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Thread: Alcohol

  1. #55

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    Great post Bec ... gotta "share the love" if you know what i mean

    I have seen the recent TV reports on teenage drinking and brain damage. It makes me more conscious of the physiological ramifications of drinking (wondering whether it had a detrimental effect on me in my late teens when I lived in a pub!) However I think I will still allow my 12yo a glass of wine (if she wants it) with meals. I want her to understand the difference between responsible drinking and binge drinking and hopefully help her avoid the binge scenario. I think that a lot depends on parental role modelling. My DD sees me enjoy maybe 2/3 glasses of wine with meals a week. DH has the same. He rarely drinks beer at home, maybe in summer if we have a barbie with friends, otherwise we stick to a nice red. Anyhow the emphasis from our DD's perspective is appreciating the wine for it's taste qualities... she hears us comment on that... she knows that we would rather tip a bad wine down the sink than drink it simply because it'll help us relax. I admit to enjoying a wine for relaxation purposes though but I don't verbalise it. Likewise DH never comes home from work saying "I really need a drink". I'm very confident that our DD isn't getting the wrong message about drinking. Like smoking it's something that you CAN'T tell your kids to "do as I say, not as I do". If you demonstrate to your kids (whether you think they are listening or not) that you use alcohol primarily as a relaxant then they will too. Oh and i think I must be a "chipper" bec LOL in my early 20's I smoked very occassionally at clubs/pubs (made a packet of cigarettes last several months!) but I never felt like I needed one. Infact the idea of smoking a cigarette these days makes me want to puke! I would have only smoked about maybe 15 cigarettes in my life BTW... always gave them to people who asked for one when I had them. I don't think I have that "addictive" gene. Have tried many highly addictive substances, more than once, and luckily I just never got hooked. DH is exactly the same so i hope we have passed this gene onto our kids! Doesn't mean we don't still have a lot of positve role modelling to too though of course

    Last edited by Bathsheba; August 7th, 2007 at 10:39 AM.

  2. #56

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    at the moment my eldest is 12 so i havent hit that stage yet but i think at 15 i will be saying no it just seems to young .but then its hard cause you rather know what there doing i totally agree i know kids that arent aloud usuallly end up plastered.lucky ive got a few yrs left to decide how im going to deal with it .

  3. #57

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    Do you have wine with meals Jessabell?

  4. #58

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    yeah sometimes why

  5. #59

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    I was just wondering if your DD has asked for a sip? My nearly 4yo asks for sips which we allow. Our 12yo DD occassionally asks for sips which we allow but she isn't overly keen. I was just wondering what you meant by "haven't hit that stage yet"? No offence I was just wondering whether she has asked or not

  6. #60

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    bastheba been expecting it but she never has i probably would give her a sip but thats about it.it probably wont be long though her whole attiude is changing shes gone from an 12yr to a 32 the swearing and athe attidude is unbelivable .i think she never has though her real father which she hardlys sees got really drunk last yr at her nans wedding and she said to me i dont want to look like him
    Last edited by shazza; August 7th, 2007 at 05:07 PM.

  7. #61

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    Thanks Bec and Bath - I was feeling very alone here! And I can remember friends thinking me odd for never touching alcohol if I were the driver; actually PiL think it a bit odd still but even if I don't feel impaired by the alcohol it isn't worth it.

    I do agree that alcohol shouldn't be seen as a prop for relaxation; I am going to have to stop DH announcing he "needs" a beer after a bad day now!

    BTW, I would be far more strict with carbonated drinks. I've seen what coke does to toddlers and no way is DS having that even though it's legal.

  8. #62

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    It's funny Ryn, cause I think it is ridiculous that all those fast food places (you know the ones) have coke as the standard drink with the kids meals... I think it is just insane to give it to children... I know what it does to me.. and that is just one drink of the stuff... LOL (yes I am soft!!)

    Tanya

  9. #63

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    Oh, this is SUCH a tricky one. My mum and dad barely drank (again the sherry at Xmas type scenario) and they definitely didn't encourage me to try anything at home.

    At 13, I was in pubs. But not to drink, just because there was nothing else to do in a small town. By 18, I would still maybe have two drinks in the pub. Never drunk, never hungover.

    At 18, I went to a different city to uni and my binge drinking began. Not because I didn't know how to 'handle' my drink or how much would get me drunk. Just because I was in a different environment, was shy and drinking made me less shy. It's a habit I never really grew out of until I was pregnant.

    So I don't think it's necessarily about whether you expose kids to drinking or not, it's about their self-esteem. If they think drinking makes them more less shy/more interesting, they will do it. They know and can feel the physical effects for themselves.

