Alcohol - Erie,PA

Updated on May 17, 2010
V.M. asks from Conneaut, OH
37 answers

I'm hoping this doens't start a huge thing, But this has really been on my mind an i don't feel i can discuss it much with friends. I was raised with No alcohol in the house until my parents divorced when I was 15, Then my dad did start keeping some in the house, which i did try when he wasn't home, 2 sips at most. I never drank in college, but after meeting my husband I have had some alcohol during dinners out or hanging out at friends houses. My husband also was raised with no alcohol in the house, but his cousins had access to it and while he didn''t drink underage, he drank alot in his early twenties. Now he will have a beer or wine with dinner nothing major. So there are a few things i'm thinking about, The first being wether or not it's a big deal to have alcohol in the house with children especially now that my son is 8. I'm wondering if it's ok for my son to ever see us drink, such as wine at the Olive Garden. and I"m wondering what to tell my kids about alcohol in general. I know first it's the law and i know it's instilling our personal values. I was miserabl e in college, had no friends, never did anything because it was all based on drinking, and now as an adult ALLL i hear from people is how much fun they had in college and all the great parties they have ever been too and welllllll, what do you want from your kids in terms of drinking?????

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hmmm interesting Ladies, i appreciate it.

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answers from Chicago on

I also grew up without it in the house. My family is not not much in drinking,. I do not like beer--I think it literally stinks. My husband did have a period of time before kids that he drank excessively. Now he cannot stand the stuff at all. A bottle of beer lasts all night IF he takes one at a party. I will have a drink with a special lunch or party but that is it. We only have liquor for parties. One thing we have explained to my kids, and yes they have asked, is that is is important regardless of the item to be responsible at all times. I have explained what alcohol can do to a person, its permanent and temporary results. I have no problem if someone has alcohol in the house but I do have a problem when beer or wine is kept in the fridge and is easy access to the kids. When they hear on TV or someone talking about how they went out drinking and had fun, I explain what can happen there too. You can have just one drink or skip it all together and still have fun. The funny thing is, when friends talk about how they had fun partying in college, most of the time they can't really tell me what they did that was so fun.

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answers from St. Louis on

I do not think having alcohol in the house is a big deal at all *unless someone living there is an alcholic*. It's perfectly legal to drink - I would and do drink when I want to. I have had drinks in front of my daughter and she's seen my husband drink. When she asks for a drink of his beer (because we often let her have a sip of non-alcoholic drinks we are having), we tell her "no that beer is for mommy's and daddy's).

I think by hiding it that you are making it more taboo, therefore, making it more interesting to kids when they are finally exposed to it.

My parents had alcohol in the house for as long as I can remember but I can probably count on both hands the times I've seen my parents drink and never seen them drunk (they don't drink much at all). I did sneak alcohol out of the stash a few times in high school but it never resulted in anything major (never drinking/driving/etc).

You can explain to your son that there are drinks that he can drink when he is an adult and leave it at that.

From my experience in college, most of the parties/fun things that were going on were alcohol related. Not that there were not OTHER things going on, but drinking was a large part of what most of the people in the dorms were doing. You can choose to partake (or you son can when he gets there).

I think you can instill your personal values about drinking and still feel comfortable having alcohol in your house and drinking it in front of your children.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Dayton on

I really hope this isn't one of those questions that brings about in-fighting among the moms because I really think it's a good one and one where we can all learn how other moms do things. You learn best from your peers so this is a good opportunity.

We had a no alcohol house growing up for a couple of reasons. One was that our religion frowned upon it (to put things mildly) and the other was that my best friend across the street had a dad who was an alcoholic and I just assumed (in my childish mind) that alcohol meant alcoholism, so my dad promised never to drink alcohol again when he saw how scared I was and he kept that promise.

We have wine in our house that I cook with, and if you bring me a good Reisling, I'll drink a glass happily. We will drink a beer at a cookout from time to time, but we have set boundaries so that our kids never have to worry and be confused.

