Drinking with your kids: good idea or dumb move?

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-18-2008
Drinking with your kids: good idea or dumb move?
27
Tue, 03-01-2011 - 9:59am

Since most of you have been through - or are still going through - the teen years, I thought you'd be able to offer some insight into this issue:

Is offering a casual drink of wine or beer with family meals a good way to demystify alcohol and make it less tempting in a responsible setting or is it just a bad precedent? iVillage's Kelly Wallace considers this in her article Would You Drink With Your Kids?

We know that parents of tweens and teens often have to face the sticky problems of alcohol and peer pressure and we'd love to hear your thoughts on this topic! Have you tried this approach? How did it work for you? Is it just asking for trouble? If you did try this, how did this affect any drinking experiences or opportunitites in college?

Note: we're also looking for any families who have allowed their teens to drink beer or wine as part of a family meal and would be willing to be interviewed for a possible Today Show segment. If interested, please contact us at ivcommunity@mail.ivillage.com.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 02-14-2000
Tue, 03-01-2011 - 10:08am

DH and I enjoy having a beer or 2 a few days a week. From the time the boys were 17 or so (high school seniors) we'd on occasion let them have one on a Friday night if they weren't going anywhere and if they weren't having anyone over. Younger ds didn't like the taste so - besides the occasional sip - he never took us up on it. Older ds did on occasion. Older ds went through his 'rebel stage' his senior year in h.s. - went to some underage drinking parties, smoked for awhile, etc. Younger ds was pretty much a 'straight arrow' in high school but made up for it when he went off to college. He quickly developed a taste for beer and did quite a bit of partying. So I'm not sure that even though we let them have some at home it made much of a difference. Sitting at home with your folks drinking one beer isn't really a substitute for playing beer pong with a bunch of other kids your age!

Pam
Avatar for mahopac
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-1997
Tue, 03-01-2011 - 10:44am

I grew up with parents who drank "movie-style":

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-25-2006
Tue, 03-01-2011 - 10:46am

We didn't drink with our teens, but we do drink...less now than when we were younger, of course.

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Avatar for suzyk2118
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-30-1997
Tue, 03-01-2011 - 11:06am
ITA, Pam - same thing here. We might have a beer or a glass of wine every week or two, and have let ds18 try at home if he felt like it when he was home; usually he found it nasty. But now away at college he says he feels he needs to 'learn to drink' because that's the thing to do, even though he really doesn't like it. He'll sort it out, but I'm not sure the trying it at home thing does much other than we're there and we know what they're doing at the time. Once they're gone, you can just hope the 'good stuff' got in there and they make good judgements.

Sue
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-05-2005
Tue, 03-01-2011 - 11:23am

I may be in the minority here, but we don't allow

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Tue, 03-01-2011 - 2:28pm

I'm with Theresa on this one.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2009
Tue, 03-01-2011 - 2:41pm

My kids did not drink until it was legal here, at 19. Now, DS (20) will have a "designer" beer

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-14-2000
Tue, 03-01-2011 - 5:27pm

Actually CONSUMPTION of alcohol by minors is allowed in many states. For example in IL minors can drink in their home if the alcohol is provided by their parent. In WI a parent or spouse can purchase alcohol for a minor, even at a restaurant (I know because when we went out for supper after meeting with the pastor that did Hailey's memorial service last year we ordered Justin, then 19, a beer and no one batted an eye). Check here to see what the laws are in your state.

I didn't check them all but I'm pretty sure it's illegal anywhere in the US for a minor to actually purchase alcohol. And I'm pretty sure it's illegal for a person of age to provide it for any minor other than their child or spouse.

Pam
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-05-2005
Wed, 03-02-2011 - 5:22pm

I've always found this law a bit confusing - it seems to say (here in IL) that you can't "furnish" the alcohol to someone under 21, no exceptions, but you can have your child consume it in your presence... Huh?

In any case, I still think it's easier to stick with the "spirit of the law," which I think was meant to have exceptions mainly for religious or cultural reasons. I'm not arguing that giving a kid a beer is going to lead to mayhem, especially in your own home, but I do think that it's harder to argue against underage consumption if you regularly allow your kids to have it. Just my 2 cents.

And, I do continue to think that the best way to lead is by example. Some moms in my very nice, middle-class, suburban neighborhood went trick-or-treating with a stroller of beer this year. Really...

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Wed, 03-02-2011 - 10:05pm

In any case, I still think it's easier to stick with the "spirit of the law"

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