  10. #64

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    I'm sorry but that is my biggest disappointment in some people. When I find out or see for myself people feeding alcohol to small children. Of course they ask for it. They always ask to have what your having, because they think they are missing out on something. It is ok to say no to our children, it is ok to set boundaries and acceptable age levels for certain practices. My eldest DD is nearly 11 and I would be mortified if someone feed her alcohol. She knows that alcohol is an adult thing and of course at this time is not at "that stage" either. I enjoy a nice drop of red with dinner albeit few and far between but I certainly wouldn't share any with my children just because they asked for some. I certainly don't demonize alcohol or refer to it as a forbidden fruit, To me it's about age appropriateness and the bodies ability to cope with the effects of alcohol. We are facing a new social reality where children seem to be adopting older behaviour at a younger age. But why are we encouraging this to happen? I've been at a few parties where particular people gave their child a sip and then another then another, oh so funny to see a small child drunk...Not!! Irresponsible comes to mind and in those particular cases abusive and no amount of justification could ever change my mind that it's ok to give alcohol to children even in the smallest quantity. How does any parent justify giving a drug to their child??? Kids who see parents drinking alcohol see it as a social thing. It is not surprising that some kids think that drinking alcohol is cool, makes them seem more grown up and is the thing to do'.
    A lot of people have kind of wanted to adopt the idea of the European/Mediterranean pattern of drinking and socialising our kids early as a preventative strategy. However, our culture in Australia is quite different to the Mediterranean and European culture with respect to drinking. Children who begin drinking like Europeans are still likely to fall victim to the binge drinking culture common in Australia. To set the right example parents can "show" their children how to drink responsibly by drinking in moderation and at home during meal times without actually dishing it out.
    I do have to say that perhaps giving your teenage child a 1/2 glass of wine with dinner for a special occassion is not entirely a bad thing but to regularly supply it like a bottle of coke at the weekend is just wrong IMO.

    Also just commenting on a previous post about the liver healing itself from alcohol abuse, you are incorrect the liver doesn't repair itself from alcohol abuse. Cirrhosis of the liver is permenant.

    Kate I will watch that show on Thursday, it should be interesting.

  11. #65

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    i totally agree but i dont think one sip would hurt and just because i gave them one sip doesnt mean i would give them a sip every time they asked.im just lucky none of my kids have asked and if the others did i would definately say no but if my 12 asked i probably would but say to her this is a once off dont get used to it

  12. #66
    paradise lost Guest

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    I'm interested to know if anyone has any studies on the damage small amounts of alcohol (a sip of wine, one watered down glass a quarter) actually does?

    I agree that alcohol damages the body but not in the amounts Ryn and I are talking about - we're not taking our kids out and buying them a gin and tonic with their pub lunch! In the UK at least you can buy pre-mixed Shandy in a can in any newsagent, you do not have to be 18, anyone can buy it because the alcohol content is so low (0.4%) that it does not count as an alcoholic drink. THAT is the level of alcohol i'm thinking of. Britain has a binge-drinking culture too, but so far there has been little evidence that occasional tastes of alcohol as a child feed into this. The children who suffer from young-age-alcohol damage usually have alcoholic or drug-addicted parents and begin drinking early to escape (as they watch their parents escape) from their miserable reality.

    How does any parent justify giving a drug to their child???
    How do you justify to your child that YOU take the drug? I don't like "do as i say, not as i do" because in my experience it erodes respect. If you want your child to obey your word but you do not practice what you preach, how can they respect you? If your DH told you under no circumstances did he think your family should have a tv and then, passing his shed/study you heard him watching a tv he'd been hiding for himself, how would you feel?

    Obviously i don't advocate getting children, small or otherwise, drunk, but i believe the only way teenagers can learn moderation is to practice it. If DD goes to a party age 16 and some unscrupulous lad is pouring her a drink i want her to know from ONE SIP that there's too much alcohol in it and she needs to tip it away and pour herself a new one. I can't always be there to say "Don't drink that" so i need to make sure her internal workings can cope with situations where there is alcohol. It would be great to live in a world where none of our children had to worry about being in situations where they need to think about sex, alcohol, drugs, crime. I do not live in that world. Yes DD is a child just now, but i'm not teaching her how to cope as a child, she already knows that. I'm teaching her to cope as an adult.

    At the moment i never drink, even one, when DD is solely in my care (which she is most of the time) and when i do begin drinking around her (when she's bigger) i will allow her a taste if she wants one because i know she'll dislike it - alcohol is an aquired taste (not alcopops but then who actually drinks those? We don't eat dinner on a playground roundabout so we can't drink them ) but as she grows sure, i'll let her experience and talk about alcohol. I'll discuss excess, alcoholism, safety.