Here is our stance:

Alcohol is not bad. Drinking alcohol to excess is unwise and unsafe. It is harmful to the body and puts us in a position to make unwise choices. We are mindful to never drink to the point of being tipsy and we never drink when we are driving anywhere, even if it's one glass of wine or one bottle of beer.

The drinking age is 21 for a reason. That is when the brain is developed enough to make better choices and to be able to rationalize fully and really get the cause and effect of a thing. We do not condone or allow anyone within our presence to drink underage, not even a sip.

The laws about drinking and driving are there for a reason. Intoxication is a tricky thing and at first you can "feel" fine when in actuality your decision making skills are compromised and well and your coordination and reaction times. By the time you "feel" bussed you are usually hammered and will feel more drunk as time goes on even if you do not drink another drop. We do not condone or allow anyone within our presence to drink and drive, not even a sip.

Rather than teaching our kids about the evils of alcohol, we teach about the citizens job to follow the law of the land and the importance of responsible decisions and accountability for bad choices. We teach that excess in anything is unhealthy and unwise.

That's our take

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Savannah on

In my personal opinion it is a thousand times better to teach rather than remove.

I grew up in a house similar to yours. My home growing up was extremely conservative: no alcohol, no tank tops, no two pieces, no dancing, no secular music, no movies unless they were "appropriate"... you get the idea.
I developed a lot of anger and resentment. I realized the truth and reality of things - began thinking with my own head and not just blindly obeying... and I realized how much I profoundly disagreed with what I had been taught. I moved out when I was still in high school... I graduated on my own from a public school instead of the private Christian school I had been going to. I partied like crazy - drinking, smoking, sex, drugs, late nights and early mornings - its amazing I graduated high school and didn't wind up dead.

I wasn't taught caution.
I wasn't taught reality at all - I was simply told not to.
I drank too much on many occasions and had to go to the hospital. I slept with guys I didn't know because no one taught me not to. No one told me how to be careful if I had had one too many.. or how to tell when I needed to stop. No one told me not to drive after I had had a glass or two of wine, no one taught me not to mix certain drinks with certain foods to avoid getting sick... Nobody told me that pot was *way* more common than anyone wanted to admit. Nobody explained why I should use condoms... I was simply told "Don't have sex until you're married, and don't drink because its a sin."..... "Because the Bible says so." Sorry ....but they're going to need a lot more than that to combat peer pressure, physical urges, and plain ole' curiosity.

Its kind of absurd.

Anyway - in our house, we drink. We keep whatever we want in the house. When my boys ask me why can't they drink that, I answer them truthfully, "Because this is an alcoholic drink and you can't have any until you're old enough."

Often the conversation goes like this,

"Mom can I have this?"
"Nope, sorry babe. We still have some juice though, or there's soda in the fridge."
"But I want this."
"You can't drink that because its wine and it is only for people who are 21 or older."
"Because when you're younger than that its against the law to drink it... just like its still against the law for you to drive a car right now. When you're 16 you can learn to drive, when you're 21 you can learn to drink other things... but for now, you have to choose water, juice, soda or milk."

....The car thing really helps. My boys loooove cars. All cars, motorcycles, trucks, dirt bikes, etc... They want to drive NOW.

Tell the truth. He can't drink because he's too young. When he's big enough, you'll let him choose what he wants to drink, and you'll help him learn what's good and bad about it and how to make intelligent choices.

Otherwise you're only doing one of two things - insuring rebellion and a hard partying kid like I was.. or you're insuring a sheltered lifestyle that will eventually learn how things really are... and be quite aggravated and feel very deceived that you didn't just tell them how it really is.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

My parents never drank, smoked or had it in the house. And guess what? We had LOTS OF FUN without it! My parents hung with people that were interesting, intelligent and a blast to be with - all with ZERO ALCOHOL! So I grew up knowing you didn't need alcohol to have a good time. I never had to see my mom and dad get drunk. Consequently, I followed in their footsteps. Drinking as a "culinary" experience - with a meal - is okay, but to relate having fun with drinking is a big mistake. Many things are done while "under the influence" that a lot of people would like to take back.

