Boozing bloody well boozing

We were talking about the question of underage drinking yesterday and I stated my philosophy about when and how I’d let my kids drink. I figured I’d blog about it because some people will probably agree with me and others will think I’m certifiably insane.

Right off the bat, I’ll admit that I’m a bad person to write about drinking. I hate alcohol. I think it tastes horrible and about the only drinking I do is taking a nip (and I mean a nip) of hard liquor when my voice is feeling particularly raw. I even try to avoid that much if at all possible.

But my kids will probably grow up to drink. At least they will want to try booze at some point. So what is a parent to do?

I know a lot of people who are drinkers. There wasn’t a lot of liquor in my family. My dad drank a beer on occasion but I can never recall a time when he drank a lot.

My brother and his wife enjoy wine. So does my mom.

I very nearly don’t drink at all. My wife drinks what I call “pansy frou-frou” drinks from time to time.

One can assume that attitude towards liquor is something that is noticed by my kids. That attitude being “drinking is OK but it isn’t anything special.”

I honestly worry the most about how that magical drinking age of 21 affects kids. Liquor becomes a forbidden fruit and all they want is to find out why it is so special.

Yesterday I said if my kids were eighteen or ninteen and said they wanted to try a beer, I’d probably let them. By that I mean I’d buy a six pack of something and allow them to drink one beer in my house. Let’s not have anyone call the cops yet.

I’d also tell them that there is nothing inherently wrong with drinking alcohol as long as you recognize the dangers involved and you do it responsibly. I think we do our kids a disservice when we try to keep them sheltered from alcohol. The more we make things like booze seem special, the more they want to experience it for themselves.

Now, if one of my kids goes to a high school party and there is booze, I’m going to be pissed about it. It’s illegal and it is irresponsible and in that particular situation, it is pretty dangerous.

But I know my kids are more than likely going to drink. I feel that I can (hopefully) keep them from doing really idiotic stuff like driving drunk or going to the hospital to get their stomach pumped or ending up dead of alcohol poisoning.

One of the ways to do that is to demystify the stuff. One way to do that is to say “yeah, OK, you can try some.”

To be fair, my kids are so picky about food, I have a feeling they’ll spit the stuff out.

If that’s the case, I’m going to end up with a six pack of beer nobody will drink.

Maybe I have to re-think this plan.

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About Petsnakereggie

Geek, movie buff, dad, musician, comedian, atheist, liberal and writer. I also really like Taco flavored Doritos.

2 responses to “Boozing bloody well boozing”

  1. Eric K. says :

    When I was a kid there was alcohol in the house use was pretty infrequent. My dad would occasionally have a beer on a really hot day. They’d serve a frozen slushie punch that had booze in it at a dinner party, or have the rare bottle of wine with a nice dinner. When I was in high school my mom asked me to make pina coladas from a recipe for a dinner party, which was fun. And we almost always got to try things, like just a little bit of the wine or frozen punch or whatnot, even at a pretty young age. And I think the result was very similar to what you want to achieve with your kids, the goal being to demistify it so it’s not a big deal.

    I’ve never thrown up from booze, and I honestly think my whole family background is a huge factor in that.

  2. Caden says :

    I can now count 4 generations of alcoholics on both sides of the family. I believe I was about 13 or 14 the first time I got smashed at a party. My older siblings fed me alcohol, and later drugs, from an age not much older than that. My parents NEVER talked about drinking. However, there was always tons of booze in the house and left-over drinks in the fridge. We just “sneaked” it, and they never said anything. Out of 9 siblings, I am the only one who did not grow up to be an alcoholic. I hate beer and wine. I have an occasional “pansy frou frou” drink. I’m wondering if my parents ever TALKED about alcohol w/ us kids, things would’ve turned out differently. I’m really happy to hear that you are thinking about this now when your kids are young. Probably have a much better outcome.

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