Getting your kids drunk at home

After reading a few of these gang-rape threads it came to me the idea that maybe it would make sense to get your kids drunk at home on occasion so that when they go out and party they’ll know precisely how much they actually can drink and how easy it is to get drunk. Also so that getting drunk isn’t some mysterious pleasure. Seems like not getting shit-faced at a party is one of the best defenses against getting gang-raped.

My daughter is 2, so I am not talking about less than then years from now, but maybe when she’s 12 or 13 it might be a good idea to let her know just exactly how smashed two glasses of whiskey will get her as a small hormonal teenage girl.

How good or bad is this idea? Does anyone have stories of their parents doing this with them?

My kids are allowed sips of wine at home, but they won’t take them because they don’t like the taste. My daughter tried a sip of my husband’s tequila once, and said she bet she could handle drinking that. I’ve toyed with the idea of letting her find out how very wrong she is, but that just seems so mean. :slight_smile:

It’s pretty common in the UK (although not in the sense of deliberately liquoring up your kids, just in the sense that you drink with your parents and gradually learn your limits) and it certainly helped me.

I’ve always been able to go right up to the line where it stops being fun and starts making you feel oogy (or puking) without stepping over; I’ve thrown up from drinking exactly three times in my life, and two were intentional (as in, it was my birthday and I didn’t care how wasted I ended up).

But, would getting drunk actually accomplish this? It’s my impression that at least some people don’t realize how drunk they are when they’ve been drinking.

Your idea may or may not have merit, but I think it would have as much or more educational value to teach kids to stand up for themselves so that they have the ability to say no to things and don’t feel they have to drink out of peer pressure, and to show them how to have a good time without getting drink (whether by staying sober or by drinking in moderation).

My parents used to let me drink under their supervision on special occasions like vacations, Christmas, 4th of july, ect…

Technically they would let me do it when I was about 12 or 13. I don’t count those years tho’ because the most I would do is take a sip and be done with it.

But once I got to be about fifteen; my no good heathen friends introduced me to the joys of copious consumption.

The parental units never knew about my side drinking activities. (They would of handed my ass to me if they did) But they did take notice when I started drinking more at fifteen. They still let me do it tho’.

The OP does make an interesting point. I did learn my limits early. And I knew exactly how much I could drink and not puke my guts out. I will however say most of that learning process was with my friends.

That’s mainly because my parents never pressured me to “Chug my beer” or I’m a “pussy.”

But then again, this was the 70’s - 80’s era. I’m not sure I’d have the balls to try such a thing in this day and age. Too many PC’ers with too much time on their hands.

I absolutely agree that drinking at home, under supervision, should be highly encouraged.

I also think public drunkennes should be a shameful thing, but apparently that’s just me.

Drinking is a skill. They don’t realize how drunk they are because they lack the skill. If you are speaking of adults who have years of experience then I don’t know. I can tell how drunk I am generally.

Well that’s assuming that peer pressure is all there is to it. Getting drunk can be fun, and kids like to get drunk. I think knowing one’s tolerance can be helpful in that regard.

Dunno where you live but wanton public drunkenness IS a shameful thing here in New York.

I’m not sure about getting them drunk, but giving them a taste and letting them have a beer/glass of wine if they want to when they are teens should be fine. This also demystifies the whole drinking thing a bit.

I always thought that the US laws of letting people have their first drink after they have drivers licenses and (possibly) gun permits might cause problems.* I for one, have been drunk quite a few times and have thrown up because of it quite a few times, but this was mostly when I was 15 and 16. By the time I had more responsabilities (drivers license) I knew a lot better when to stop and when I had enough. note that I also knew the eeffect of a couple of drinks, so I will never ever drink and drive.

  • Don’t worry, I know IRL most people will be quite familiar with alcohol by the tme they become 21; and there are probably also a lot of places where the age limit is 18…but this is the generalized view of the US

I think there’s two aspects that can have an influence here.

One is parents modeling responsible drinking. I saw my parents drinking very moderately with meals, a glass of wine or a half of beer, but I also saw them drinking at parties or when we were holidaying in caravans with friends, so I also saw them when they’d gone a bit past tipsy but never flatout drunk. They would say, ‘Ooh, I’m getting a bit tipsy, I’m going to hold back now,’ and they would stop drinking.

I remember an uncle (technically a friend of the family) getting into a drunken state when we were caravaning once and I saw the way he (a) was sick in the morning, (b) was shunned by everyone else for a while, as well as © had to ensure the fury of his wife for letting himself getting into that state. From this I learned that drinking to get tipsy is fine, but drinking to drunkenness is not.

The second aspect is learning to drink at home. I started being allowed to have sips of dad’s beer from when I was about eight. I recall one time, I was probably about ten, when I’d clearly had too many sips and I was skipping around the house giggling to myself. From about the age of fourteen, I was allowed to drink a small glass of wine, often mixed with orange juice, when we were having a nice meal.

As a teenager, I was the only one in my peer group who had been allowed to drink like this, and i do think it took away some of the mystique, although there were definitely the odd occasions when I had too much to drink on purpose, and I tend to think that’s a rite of passage for most teenagers. But mostly I was moderate in my drinking, and I had a reputation for being the one who would look after those that had too much to drink.