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answers from Chicago on

My parents had alcohol in the house. Sometimes I even remember them having a lot of fun with family friends. Now, as an adult, I realize they were good & buzzed, and I actually appreciate knowing that they had a marriage and a life with friends that didn't necessarily revolve around their 3 kids. I don't recall them ever drinking much, or very often, especially when we were teenagers, but they never hid alcohol or made it taboo. Never one single time did I drink alcohol in their house or sneak their alcohol, a sip or otherwise. I remember having a beer the first time when I was almost 18, at a party where lots of people were over 21. I drank in college if I felt like it, mostly after I was 21 and could buy my own. However, I didn't HAVE to drink to go to a party or social get together in college or now at 35. In college, alcohol might've made me hotter and dance better - haha - but it didn't make me have a good time, being myself around good friends just was a good time! If I feel like drinking, I drink. If I don't, I don't. My kids are 8, 4, and 4. They know that alcohol is for adults, you must drink responsibly, and we don't ever drink and drive. We are also honest with them about WHY you shouldn't drink & drive or be can get in trouble, you can hurt yourself or someone else, you can make big mistakes, etc. My 8 year old understands these basic things that we've discussed with her. I honestly believe that if my children see us drink responsibly, they will have a good example of moderate and responsible alcohol use.

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answers from Dallas on

I, too, grew up in a house with no alcohol, but started drinking my senior year of high school on the weekends. It seemed like everyone did it and it was fun. I know now that the consequences could have been severe and that is why I want to show my children what it is like to have a drink or 2 without having to drink until drunk. My husband and I keep some alcohol in our home and we occasioally drink in front of our children. I expect my kids to wait until the legal age to drink because that is the law. Will I tell them I didn't? I don't know, I'll have to wait until they are closer to their teen years. I'm not as concerned about them trying alcohol as I am about them consuming too much or getting behind the wheel themself or with someone else who is drinking. I'm not sure what all the answers are, but I know that keeping the line of communication open is important.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I think that if you and your husband are drinking reasonably and your child/ren
see you that way, they will follow suit. Its not like your using alcohol excessively and when they grow older they will see this.
As well when they get at the age of drinking or possibly younger because of peer pressure, just make sure to tell them that drinking is okay as long as you handle it reasonably. If they end up at a party for instance and start drinking as some teenagers' do, let them know that you don't condone it. If they say they are going to a party and you somehow have that "gut" feeling that alcohol is going to be used, make sure that you tell them that even though you don't agree with it that if they need a ride home you will be there. You don't want your child/ren getting somewhere drinking and then get a ride home with someone who is inebriated and get into an accident. Again, if they want to have a small party at home and some of their friends want to drink, make sure that their parents' are aware of this. Always go with your "gut" feeling, peer pressure is so much on the rise.
Good luck and again, your children will understand a small drink at home, not to worry.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Harrisburg on

I haven't read all the answers but these are my thoughts. Alcohol is fine to have in the house as long as everyone drinks responsibly. I think you just need to be honest with your kids about it and keep the lines of communication open. My parents drank in front of us when we were growing up (responsibly) but never talked to us about it. When i got to college and had to start making my own decisions i made some stupid ones (i consider myself lucky). I knew people whose parents never drank in front of them and they made the same stupid mistakes. The people who made the best decision were the ones whose parents talked to them and kept the lines of communication open.

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answers from Washington DC on

I don't think it's a big deal to have it in the house , or for your kids to see you have a glass of wine with a meal , I am a believer in everything in moderation. If you try and sheild your kids from it and treat it like some kind of taboo it will only make it seem all the more appealing. Just be honest with them , explain what too much to drink at one time can do.

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answers from Anchorage on

My kids see us drink, what they do not see is us having even one drink and than driving. Whether or not kids see you have the occasional drink will not determine if they drink in high school or college, who they hang out with will. All you can do it tell them what you would like of them, and what you expect, and hope they have enough self esteem to stand up to peer pressure.