    Lot's of young people do use alcohol as a social or emotional crutch and some of those people sadly go on to be alcoholics. I would far rather raise her not to NEED crutches than try and fail to keep a specific crutch away from her.

    Bec

  13. #67

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    ok just didnt want people thinking i give my kids alcohol all the time

  14. #68

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    Geee I hope this isnt going to make me look bad. I was drinking at the age of 15/16 with out my mum and dad knowing. I dont drink that much now but I use to be a binge drinker. Every fri, sat night.

    Now my 13 year old has asked me if I would let her drink. I told her if she wants to have a taste (which she has) sip I mean, I will let her. Then she said, no 1 drink of some thing. I told her I would let her try one drink and that would be it. She knows that I dont want her to drink behind my back and I believe she wouldnt. She has told me that if she went to a party where people where drinking she would tell me first. I told her she isnt to drink at anyone elses house until she is at least 17.

    I think if your child is honest enough to come and ask you, or let you know they want to try some thing with you then you should let them. I believe if you dont then they will behind your back.

    She hasnt asked me since and that was about 3 months ago and still hasnt had that one drink. I really dont think she wants to and that is great but if she does I want her to do it infront of me.

    I hope this doesnt make me look like a bad mother cause im really not.

  15. #69
    mummycate Guest

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    i feel that alcohol is for over 18s but then again, i feel that teenagers need to be desensitised to the recklessness and fun of alcohol. that doesn't mean i want them to drink until its not fun, i mean teach them about what happens to the body and the mind and also repercussions. drink driving dangers, alcoholism, drink spiking, alcohol poisoning. i will bring dd up to know that its not "bad" for kids or teenagers, just has to be taken responsibly. she can have a taste every now and then but when she gets to the teenage rebellious age i want her to know that we trust her. she can drink a small amount at home but only with our permission, as we know she has 1-2 standard drinks under our watch. if she wants to drink out, either one of us is with her, or someone who is at least 25 (just being 18 isn't always responsible) that we know and trust will supervise her. she has freedom, yet with protection from being taken advantage of and being safe. i mean we won't be standing next to her the whole time, but near enough we can keep an eye on her. i don't plan on interacting with her too often or talking to her friends unless she wants to. i want to be the mum she can trust with anything, yet i will not pry or interrogate.

  16. #70

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    I work with young people with severe profound brain injury, and \see first hand the effects of teenage kids binge drinking, often their parents were aware of this.
    In saying that, I see nothing wrong with giving kids a 'taste' You don't want to make it taboo. I would only give a taste if they asked. I would not offer it out.
    Anyway in regard to the original post, I would not let my 15 yo have a drink with some other child's parent. I would need to be there to supervise if I thought it was appropriate. I suppose the fact that the other parent asked you first if you thought it was alright means that the other parent respects your wishes. At least they asked you, and didnt just give it to your DD without your knowledge.

  17. #71
    snooky Guest

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    I think it is unreasonable to believe that our children will never want to try alcohol, and when they are at drinking age, I will encourage my children to drink at home. I also think that if you shun children away from something they are more inclined to want to try it even more and this can lead to overinduldging, having said that when I was about 8 my dad always gave me first drink of his beer and this did not turn me into an alcoholic, actually i don't even like it.

  18. #72

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    Of course it's OK to say no to children and not give them what they want eveery time, but a tiny bit of alcohol on occasion doesn't cause permanent liver damage. You can give a child the odd sip/taste without saying yes every time.

    Supplying alcohol won't be like a bottle of coke... I would hope to never supply DS a bottle of coke! That's far worse than a taste of fermented grapes. Have you seen the chemicals in coke?

    How does any parent justify giving a drug to their child???
    So that, no calpol, no aspirin, no antibiotics... alcohol does have some medicinal purposes. BTW, a friend was letting her 2yo have a cake made with fruit soaked in 12 bottles of rum today. That is not on, or at least to me - I did ask her if she knew how much alcohol her lad was having! Alcohol few and far between is not harmful.

    I also want DS to refuse alcohol himself - if heknows that Grandma will give him alcohol and Mummy won't then he won't refuse Grandma. If he knows it's special celebrations only then Grandma's "treat" won't work, as my mother won't water wine down. I want him to know it's OK not to have to drink alcopops at parties, because those are yicky and wine is nicer in moderation. Being drunk is never cool, but you don't have to get a child drunk (and who would do that?) to make that point.

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