-08 09:49:13

YANBU. I don't get this obsession with beer for children. Why make it into a treat and encourage them? I mean why not just put a packet of fags in their Christmas stocking? (each one carefully cut in half so they don't smoke 'too much')hmm

emmalou78 Sun 16-Nov-08 09:53:05

It depends on yur individual stance. BUT there is an argument that if you allow your child to try alchohol - be it very weak shandy on christmas day - or watered down wine at a family meal then they learn tha social drinking in moderation is acceptable - rather then it being something they are not allowed and completely taboo that they then latch onto in teenage rebellion...

posieflump Sun 16-Nov-08 09:53:15

god they'll hate a shandy
better to give them a bacardi breezer wink

I was allowed a weak martini and lemonade from age 14 upwards on special occasions. It is still the only drink my sister will touch at the age of 36!

KatieDD Sun 16-Nov-08 09:53:38

Am sat here with the hangover from hell.
But I do think we as Brits have entirely the wrong attitude to alcohol and really we could learn alot from Europe where i believe children have a drop with dinner from an earlyish age ?
My 4 year old loves wine and we let her taste it with her dinner when we have it, maybe once a month.
I don't want their first taste to be in the park with a bottle of diamond white (like mine was)

jesusofutopia Sun 16-Nov-08 09:54:13

I can understand a sip ... but a whole bottle each?

bubblagirl Sun 16-Nov-08 09:55:34

we were always allowed shandys more lemonade than lager but my fave was snowballs still partial to one now thats when i know its really x mas lol great memories was never allowed strong alcohol just one weak something to celebrate

i dont hink your bu or nbu its each to ther eown ina family what one does another doesnt if you dont like it then i guess you wont let your children drink but havinbg a weak alcoholic drink isnt going to do any harm especially a shandy which is mailnly lemonade anyway

i would let my son as i dont have memories of being drunk on snowball or lager

its better than them going round drinking secretly which kids do do as they are curious i remember kids sneaking sips of strong lager or wine or more we never had to as wee had a shandy or lager

we are all ok sis dont drink i drink socially every few weeks and bro drinks socially

solidgoldbrass Sun 16-Nov-08 09:55:52

I think that allowing DC diluted wine or beer on special occasions is quite civilised and hopefully will help them develop a sensible attitude to alchol.

posieflump Sun 16-Nov-08 09:57:32

a 4 year old loving wine? God that is an acquired taste!!

InNeedOfSleep Sun 16-Nov-08 09:59:54

COmpletely agree with Katie, I think they get it right on the continent; better to normalise it rather than make alcohol a forbidden fruit? But I would go for a small sip (with juice/lemonade) for toasting rather than a can that lasts the whole day: I have always wished my parents had done this with us instead I went completely overboard at age 15 unnecessarily

KatieDD Sun 16-Nov-08 10:00:49

She stole our champagne when she was 18 months old and then fell off her rocking cow blush I think we have a right one on our hands with her.

ShowOfHands Sun 16-Nov-08 10:04:28

Me and dh are teetotal. Am I going to have to start buying in alcohol for dd? grin My Mum and Dad are teetotal too, she's going to have to go to some lengths to find alcohol at Christmas.

ThePregnantHedgeWitch Sun 16-Nov-08 10:05:32

Message withdrawn

TheProvincialLady Sun 16-Nov-08 10:06:37

I think a whole bottle of lager is excessive, especially for an 8 year old.

BoffinMum Sun 16-Nov-08 10:09:50

LOL ProvincialLady! grin Less fire risk with a kiddie nicotine patch though!

We serve it up watered down at Sunday lunch and festive occasions, and despite their claims to the contrary, the kids hate the stuff and leave it. But the fact it's not taboo here in the paranoid puritanical US sense I think means it's simply not a big deal in our house.

I would be more worried about what teenagers get up to out of the home when egging each other on, personally speaking. I had an communal apricot brandy incident once which I still regret, and which put me off spirits for life.

TeenyTinyTorya Sun 16-Nov-08 10:13:19

I don't see a problem with kids having a little taste of alcohol in a family environment, to show them that it's not anything exciting or mysterious. A bottle of lager each sounds too much at that age though. YANBU.

gigglewitch Sun 16-Nov-08 10:16:59

I have to say I've had a good chuckle at some of the posts here, and tried to sit nodding wisely at others.
My parents allowed us, from around 7yo, to have a small drink of something - usually babycham blush at special occasions.
My dc have had the very occasional bucks fizz, or just any 'pop' which they never usually have - we never get fizzy drinks as we all prefer fruit juice.
I wouldn't allocate my dc a "bottle of lager each" hmm as the op puts it, but I would/do allow them to share something suitable imo, watered down as appropriate, rather than have them (as other posters say) start drinking cider in the park once they hit their teens. Much better to allow them to try it at home, which is a whole lot different from encouraging it at home.

TheProvincialLady Sun 16-Nov-08 10:20:02

My experience is of my brother being allowed to drink watered down beer as a treat...he is now a problem drinker. Also my cousins were allowed treats like beer - both now binge drinkers in their early 20s.

I think there is an argument for watered down wine etc with family meals but only if it is relatively normalised and not treated as though the children are more 'grown up' for having it.

I read somewhere that there are more alcoholics on the continent despite - or perhaps because of? - their relaxed attitude to drinking, so they don't have all the answers. Assuming that is true of course and I haven't just made it up in my head!

I think kids should try their first taste of alcohol in a home environement, however imo I think a good age would be about 14 or 15.

It is actually against the law to give any child under the age of 5 any alcohol unless it is a 'supervised medical emergency'.

sunnydelight Sun 16-Nov-08 10:29:12

My kids are allowed champagne on special occasions: a mouthful for the 5 year old, half a (champagne) glass for the 10 year old and a glass for the 15 year old. They view it as a treat, in the same way they would "grown up chocolates". DH is half French and grew up with watered down wine from a certain age, he probably has a better attitude to alcohol than I have, growing up with tea total parents!

LazyLinePainterJane Sun 16-Nov-08 10:36:31

I think a good way to introduce alcohol to children is in a relaxed manner in the home from a younger age, helps them be more relaxed about it. But it is easy to get it wrong. PIL were always trying to force alcohol on DH and his sister when they were growing up, perhaps trying to be the "cool parents"....though it did turn them both off it grin

onthewarpath Sun 16-Nov-08 10:44:23


As a child I remember being "allowed" to finish the last drop of a glass of wine if I asked for it ( on special occasions, not an everyday thing, despite being brought up on th continent myself). Still not sure it was a good idea of my parents, but as I am now Ttotal it does not seem to have had too much impact. IMO it is a bit too much to go for the full bottle of lagger at 8 or 10 even if it is supposed to last the whole day and is watered down with lemonade. ( Not sure but think I heard somewhere that alcoholic drink+sugary drink goes faster in your system therefore more likely to make you drunk with a smaller quantity, Cannot bring any proof of that though).

I think she should not mix it so with a bit of chance they will find it disgusting and never ask for more...

BTW did her DCs ask for it in the first place or is she just giving it to them anyway? Makes a big difference to me if they did not ask.

cory Sun 16-Nov-08 12:50:02

I don't like the idea of them having a whole bottle, however watered down.

Though will let my 8yo and 12yo have a sip of wine from my glass on occasion.

Anifrangapani Sun 16-Nov-08 12:53:58

Yes it is bloody stupid..... it leaves less for me. grin

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