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answers from Oklahoma City on

We had alcohol in my house growing up. I think I can count on one hand how many times I saw my dad drink and my mom would only on occassion have a glass of wine. We were allowed to taste it (to avoid the temptation of sneaking a taste at some point) it worked we always thought it was "nasty". I didn't drink in high school - because I thought it tasted nasty. In college, I did drink some only because once I could go to bars I realized there were tasty fruity ones, margaritas. We do keep alcohol in our house. I like a glass of wine with dinner and my hubby likes beer when we are cooking out. Mothers don't freak out on me here! - we have let our child taste it (to avoid the temptation he might have when he gets older to be sneaky and see what it tastes like) and he thinks it is gross and nasty tasting and wonders how we can drink that gross stuff...LOL!



answers from Charlotte on




answers from Philadelphia on

Hi Veronica,

Neither my husband or I are big drinkers. I like to drink beer when we go out to dinner. My husband will drink one glass of wine. If wine is in the house it is from a party we had. My son is 15. Thru out his school years the schools have educated the children about the consequenses of alcohol and drugs. because of this my son thought that when I had the occasional drink I was doing something very bad. We explained to him our thoughts on drinking and also explained to him how the laws were different thru out different times. I feel very comfortable if there is a bottle of wine in the house but that would usually be about it.
What is worse is when this kids grow up and drink at parties and have no clue when to stop and get very sick. I think that you need to let your child know what you think deep down is right for your family.Hopefully they will follow in that dirrection.

I often hear of kids drinking in 7th grade. They have older siblings who are drinking and it is introduced that way. So be aware of who your childrens friends with. Often the most popular crowds are not the best influence.

Remember it is your family you set your rules!




answers from Los Angeles on

i dont see it as a problem. my daughter is 3 and we keep liquor in the house. some is in a locked cabinet (thats in her reach) and some is in a cabinet out of her reach. we dont drink much at all its just whats been bought over the years. i have no issue with drinking wine, beer or mixed drink with a meal infront of your children. it shows them that there is a time to have it opposed to just coming home from work and opening a beer. if your son asks for some then you can explain to him that he has to be of legal age to have alcohol and when he is old enough he is allowed to make the choice to drink or not. as long as your open and honest with your kids i think you will be ok.
when my husband and i drink infront of our daughter she will ask if she can have some and i tell her that she cant and ill ask her if she wants a special drink like a juice or if we are in a restraunt then a sprite. if at home i keep sparkling cider for her because it makes her feel like shes having a special drink like us.



answers from Norfolk on

I was raised in a family where there was no alcohol. My parents were adamant about it. I have never so much as had a sip of alcohol in all my 30 years.

I don't believe that there is anything wrong with having wine (or whatever). I would make sure that your children know "this is a grown-up drink" You are a great mom to ensure your kids don't see anyone drunk at their young ages. But just a note: seeing how my uncles acted when drunk ( I was a teen) is part of why I never drank in college. Knowing the effects of drinking and drugs was important in why I never once so much as tried it. Kids are impressionable, if they see alcohol only in a positive light, they may go too far. Seeing the negative may move them to avoid it (but that won't bother you, right?)



answers from Philadelphia on

My parents always had alcohol in the house and they would have a drink with dinner on occasion but never got drunk or had more than 1 drink. I don't think it's a big deal as long as you keep it somewhere out of reach and your son understands that he should not get into it. I think it's ok for kids to see their parents have a drink with dinner or during a special occasion or whatever as long as you are not getting drunk in front of your kids. I think showing that alcohol can be enjoyed in moderation is a good thing and will help your son become a responsible person when it comes to this. I think that some of the people I've know who were heavy drinkers in high school or college came from homes where alcohol was taboo and forbidden. I don't think having a bottle of wine in the house or enjoying a beer with dinner once in a while is going to turn your son into an alcoholic.