I don’t think sitting a kid down and making them drink until drunkeness would be very effective, to be honest. Many teenagers deliberately set out to get ‘shitfaced’ so it’s not like they’re accidentally drinking more than they intended. But I do think that gradually exposing a kid to alcohol helps to demystify it and makes it seem more like an everyday thing to be enjoyed in moderation.

That defeats the point of the experiment though. You don’t know your tolerance if you just sip and taste something. If the kid didn’t get drunk then you didn’t teach the lesson. ‘This is what wine/beer/whiskey tastes like.’ is a different lesson entirely.


Don’t worry? That’s precisely why I am worried. My daughter is more likely to be gang-raped at 14 than 21.

I’m a hardcore believer in this. My kids will drink with me on their 15th birthday. 14 is still too young. If they learn it from me, they won’t go crazy later. When I was 15.5, I started going to college parties with my older (high school) sister, with my Mom’s blessing. My dad would more or less wring his hands and let us go. I got unbelievably smashed at those and I felt awesomely cool for hanging out with older kids. I made my mistakes then, so I never made them in college when my parents couldn’t watch me anymore.

Save it for when you catch her sneaking a drink. Y’know, the “Smoke one cigarette, so smoke the whole pack” punishment! :smiley:

Now I’m remembering the last time I really got drunk on margaritas. Ouch.

My parents always allowed my brother and I to take a taste when we were small or, later, have an alcoholic drink with them at dinner or a family social event. For me, it worked beautifully to demystify alcohol. I never felt a need to get drunk at teenage parties. For me, having a drink – even lots of drinks – had no thrill. I could do it at home, so what was the big deal? This same upbringing, however, didn’t have the same effect on my brother. He apparently liked to get smashed at parties as a teen.

So there you go. Two conflicting data points.

Well as I said the taking sips at home thing isn’t what I’m referring to. The point for me is not about making it a cautionary tale not about making them not want to get drunk ever, but more specifically to know when they are getting drunk, to be aware of it, to know which drink has stepped them over the line where they are no longer in control and people can take advantage of them.

I’m not a fan of this- then again, I’ve seen it work in stupid ways where in my high school the parents would just throw kegger parties and such for the high school kids and leave them alone and unsupervised “because it’s better that they’re doing it at their home rather than some place else”, and they’d allow all the kids to sleep over afterward. That way there’s no drunk driving or any risks, and they’d just call it a sleep over.

I know it’s completely not what you’re proposing at all, it’s just that’s what I’ve always associated the drinking at home issue with, and I hate it. Your proposal is slightly better, but I’m still not a fan of drinking in general before the frontal lobe has fully developed (around age 21-23), which is totally a highly unsupported position.
:Shrug: I suppose your idea has merit, and could work on some children if done right. But I’m just cynical and feel that kids who want to get into trouble will still pursue those- and if they know their limits, well that just means they’re informed. So basically it might work for some, it might not work for others.
So fair enough. I certainly wouldn’t encourage a child to drink or try to get them drunk just to teach them- but if they wished it to be de-mystified, then your methods is a possible way to go about doing so. I guess it just varies based on what sort of a kid you have.

The idea though of just getting your 12-13 year old daughter drunk when she has expressed no desire or interest in it just seem REALLY squicky though. So I guess it’s up to the parent to check out their kid and do what in their best interests- like I know me growing up, I HATED it when my mother would try to give me champagne or any alcoholic beverage. So it’s up to the parent to see if their kid’s even interested in that sort of a route or curious about the behavior before they tried these sorts of things, ya know?
Everyone’s mileage and kid varies.

Well one beer or one highball glass of whiskey should be sufficient to get a thirteen year old girl drunk. So I’m not proposing making her down a fifth with me. :wink:

I was 16-17 when dad let me have several beers while wathing old westerns. He let me get decently buzzed, and during a break picked up my football and shot it towards me.

I played tight end and center, and never dropped a ball. I missed that pass by a mile. Dad then looked at me and said, “You might feel OK, but your reflexes are shit. This is why you don’t drink and drive.”

Now, that does not match the issue of the OP, but at least was how I was taught about the effects of drinking.

Yeah, the thread title may be poorly worded. “Getting someone drunk” typically implies nefarious purposes: you get someone drunk when you want to laugh at their drunken antics or get into their pants or beat them at poker or whatever.

Sadly some folks have no shame. A while back we played a gig and were on a break toward the end of the night and there was a guy outside who could barely stand up and had pissed himself.

Apropos of nothing. I was just reminded of this story.

So you can’t tell when you have a buzz going? You can’t feel the effects of alcohol at all unless you’re drunk?

We know what the lesson is, the question is whether it needs to be taught in the first place. I’m not sure it does.

Teaching your kids that alcohol is no big deal is a good thing, but the only real way to judge your plan is to see what kind of person your daughter is in about 10 years. Having a drink with her now and then to show her it’s not a big deal? That makes sense, and you’ll have opportunities to do it because every child asks for a sip of wine or beer now and then, starting at maybe age five.

But ‘how to know when you’re drunk’ might require more judgment than a 12-year-old is capable of. I think you might not need to do anything deliberately here: even if you teach kids well, they’ll go too far sometimes, so maybe she’ll ask for a second glass when she can’t handle it and things will take care of themselves. Figure this out in 10 years - but you should probably do most of your testing over the weekends. :stuck_out_tongue: