38 answers

14 Y/o Serving the Wine - Your Opinions

Hi Moms

Just curious what your opinion is about this...

My sister and I were having dinner at her house. It was just myself, her, and our kids.

After dinner we were sitting on the couch and I was looking at some of their family vacation pictures when my 14 y/o neice (just turned 14) is standing in front of me handing me a glass of wine. I looked at her and then as she is handing my sister a glass of wine I asked "Did you ask her to get us some wine?" My sister said yes that she figured while the kids played upstairs we would have a chance to talk on the couch. I jokingly made a comment about her daughter serving us and she giggled and told me that she serves her wine all the time and has her "trained well". The kids all went upstairs at this point.

O.K. is it just me.... why is it that I am just flabergasted at the fact her teen daughter served us the alcohol and serves my sister alcohol often.

I didn't say anything of course but the thought of my 13 y/o serving me my wine is beyond me!

Am I just weird??? LOL!

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Wow I can't believe the number of responses I rec'd in such a short time! I'm new to this site and I'm rather impressed by the number of you that took the time to respond to my question. I'm glad I asked this question in that it helped me see this in a different light so THANKS A MILLION ladies!

Michelle Y I think you got it right that it was just strange seeing it for the first time!! I'm trying to visualize my 13 y/o daughter bringing me my wine and I just can't see it! HAHA! My daughter pours and brings me lots of non-alcoholic drinks like milk or OJ but for me that's about it. I'm certainly not judging my sister at all and if she's o.k. with it, then that's all that matters 8-)

Featured Answers

I really don't see anything wrong with it. Actually, I think it is good. If alcohol it complete taboo, then the kiddos are going to be more likely to want to drink it. Don't misunderstand, I'm not suggesting that a 14 year old should be drinking the wine...but I don't see anything wrong with kids being around alcohol. Assuming it is being consumed responsibly by the adults ;-)

8 moms found this helpful

I cannot see anything wrong or odd about the 14 year old bringing you a glass of wine. She wasn't drinking it -she just brought it to you. A helpful 14 year old is a wonderful thing! I hope my kids will bring me glasses of wine when they're 14!

7 moms found this helpful

I probably wouldn't care either way. 14 is a teenager, and by 17 I sometimes had a wine cooler with my mom or a small glass of wine (with permission and supervision--I never drank illegally). I personally would not be likely to "tempt" my kids by having them in such close contact with alcohol quite that young, but I always made my mom coffee, refilled her mug, and fetched her Coke in the evenings. So, I probably wouldn't do it, but serving wine would not be that big of a deal to me. Mixing a martini on the other hand...not so much. :)

5 moms found this helpful

More Answers

Funny story, when our child was 12, we were out on the lake in the boat. We had anchored. My husband and I were sitting at the back of the boat and our husband asked our daughter to bring us a beer. She said "No, I cannot do that, it is against the law!" "I could be charged as a 'Minor in Possession!' "

We asked "who told you that?" She said "I learned it in Health sciences this year (6th grade)".

We laughed and told her since we were on our own property and she was not going to drink it, it would be fine..

That is the day one of her nicknames became "Grandma".. She is the most rules loving person you will ever know.. She still calls us "drunkards" under her breath when we have a cocktail. We always answer.. "We heard that Grandma!"

10 moms found this helpful

I really don't see anything wrong with it. Actually, I think it is good. If alcohol it complete taboo, then the kiddos are going to be more likely to want to drink it. Don't misunderstand, I'm not suggesting that a 14 year old should be drinking the wine...but I don't see anything wrong with kids being around alcohol. Assuming it is being consumed responsibly by the adults ;-)

8 moms found this helpful

Hmmm...I have my oldest fetch me a beer when I am basking and reading on the patio and simply too lazy to get up. He thinks it's a hoot to use the talking Twins bottle opener.

I remember my dad letting us pour his beer AND letting us slurp the foam head. No harm done I guess.

Maybe a 14 yo just thinks it is fun to play at hostess. She probably doesn't have a conflicted attitude about alcohol because she is too young. She probably thinks it is no different than serving a tray of cheese and cracekrs. She probably thinks it is no different than any other chore her mom assigns her (clean your room, do your homework, etc.).

8 moms found this helpful

As others have said... I don't think you're weird either. However, one thing that moving around has taught me is that people really treat alcohol in the home very differently.

I used to pour my dad's beer for him (he had one beer after work on fridays for as long as I can remember). It was something he looked forward to, and I remember how special I felt getting to participate in that ritual. On the rare occasion he had a friend over, I'd pour 2, one for him and his friend. My mum drank wine, again, once or twice a week. She always poured for herself. But it was so that she could taste it to see if she needed to open a new bottle (since my parents rarely drank, even pumped wine would often turn).

My closest friend in late elementary had wine lovers for parents (they'd take us on weekend napa tours, had a cellar I'm envious of today, that's worth more than my *house*). They taught *both* of us the proper way to open, decant, pour, warm, chill, and how to look for subtleties in the aromas. I've always been grateful for that education. I have friends who will take a hundred dollar bottle and just dump it into a cup and knock it back the same way a college student would with 3 buck chuck. Makes me shudder.

My girlfriend in the UK, her 15yo daughter will pop her head out around the corner and ask her mum if she can have a glass of red? And did we want one if she opened a new bottle?

In Japan, in the north in the winter, I remember warm cloudy sake in the evening very fondly. I was 11ish.

In all of these cases, none of the people involved were alcoholics, nor did their children ever develop into them. Of course I knew people who abused alcohol, and their children... but most of the people that I knew had a casual relationship with alcohol, and they went about teaching their children about it as they saw fit. Actually most of the alcoholics I knew would FREAK out if their children got near "their" alcohol, and unless they were too drunk to notice, kept it under lock and key. Some didn't give a rip, and the house was full of empty bottles and shouts to their kids to bring them another ______. But the majority of people that I know, just had a normal relationship with it. Interestingly enough... I'm friends with quite a few recovering alcoholics as an adult. It's interesting to *me* because the stories they tell around alcohol in their childhood are the same as "normies" tell. It's not the experience that makes the alcoholic, it's the alcoholic that makes the experience.

<laughing> When my son (the comedian) was 5 his best friend's dad turned 40. We have a fairly large circle of friends that gets together on a weekly basis for bbq'ing, swimming, etc in the summer, or about once a month in the winter. There was a keg at this party, which my son was very enamored of, possibly because it was the first time he'd seen one (he's only seen one twice now). He loved the pump. He loved the nozzle on a hose. And with a giant grin, whenever he could he'd go racing over to the keg to "beat" someone there so he could pump and pour for them. My mum called and he was talking with her. Asked what he was doing his response was "Oh.... manning the keg... you know, the usual." She told me later she almost fell off of her chair laughing. My dad actually got a little "What? What?", and my mum explained he was *manning* it, not drinking it, but was feeling very grown up being allowed to help, so was trying to show off. Like when R. would put your mug in the freezer before you came home so it would be all frosty for you, and then bring it into the living room. He's just feeling his oats.

7 moms found this helpful

I cannot see anything wrong or odd about the 14 year old bringing you a glass of wine. She wasn't drinking it -she just brought it to you. A helpful 14 year old is a wonderful thing! I hope my kids will bring me glasses of wine when they're 14!

7 moms found this helpful

I don't think you're weird, but I also don't think there was anything wrong with your neice bringing you and your sister a glass of wine. If she poured herself a glass of wine and sat down to drink it with you, that would be a different thing.

I think it might be that you are thinking of it as her "serving" you alcohol, like she's working in a bar or something. She brings her mom a glass of wine. It's a beverage. I don't think it's all that terrible. If you don't feel it's appropriate, then obviously you won't have your own kids do that.
What's comfortable is up to each different parent.

All things aside, I hope you had a lovely visit with your sister.

Best wishes.

6 moms found this helpful

I don't know about being weird, but I don't see what the issue is. It is a sign of caring to wait on others. Children should be taught how to be a caring hostess, and that might mean offering a drink, serving food, clearing dishes, walking a guest to the door/car, etc. We do these things. Why shouldn't they. And what difference does it make what it is? My kids, and lots of other people's kids that I know, have gotten sodas or beers out of the fridge, poured juice or wine for guests, refilled chip bowls, etc. So, I don't see what the big deal is. Drinking is not illegal. Unless you're hiding the fact that you're drinking, what's the problem? I mean it's not like they're rolling you a joint or something LOL

6 moms found this helpful

I probably wouldn't care either way. 14 is a teenager, and by 17 I sometimes had a wine cooler with my mom or a small glass of wine (with permission and supervision--I never drank illegally). I personally would not be likely to "tempt" my kids by having them in such close contact with alcohol quite that young, but I always made my mom coffee, refilled her mug, and fetched her Coke in the evenings. So, I probably wouldn't do it, but serving wine would not be that big of a deal to me. Mixing a martini on the other hand...not so much. :)

5 moms found this helpful

J.