I want my son to know that it's ok to enjoy a drink on occasion but like soda or juice it's not something we drink everyday but is a sometimes thing. I think your college experience depends on the school and where it's located. I made it through 4 years without having alcohol being at the center of things but I chose to go to a huge university in a city so there were plenty of entertainment options that didn't revolve around drinking or hanging out on campus. I think if you model responsibility and talk to your son about these things it can help him make responsible decisions.



answers from Dallas on

My parents never drank. My father was raised and abused by an alcoholic, so the smell of alcohol made him sick. He never drank. At company parties when it was expected for guys to have a beer, he would walk around with one in his hand for a while, and pour it out in a tree/plant/bush when he had the chance.

I don't like drinking either. I never went through a party phase, but my husband did. My husband and I were friends and he would call me telling me how much he drank (When "not much" was 12 beers). Part of my agreeing to marry him is that I never wanted him to come home smelling like alcohol. I couldn't tolerate being married to someone like that. Fortunately he was a social drinker, and didn't have an addiction.

Now, married.. our oldest is almost 6. We do keep wine in the house. We do have a few drink bottles for making a mixed drink I like. We do not drink often -- maybe a bottle of wine once every 3 months. Generally, we don't drink in front of the kids. This isn't because I am some kind of purist, it's more because I save opening the wine bottle for "adult" time when the kids are asleep. When the kids ask us about it, I tell them what it is. "Alcohol is a drink only adults are allowed to have, some people like the way it tastes, or how it makes them feel.. but too much of it can make you very sick."

I think you need to decide what is best for your family :) No one has to live with your rules but you - as long as you're not breaking laws.. like getting your kids drunk -- I don't think its anyone elses business.



answers from Columbus on

I don't think it is a big deal unless someone in your household is an alcoholic. If they were, you would know. I think you may have a real "grass is greener" outlook here. My dad was a drunk, and I did not do much drinking in college, and I found plenty of people to hang out with who did not either. Look back again, and you may have let this bother you more than it needed to!

Most people are probably exagagerating if they say that they had so much fun getting drunk in college, there is so much more to the college experience than drinking, and for those who only had that, they did not really go to college...they dropped out of college because of drinking, which is not all that fun! Having a drink when you want one in front of your children is not a value issue, unless you belong to a religion that bans it, it is a matter of using good judgement and not making it seem like alcohol is something it is not so your kids don't think that they need it to have a good time.

My husband is catholic, and I converted, so we have alcohol on occasion, it is in our house, and there is alcohol at some of our churches social events, and I think that it is not such a mystery or such a "taboo" big deal to them.




answers from Pittsburgh on

I think that if you want to have alcohol in the house you should...if only to have on hand for an occasional drink. You guys are naturally setting a good example by your only occasional cocktail. Please don't change that. Your son will learn that alcohol is something that can be enjoyed by adults occasionally and in moderation. I would not restrict all drinking and make a bid deal about it to him (esp at his age) b/c this could totally backfire on you. I would just be matter of fact about it and when he does get older talk to him about the dangers of it.

I hate to say it but some of the most fun that I have had has involved alcohol to some extent. I do think that you miss out by a zero tolerance policy in addition to making everyone else around you feel uncomfortable. There are people in our neighborhood that abstain and unfortunately are not invited to parties.



answers from Pittsburgh on

Great question! Bet you get the gamut of responses. I look at drinking as just another example of ways to model appropriate behavior to kids. We do drink here (though most days I have my drink after my son's in bed, 'causes I'd rather sit down and enjoy it), and my son knows what beer and wine is. He's never asked for it (he's only 2) but he knows that it is a Mommy (or Daddy) drink, like coffee. My folks were big social drinkers (I can remember some PARTIES when I was growing up) but all my friend's parents were similar drinkers, so we didn't think anything of it. I drinking is another example where extremes on either end are not healthy (though there are obviously some people who can't have any alcohol for medical reasons). What I plan on telling my son about alcohol is that, just like anything else, a little bit is fine, a lot will make you sick or hurt you. And that alcohol isn't for bodies that are still growing because it is a depressant, and slows things down. Will we let him drink moderately as a teenager at home? I'm not sure. Like so much else, we'll have to play that one by ear. My folks always let me have a taste of theirs (which, as a child I found disgusting) and it totally removed the mystery. Anyway, I would not hide your drinking from your son, I would use it as a teachable moment.



