Getting your kids drunk at home

Yeah, I’m wondering how much a kid would process. I think for me it would feel weird and not in a good way to have gotten drunk with my parents at 12. Like…emotionally weird. And then the hangover would have just been, “Oh, gross, this sucks.” The message would have been, “Mom and Dad are trying to make me feel bad so I won’t drink,” not anything more nuanced than that.

I don’t see the problem with supervised drinking or watering down wine or whatnot so the kids grow up with alcohol. Getting a kid drunk so they’ll know what it’s like just seems weird. I think that’s one of those things I’d rather do on my own than with mom and dad. Sex being another one.

I provided alcohol for my daughter and her small group of friends once, maybe twice. No one was allowed to drive. I figured, she was going to try drinking anyway, I’d rather know she and her friends were safe. None of them got drunk and she never got into trouble before/after that.

So alcohol was no big mystery and she never abused it. I think one of the biggest reasons kids get into so much trouble is because it’s taboo, yet they see adults drinking. We in the states make much more to-do about it than is necessary, IMHO. Let them taste at home, etc.

If I were to have kids…

I would let them have wine from a certain age (don’t know yet what age that would be) since, you know, wine is awesome.

I also wouldn’t treat alcohol as this secretive and shameful taboo that they must never touch-- IMHO that only makes it more appealing. I wouldn’t let them have the run of the liquor cabinet, either. But if it was a special occasion and we had friends over or whatever I’d have no qualms about letting a 14-year-old have a beer or cocktail.

===> Of course, in Illinois if you give alcohol to a minor (even your own son or daughter) you’ll be getting a visit from Child Protective Services.

I expect that when my son gets old enough, he’ll be welcome to have a glass of wine at special events. From about 12 or 13 on, I was allowed sips of wine at family gatherings and at 16, I got to have my own glass. I really think that handling it that way made alcohol less forbidden fruit and more “meh.”

While I don’t necessarily agree with letting a kid get drunk at home just to see what it feels like, I do think that, if a kid’s going to get drunk, at home is probably the safest place to do it.

My parents were in the “small glass of wine at family gatherings” camp, and I feel that it gave me a healthier attitude toward alcohol. The first time I ever got sick was at a family party when I was 18. I feel like that awareness of my limits helped a lot in college. On the other hand, moi’s little brother, whom we’re raising was diagnosed with fetal alcohol syndrome, so I can’t see that strategy being a good idea for him.

My parents let me drink at home sometimes in high school for this very reason.

It didn’t work, I binged on alcohol in college all the time.

I’ve loved beer since I was 10 or so. When I was 12 my mom and I visited England and Denmark and sampled all kinds of beer, and I was even served a few after touring the Carlsberg brewery. Mom let me go to the end of year keg party after 9th grade–as long as I was home by midnight, which I was. I still liked getting drunk. Did a lot of it in College. Way too much after college. A lot in the Army. And then more or less quit for a few years when money was tight. I pretty much outgrew heavy drinking by, oh, 40?

I don’t think my childhood education was particularly useful apart from helping me to make plans. I knew how much I had to drink in order to get drunk.

I’m not sure I agree with this. It’s a drug which has caused tens of millions of deaths directly, and ruined many more lives.

That having been said, it’s possibly also the reason mankind came in from the woods and started living in communities. It helps white people dance, and has probably played an integral part in bringing as many lives into the world as it has directly taken out.

It’s a big deal, but it is something responsible people can handle and handle well, and that lesson should begin at home. Either by being a role model of how to drink responsibly, or by teaching those habits there.

If you meant it shouldn’t be treated as either forbidden fruit(and thus desirable) then we’re on the same page, but it’s a serious influence on our society, our young people, and our lives in general. It deserves serious treatment in a child’s upbringing.


I think this is a very bad idea. There’s a connection between the age at which a person starts drinking and the later risk of alcoholism; people who start drinking younger also are more likely to end up with heath effects. Alcohol does more damage in young people, and the damage is more likely to be long-term. Cites: the American Medical Association and the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (part of the NIH).

As to letting children have small amounts of alcohol when young, still not necessarily a good idea. The amount of alcohol that it takes to cause neuronal death in preadolescent children is very small (on the order of a couple tablespoons of hard liquor or the equivalent); they’re in a somewhat better position to recover from it than an adult, but it’s still not a good thing.

If you don’t think you can persuade your kids not to drink at all, try to get them to start as late as possible. If you can delay the onset of drinking until college, so much the better. Even if you can’t, impress upon them that they should never binge drink and should avoid drinking enough to “feel” drunk, even when adults; the physical effects of alcohol are a gentle reminder that it’s screwing with your neurophysiology in ways that you really don’t want.

If the exercise were about knowing when you were buzzed you might have a point. Even so a couple sips won’t even get a young teenager buzzed.

After your first sentence I am not so sure this is true. Your post speaks to you missing the point entirely.