I think its no different the having a kid getting dad a beer from the fridge. If you don't make alcohol the big taboo at home, your kids a not likely to go sneaking around getting drunk with other teens.

I never wanted my son out drinking with a bunch of kids, but I always told him if he found himself in a situation of being under the influence, he could call me to come get him. Now a lot of people say this with "No Questions Asked"...me I would have plenty of questions but not until the next day when the subject could be calmly discussed.

Blessings.....

5 moms found this helpful

Sounds fine to me. I am not a wine drinker (in fact, not a drinker at all) but see nothing wrong with this...now I wouldn't want her serving wine to a huge party but to just her parents and/or them with you isn't a problem.

5 moms found this helpful

I don't see what the big deal is. How is this different than her pouring and bringing you a glass of Pepsi? Is not like she's drinking it with her daughter! My husband will sometimes ask my (very eager to be helpful) 2.5 y/o to get him a beer from the fridge. She does just that...goes to the fridge, gets the closed can/bottle of beer and brings it to her dad...with a huge smile on her face.

5 moms found this helpful

Are you weird? No.......... You simply have another opinion and you are entitled to that.

Wrong? I'd say no. We are wine drinkers. our daughter does not serve it. However, it is not taboo. She has tasted it at formal dinners at our house.

I believe if she wants a taste, then let her, at home under my guidance. The taboo puts mystery in it and makes them want it.

Laurie A, your answer was too cute. Sounds like something our daughter would do.

4 moms found this helpful

You might be weird, but not because you are flabbergasted here. :)

Bringing a parent a glass of win or beer is no different than bringing a glass of water. The child is helping out the parent, not trying to undermine her AA pledge.

While I think it's important to teach children that alcohol is a grown up drink that is bad for children, I think it should not be shrouded in an air of mystery either, as some people do with "dirty" words. Because the more mysterious you make something in the service of "protecting your child" from it -- lie alcohol -- the more curious they will be about it, particularly when they start hearing positive things about alochol from their peers at school.

Pretending alcohol doesn't exist, or that it's something so wrong that it cannot be talked about at all, is the absolute wrong approach. Children are not stupid, even if they cannot fully articulate their complex thougts and emotions yet. If they believe that their parents are keeping vital information or understanding from them, they will seek it elsewhere, and you won't like the results.

So let your 14 year old get you a glass of wine if you ask them to, and explain to them when they ask why it's OK for some adults but not good for children.

3 moms found this helpful

Perfectly innocent.... although you may not expect your children to pour you a drink... I don't think anything is wrong with it...

My daughter has been getting us drinks for a couple of years now. She is 15 now, and has seen what can happen when you drink too much, knows about how many drinks is normal for a person to have, and that we never drive after we have been drinking, nor do we ever put her in the car with us if the driver has even had one drink... She knows that the consequences of drinking to much and drinking and driving are not worth the risk, and I am confident that if she were to be put in the situation, she would call us for a rie before getting in the car with someone who has had even one drink...

3 moms found this helpful

I don't think you are weird. I agree with you. I am an alcoholic. I was given beers to hold and definitely did sneak drinks, more so because everyone thought it was funny, from the time i was 2 and 3 years old. Do I think that had an effect on me becoming an alcoholic? Possibly, but definitely not the only reason. I don't think it is right for children to be around it much less serving it. And to me 14 is still a child. I could not imagine anyone in my family asking my 13 year old to bring them a beer, a glass of wine or a mixed drink. I would be extremely ticked. When my children are of an age which is more appropriate, the law is the law for a reason, then that is a different story and I truly hope they can learn from my mistakes and not overindulge.

3 moms found this helpful

My kids bring my husband beer when he asks them to or if they are out fishing, etc.
I have had them bring me my wine from the table after dinner, but not pour and serve.
It is probably just a difference in expectations and comfort levels - you are definately not weird:)

3 moms found this helpful

My kids bring daddy a "coka light" all the time, I don't see anything wrong with it.
Funny story - I had a friend who had her son early in life, so when we were all partying 20somethings she had a 12 year old son. They used to come hang out with us at our apartment pool in the summer and some of the guys taught the boy how to bartend, kid could make a killer purple hooter! He never tried the alcohol and to this day (22 yo) doesn't drink very much. He says he got a great education watching all of us and doesn't need to repeat it himself!