answers from Philadelphia on

I grew up surrounded by alcohol. My parents drank beer and wine in front of me and all their friends did, too. I don't actually remember anyone getting drunk in front of me, though. I lived overseas where foreigners pretty much could get away with anything, so I started partying and drinking from the ages of 13 through 16, again, not to get fall down drunk, but to loosen up at parties and have fun. By the time I got to college in the States, I'd done all the drinking and partying I wanted to, but all my American friends who'd grown up with alcohol being taboo, went crazy with the cheapest beer they could find, just to get drunk. Every weekend it was a contest to see who could get the most drunk. "OMIGOSH! I was SOOOO wasted!" "OMIGOSH! I'm gonna get SOOOOO wasted tonight!" "OMIGOSH! I'm SOOOOO wasted right now!" I though they were all idiots and couldn't believe how unsophisticated and childish these Americans were. Of course, I occasionally joined them, caving in to peer pressure. But always regretting it and feeling disappointed and stupid at sinking to their level. Most of them grew out if it by the time they turned 21, although a few still have drinking problems today. Now that I'm a mom, I drink an occasional glass of wine with dinner and my husband drinks beer, all in front of the kids. We're pretty relaxed about it, but have made it clear that it's for grownups only, and why. We've had discussions about what can happen when you're drunk and how the bad decisions you make when drunk can affect you for the rest of your lives. The two young ones (7 and 9) have never cared about alcohol, have never asked to try it or anything like that. If it's not an ice-cream based drink, they could care less what it is. My son, 12, did ask to try a sip of wine the other day, and I let him, knowing he was going to absolutely HATE it, which he did (he actually thought I was insane for CHOOSING to drink "that stuff"). I don't believe that giving them a try will turn them into raging teenage alcoholics, but I do believe that by keeping it taboo and a big "grownups only" secret, they will, in high school or college, go nuts. I'm no expert, but it seems to me that the whole "alcohol is hard to get for teenagers, so drink as much of it as you can when it's available and get as drunk as you possibly can" is an American thing and one I'm hoping to avoid. I'm hoping that my kids will end up like me, so I'm taking the same approach as MY parents: relaxed about drinking, enjoying it responsibly, and being open and approachable with my kids about it. And someday, I hope to enjoy a glass of wine with my adult children while my grandchildren play in the yard.



answers from Scranton on

We drinkg in front of our kids at home, at restaurants, at friends homes, but we NEVER get drunk in front of the kids. Actually, we never drink enought to get drunk even when the boys are not around. I was raised around my parents drinking responsibly - socially, but never enough to get drunk. I have never been a 'big drinker' but I do enjoy a glass or wine or 2 with friends, etc. Our children know alcohol is for grown ups only. I think seeing up drink responsibly they will learn to use alcohol responsibly, not drinking to excess, but not as taboo, either. I almost never drank in college, but went to parties all the time. Alcohol was not a big deal to me, I could take it or leave it and was comfortable being around others that were drinking when I wasn't. My friends in college never cared if I drank or not. I hope my kids will feel the same when they are in high school/college - that they don't need to drink to have fun and they can be around it w/o partaking.

Hope that helps.

PS I have no intention of letting them drink underage or ignoring it if they do.



answers from Chicago on

I think it's fine to have alcohol in the house as long as the kids do not have access to it. My kids are very young, but I know I'll have to deal with it at some point. I plan to tell them it's for adults only & they would think it's yucky anyway. My parents had alcohol in the house. I never drank in high school, but I had a "normal" college life w/ drinking, going out late & having fun. I think if parents raise their children with the right values the kids should make the right decisions. It also helps, of course, for your kids to be friends with other good kids. I do not plan on removing alcohol from my house when the kids are older...I like my occasional glass of wine when the kids go to bed. I liken this to removing knives from the house b/c they're dangerous. If you remove them, how do you cook? I personally think it's a little extreme & would likely cause the kids to rebel & experiment more...the more one is told not to do something, the more curious they are about it. I think if it's not in the house it makes even that much more curious for the kids.