But the lesson isn’t to teach them that alcohol is no big deal, that’s the opposite of the lesson. So now it is clear that you didn’t understand that point of the lesson. The point of the lesson is to teach her how not to get so drunk that she’ll be put in a position to be gang-raped. The point of the lesson is that drinking alcohol IS a big deal, and that you need to be in control and know what amounts of what kinds of liquor will get you drunk.

The point of the lesson is to teach a 12 year old, not because you expect them to already know. I am pretty much convinced that this is the way to go rather than having her do her experimenting on her own with boys who might take advantage of her.

As for the weekends, that went without saying until you said it. :wink: Maybe on a Tuesday if school’s not in session. :wink:

In my experience the kids who didn’t drink until college are the most likely to have something very bad happen to them at Frat parties.

That’s what the last sentence of my post was about. Moderate alcohol consumption after age 17-18 is less damaging than during adolescence/childhood, but binge-drinking, or getting passed-out drunk, is always bad for you and this should be made very clear. Also, persuading other people to drink, or encouraging others to get drunk, is not acceptable.

valid points


I’m thinking this thread should have been a poll: “I agree that you should get your kids drunk” or “I have missed the point.”

Now I’m convinced you read a few articles this week and are just terrified your daughter is going to get gang raped. This is not a good basis for making decisions.

I do understand your intended lesson, believe it or not. (“Respect alcohol.”) It’s not a terrible lesson but I don’t think getting your kids drunk is the only way to teach it, or even the best way. I stand by my advice: put this aside and think about it in 10 years.

The main thing I see is that your position is based entirely on anecdotal data, while his is based on actual citations. Based on only the data already presented, why would it be a good thing to encourage someone to drink? It seems he’s saying you should only attempt this if your child expresses an interest in getting drunk.

My family can’t take alcohol at all. I mean, my uncle took one drink and became an alcoholic. I see nothing wrong with staying away from alcohol. And if you are having to “encourage” your kid to drink, that indicates they have reservations about doing it. And, as a parent, you should listen to those reservations.

What? You think that we should teach kids that it is?

That’s all true, but I was commenting on mswas’s point about frat parties; a lot of those “bad things” that happen are a result of a situation where a person who is reluctant to drink or doesn’t have much experience with alcohol is urged by others to consume. My point was that kids should be taught not only that they shouldn’t give in to peer pressure, but also not to be sources of peer pressure themselves.

Mrs. George: [serving the Plastics fruit drinks] Hey, you guys! Happy hour is from four to six!

Cady: Um, is there alcohol in this?

Mrs. George: Oh, God, honey, no! What kind of mother do you think I am? Why, do you want a little bit? Because if you’re going to drink I’d rather you do it in the house.

Mean Girls, source: IMDB

Heh, I’m amused by the thoughts here though on the Gang Raping fears and such. Peer pressure is a hell of a thing. As is intimidation, coercion, and Roofies. You can’t teach immunity to those things.

My sister and I never had any sorts of education, so I pretty much started on her- and I took the JR Brown method. I gave her the facts, presented the medical conditions, and explained to her how impairments can occur. I also pointed out how I don’t really drink, and our parents don’t drink at all (so that’s kinda a biasing factor). But the key thing was trying to educate them about common sense.

Recognizing and avoiding dangerous situations, peer pressure, and thinking about the possible consequences of one’s actions. This is NOT an easy thing to develop for sure- I sure as hell don’t have all this down right now. But those things have REALLY took to her. She’s quite alert, careful, and smart about her behaviors. She doesn’t get into cars with people who’ve been drinking, she tends to avoid parties with excessive drinking and drug use, and she’s really not into the whole lifestyle.

The key factors though were presenting the facts first, and them showing her risk assessment, (and consequences are easily seen for her- as she would later tell me her 13 year old friends were already trying pot and trying to sniff glue at that age when they’d come over to our house to study- that blew my mind, because I didn’t even notice it. O_O ) But the key thing is- she’s made her choices and she’s also aware that she’s ALLOWED to have that choice- no one else should be forcing her into it, and she’s able to recognize the smart things such as getting your own drinks at parties, watching it, if you leave a cup behind you get a new one, if the ratio of unknown guys to girls starts winding up to be wary, and to trust her guts.
She’s not done alcohol yet, and currently she’s still very anti-it (namely due to her friends), but she respects their choices and chooses not to partake currently. Actually, writing this has been kinda cathartic- I’m really proud of her… and I know she’s the exception and not the rule- but I should tell her these things probably in person sometime. She assume i don’t care either way and I’m just non-chalant about it- cuz our parents gave us 0 education on it (i just never had the desire, then went to college, and had some common sense, but still did stupid stuff).
I’m curious about how she’ll do in that environment, but I think she’s got a good toolbox to work with- hell she even knows how to calculate blood alcohol levels with various EtOH volumes and concentrations and proofs (We’re nerdy like that- she just loves chemistry).
Man… I miss her.
/rambling. This was a pointless post, but I just wanted to talk I guess.