3 moms found this helpful

I don't think I would have a problem with it. I think making it taboo makes it that mysterious thing that kids will be more interested in. As long as she knows that this is an adult drink, and serves all types of drink, why make this one off limits?

3 moms found this helpful

I wouldn't say you're 'weird" but I don't see the harm in it. Seems sweet.

3 moms found this helpful

You know, we all have our own comfort levels with things, so I don't think you're weird, but I do think you're reading more into this than necessary.

When I was younger, I helped my mom host her guests when they entertained. That meant taking coats, offering drinks, serving drinks (iced tea, water, soda, wine, beer), and other hostessy things. I wasn't behind a bar mixing martinis or anything, but I'm sure I did pour the occaisional glass of wine just like I poured water or tea.

That said, I don't really drink at all. Not for any particular reason, I just don't. I know anecdote doesn't equal data, but pouring wine isn't really something that's going to lead to a life of depravity.

Maybe if it makes you really uncomfortable, you can be proactive about it. Are you comfortable enough with your sister to say, "Hey, I'm going to go pour myself a glass of wine. Want one?" That would take your niece completely out of the loop.

3 moms found this helpful

it is weird the first time you see your child holding any kind of alcohol. i have my daughter bring me beer now and again but never had her pour me wine or anything alcoholic.

2 moms found this helpful

Serving water or something else sure why not.
I do not personally think that serving wine is appropriate for that age, she might just be teaching her daughter to be a host...

If it was me, I would have said oh thanks but the adults can get it or something to that affect.

No I do not think you are weird! Interested to hear what others say about this.

2 moms found this helpful

Quite honestly, I don't think it's a big deal. My parents used to have wine every night at dinner, occassionally they would give us sips. I don't remember ever pouring it for them, but it wouldn't surprise me if we did. We also didn't grow up thinking alcohol was this crazy taboo and then go crazy binge drinking and hiding alcohol when we were teen agers and in college. I think a lot of that was due to how my parents handled alcohol. It was understood that it was for adults, but they never made it anything we had to rebel against. Perhaps your sister is also creating that typed of environment...
-M

PS...Would it be that big of a deal if she asked her to get a beer from the fridge? Seems like the same thing and still doesn't seem like a big deal to me.

2 moms found this helpful

You aren't weird. But would you feel the same way about a dad asking his son to grab a beer out of the cooler? My mother managed a steak house when I was a kid and on slow nights she'd tend bar. I thought it was neat that she could remember all of the things that went into the drinks. That doesn't mean they had me making 'sex on the beach' shots or anything but when there was wine on the table which wasn't often i was asked to pass it if it was in my 'zone' of the table. My mom would drink box wine sometimes and I'd pour it but it was because I asked to. I thought the spout on the box was cool. The wine was gross or at least I assumed because it smelled SO bad. I was never asked to bring drinks like a waitress nor was I allowed to do this without someone seeing what I was doing. I didn't drink until I was 22 years old and still very rarely do. I've never been drunk or had a hangover. Maybe my parents trusted me because they didn't think I'd drink or maybe I don't over indulge because the trusted me. I don't know. All that being said I don't like asking my kids to serve me period. If someone is going to the fridge and asks if i want a soda too that's fine but sending my child to the kitchen to bring me a drink. Nope. I don't think it's horrible but I don't think it's great either. It's just unnecessary so why risk it.

2 moms found this helpful

I don't think it is weird, nor do I think you are weird. Different families do different things. Looks like they are taking the taboo out of alcohol. And it isn't that big of a deal.

2 moms found this helpful

I don't think you are weird, but I also don't think it is a problem. I understand why you would give it a second thought - but as long as everyone has a healthy approach to alcohol, I don't think it's a problem. When I was a kid, I didn't like the taste of alcohol, I know that because I lived in a family where people drank at family occassions and if I asked for a sip, I got one - and didn't like it. So bringing someone a drink by no means meant that I wanted one, or enticed me. And if I had shown an interest in drinking it, I would have been in big trouble!!

2 moms found this helpful

Your not weird.

However, at 5 I knew how to pour a perfect beer. No head, no foam, in a cold pilsner from the freezer. I also loved the cherries from my Dad's manhattans. Guess what -- my Dad was an alcoholic.