answers from Provo on

I don't drink. I used to just a bit. But now that I have a son (and I've gone back to church. I'm LDS and we don't drink at all) I've quit. BUT If I hadn't gone back to church I would have had a bottle of wine around all the time. I think in this culture of ours its a norm to have alcohol around for dinner or special occasions. I don't think that it is bad. Children need to know that adults drink special drinks that they can drink when they are old enough.
When my son is about 8 or 9, i'll give him a half a thimble full of some drink so that he will know how nasty it is and hopefully discourage him to drink it when he is older. But that is what i'll be doing.



answers from Raleigh on

I am from Russia and there everyone drinks . I was allowed to have beer since I was 6 years old if I wanted,and kids as young as 12 years old can walk on the street drinking. I hated the taste, it was just not my thing. As a teenager, I NEVER drank, however I DO NOT feel like I missed out on any fun.My friends got drunk, got stupid, slept around. That's ALL they got from drinking.
MY husband grew up as pastor's kid , his parents did have wine in the house.He started drinking with his friends very heavily since he was 13. All 5 of his uncles(on mother's side) were alchoholics, 4 of them died from it in their 40s. MY husband got the " alchoholism gene" passed down to him and now is recovering alchoholic . It almost distroyed our family.
We do not have drinks in our house, but hubby does get non alchoholic beer sometimes. He CAN NOT drink anything with alchohol, he is an addict.
I do not think it's a problem for your kids to see you have a glass of wine here and there. For our boys since there is such a huge family history of alchoholism on both side of the family we have to be very cousious, but at the same time give them as much info as we can, to make sure that they do not go down that road.



answers from Provo on

I am a pretty lenient parent. I feel that the children are going to be exposed to just about everything at one time or another and the best I can do is to talk to them about it. I don't have any liquor in the house right now. I just don't have the money but I don't see a problem with having it around. I feel like if ANYONE is told that it is forbidden then the temptation will be greater. I don't tell my kids that cussing is bad-I just tell them that they are adult words and it they want to say them when they are over 18 then they can say them. The same philosophy is used for most things. It takes the excitement out of the action if they know it is a possibility for them. I never drank when I was home because alcohol was considered BAD. After I got to college it was a different story. I drank and partied a lot. I gained a lot of weight and did a lot of stupid things. I actually went to Mexico about every weekend to drink. I went crazy!



answers from New York on

Growing up there was alway alcohol in the house in the liquor cabinet. When I was a baby whiskey was rubbed on the gums to ease the pain. When I was a little girl, I would bring my grandfather a beer and was allowed to drink the foam off the top. My mother always allowed me to have a sip of her drink. As a teen, we did Sunday brunch frequently, my step-father would give me his mimosa. None of the member in my family were heavy drinkers, they didn't get drunk, they drank socially and responsibly and taught me to do the same. The liquor cabinet was stocked. The rules were simple - if I wanted a drink all I had to do is ask - don't sneak, never drive if you've had something to drink, never get in a car with someone who had been drinking. My mother's theory was if I was going to get drunk and do something stupid the best place to do would be at home. I've never abused alcohol and count on one hand the number of times I've been drunk.

As for my children, they see us drink ocassionally with friends or wine with a special dinner. I allow them to have a taste and occasionally a small glass. I'm trying to teach them that alchol is not bad or taboo. It is something you need to do in moderation. My rules are the same as my mothers.

