A staff writer for The Atlantic took to Twitter over the weekend to ask, “When a little child asks you what you’re drinking and it’s definitely wine, what do you say?” The response was quick and fairly universal: “I say it’s ‘wine,’” loads of people replied, with some adding that wine belongs in the category of “grown-up drinks” that they, too, can have when they’re older. But others went a step further and said they quenched their kid’s curiosity by letting them have a sip of their own.
The idea is, if you give them a sip of wine or beer, chances are pretty good they’re going to think it’s disgusting, thus ensuring they keep their grubby little hands off your booze for many long years. But others point out how this can backfire:
Have done the same! Came back to bite me when one of mine loved the taste of champagne ("ooh!" they said)…like, that didn't go as planned!
— Meggles411 (@Meggles4111) March 21, 2021
It’s long been debated whether allowing kids to have small, infrequent tastes of alcohol satisfies their curiosity and makes them better prepared to resist peer pressure as they get older — or whether it helps them actually develop a taste for the stuff, causing them to drink more heavily at an earlier age.
You may have heard of mums and dads giving their teenagers alcohol as a parenting tactic – rationales include 1) it’s safer to buy it, serve it and monitor it in a controlled environment than to have them sneak off with their friends to scull goon in some sketchy parking...Read more
A significant amount of parents believe it’s fine, and even beneficial, to allow a sip here or there for kids as young as nine or 10 years old. On the other hand, most experts will advise against it, citing research that indicates there is no benefit and may even lead to more problematic or risky behaviours.
What do you think? How did your parents handle this when you were growing up? Was your home strictly dry or were you allowed the occasional celebratory sip (or more) of champagne on special occasions — and how do you think it impacted your relationship with alcohol as an adult? Have you ever given your kid a sip of beer, wine, or liquor — and if so, what was their reaction? Tell us in the comments.