Now, I am not saying anyone in this story is an alcoholic, but this isn't the first kid to know how to handle alcohol. In addition, in a lot of other countries the kids would be drinking too at 14. Just something to think about.

Growing up we had wine with Christmas and Thanksgiving dinner starting at age 7. On the one hand this is weird. On the other, I was never interested in drinking because it wasn't a novelty. I also never really liked the taste. It wasn't until I was much older and found mixed drink that I found anything that actually tasted good to me. :-)

I am with you (particularly given my family history) children shouldn't be exposed to alcohol as a "grown up" thing too often, because then they'll want to copy it so they appear "grown up" well before they are ready.

However, I can see both sides, particularly if people talk about it opening. If your sister and her daughter have talked about drinking and when it is ok, and when it isn't, then this could be fine. It all depends on how it is handled.

I have a 10 year old, and I have told her several times that she isn't like other people. If she starts drinking, she will likely end up adicted and it will run her life. I have told her that it is in our genes to be adicted to alcohol so we have to be more careful then other people. We don't drink in our house, only at adult parties which are pretty rare (the last one the kids attended was in 2005). We had a small dinner party while the kids were at grandmas in 2009 which involved drinking, but as you can see these are rare events.

That's my view. Hope it is helpful. You are not weird.

2 moms found this helpful

I think its inappropriate as well. The more they are around it, serving it, pouring it, the more temptation it holds and the easier it is to get because they are so acquainted with it already.

2 moms found this helpful

As long as she understands that it is an adult drink and she is not allowed to drink it herself, no big deal to me. Pretty much like pouring & bringing me a glass of tea... she just can't drink it herself.

Now, I have a cousin who is 19 now but for several years has been pouring, mixing, and serving drinks to his parents and other family when they are HOME or at another family members house. Nobody is an alcoholic or ever drinks excessively, and he wasn't allowed to even taste the drinks until just a year or so ago. He is just the type of kid/guy who likes to help others, take care of you, and enjoys mixing the drinks differently. No harm ever done, and now he's got plenty of experience to get a bar tending job!

2 moms found this helpful

I'm sure she's just being taught to be a polite hostess, but still, it would make me a little uncomfortable to see that, for sure. There are several people in my family who have or have had issues with alcohol.

1 mom found this helpful

I am right with you. All family's are different. But if this woman ever turns into an achollic her daughter is going to probably feel guilty. I read some posts not to long ago and was amazed of how many parents serve drinks and children's party's and see nothing wrong with it. So there we are, it's a very different world we live in. J.

1 mom found this helpful

I was a teenage bartender as well. If it helps you to know that being exposed to drunk adults as a tween actually had a positive effect on me. Just the smell and behavior of the party goers was enough. I rarely ever drink as an adult. However, I do love my cigarettes and enjoy gambling, lol...

1 mom found this helpful

I have a 15 year old and it's not something I would do. I don't find it necessary or cute that minors are "serving" alcohol. It's just another thing that makes alcohol seem familiar and casual to them - like they are one step away from it.

1 mom found this helpful

no youre not weird. this also means the 14 y/o has access to alcohol probably when her mom is not there? What does she have her check out a key or something? personally I can't stand parents who are not responsible with alcohol around their kids. NO wonder there are so many issues with teen drinking.

1 mom found this helpful

I've known families where the kids start serving drinks during parties and such when they're still in single digit ages. I'm with you, though - I think it's a very bad idea.

1 mom found this helpful

I can understand why some people don't see anything wrong with this....but they tend to forget what it's like as a teenager, the peer pressures, etc and in this day and age...the stuff that goes on out there!! Maybe serving wine seems innocent...but it has become a trend, and while I can't really explain how it CAN be damaging (because it just would take to long) I suggest reading the book by Koren Zailckas called 'Smashed-story of a drunken girlhood' and you'll see how this is how it can all begin.....in a couple years if she isn't doing it already, she'll be sneaking that wine/alcohol because she's grown up seeing its OK

I don't see anything wrong. She wasn't drinking it, was she?? To each his (or her) own!

I don't know what the laws are in the state of CA, but in the state of PA it is illegal for a minor under 18 to be in possession of alcohol. I remember once on vacation I'd asked my then 16 yo sister to bring me a wine cooler out of the fridge when she got herself a soda. My brother in law who was a juvenile detective jumped up to his feet and said "No, I'll get it for you...it's illegal for her to."

Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.