Should you let Children Sip your Beer Wine or other Alcoholic Drinks

Many countries outside of the United States do condone limited tasting and small servings of alcoholic drinks to children at meals. There are advantages to allowing your child to taste adult beverages and in the early teen years even a good idea to allow them a beer or glass of wine with dinner on special occasions.

The reasoning behind this is the ‘forbidden’ concept. Forbidden things are tempting to all people especially children and teenagers. Since most countries have laws forbidding alcohol consumption before a certain age; many children grow to become teenagers fascinated with the lure of a forbidden beverage. Having never experienced or tasted alcohol before many teenagers charge full force into the world of drinking (some estimates say US teens are starting as young as 11 or 12)with their peers under generally no adult supervision. As the progress through the teenage years the forbidden aspect of alcohol spills over into the forbidden activities such as teenage sex, drug use, and other activities that are considered forbidden. Curiosity runs strong and peer pressure to drink may have teenagers binge drinking, relying on drinking for social fun, and becoming addicted to alcohol.

By allowing your child to be exposed to some regulated alcohol tasting and drinking you will help some of their curiosity be satiated and as they progress through the teen years they may drink socially but will not be out to try every drink known to man in excess. Some parents do choose to host small parties for their teen and friends with regulated alcohol consumption. These parents argue that teens will drink anyways so it is better to allow them a safe, regulated environment in which to do so. Risks of drunk driving, unprotected sex, alcohol poisoning drug use, and other dangers are nearly eliminated when done in this protected setting.

An increasing problem in the United States is teenagers entering college for the first time being exposed to alcohol and in turn drinking enough in some cases to kill them. Also many do respect the law and wait until 21 only to go overboard with their drinking lacking any ability or knowledge of restraint. This waiting leads them to experience the ‘wonders’ of drinking far later in life increasing the risk of drunk driving, poisoning, date rape, and addiction.

By habituating children to being around some alcohol and even tasting it you will allow them to see alcohol is not forbidden; rather a socially accepted indulgence that should be used in moderation and responsible manners.