Perhaps one of the best lessons my kids have learned is at a friends New Years Eve party, where they witnessed several people who were drunk and did really stupid things. They realized they did want to look stupid like these kids (ages 21 - 23).



answers from Redding on

Interesting question.
When I was little, my dad drank beer but my mom never drank a drop.
God bless her, she tried. Barely 5 feet and 100 pounds, if she even had one glass of wine, she was so sick in the bathroom barfing.
To this day, she would love to have a strawberry margerita or something, but she just has no tolerance for it.
The only time I ever drink wine is if we go out to dinner and I always have one glass of red wine. I usually don't even finish it by the time dinner is over and my kids tease me to chug it. They don't see the point in sitting there for an extra half hour while I sip it.
Yes, alcohol is bad IF it's out of control and we don't want our kids thinking it's "fun" seeing us get drunk....but a glass of wine now and then with dinner, in my opinion, isn't inappropriate.
For my last birthday, my daughter took me out to dinner and ordered me Tangerine beer. She's 23. I'd never tasted it, never knew it even existed, and I must say, I enjoyed it. I've never had one since though. Same with having bottles of wine in my house. I drink it as a treat with dinner and only when we go out.
Alcohol is for adults only.
Having a glass of wine or a beer is not the same thing as partying and being irresponsible. But that's just my opinion.
If you don't know when to stop or get drunk and act like a fool in front of your kids, that's a problem.
If you are concerened what message your kids will get, don't drink at all.
I never drink and drive. Not even one glass of wine. But if we are out with other people, I will indulge.
We have champagne on New Year's Eve at home. We have egg nog with rum on Christmas eve. My kids never freaked out about it. It's a once a year thing. When I get sick, I'll buy a little bottle of whiskey and add some to hot water and lemon for chest congestion. It never upset my kids.
Everything in moderation.

Ultimately the choice is yours....



answers from Orlando on

In my opinion, there is nothing wrong with drinking moderation. Wine/ a beer with dinner won't cause any problems. When it is done in excess, that's when there is a problem. I encourage you, if you are going to drink, to do it in front of your kids. I am not talking about getting drunk or "tipsy" with/in front of them. I am talking dinner drinks. My husband's father drank (not an alcoholic) his whole life, but my husband never knew it until he "caught" him at a BBQ, and then it was a shock for all of the kids. Don't hide it from them.

I am not sure how old your kids are, but unless they specifically ask, don't tell them anything about alcohol. They may not even know the difference between it and juice. But, if they are older and/or ask about it, let them know that it's something grown-ups are allowed to drink and that it's to be done in moderation.



answers from Kansas City on

I think it's better to have alcohol in the house and show kids you can drink responsibly. We dont have much in our house, because my husband cant drink (liver problem) and I dont like to drink alone, but I will have a fruity alcoholic beverage if we go out to eat sometimes, and whenever we visit my fam for holidays there's always lots of beer and whatever in the cooler.

Now, if you're getting drunk around your kids all the time, that's not cool, obviously, but if you're having a drink at dinner or whatever, you arent scarring their psyches.


answers from Dallas on

Hi Veronica,
Very interesting post and responses.
Both my parents were alcoholics. My brother essentially started drinking when he was 18 months old. The parents and their friends thought it was cute. At 53, he is a raging alcoholic.
Thank goodness, I didn't like the taste. I didn't drink at all until after college and don't think I missed a thing. We drink small amounts socially, as do most of our friends. Our children have seen this and I think it shouldn't be hidden. But I vowed my children would never see me drunk, nor anyone else for that matter. (Unfortunately the people behind us like to get drunk regularly in their garage and play ping pong.)
We recently found out our 18-yr-old has tried drinking. He really doesn't like it either. But drinking ( and smoking pot) is pretty much the norm for most high school students today. Some parents allow underage drinking and smoking at their homes! Besides smoking pot, some are smoking incense, thinking it is legal (it is) and safe (it's not--it can cause cardiac arrest.)
We have told our son we will not pay for college if he choses to smoke dope. We don't mind a little social drinking when it is legal. When he is on his own dime, he can make all the decisions for himself.



answers from Philadelphia on

Well, currently living in the south, I see lots of people who are anti-drinking and have some weird phobia of having children see them drink but I grew up in a family where relatives and friends occasionally drank. I think that gave me an idea of how to drink responsibly because let's face high school, college and beyond, kids will be exposed to alcohol. I guess my view is that I'd rather they not learn about it somewhere else-not that I'm going to give my kids alcohol at home, but you know what I'm saying. Some of my best memories with friends (and my husband) are times spent laughing and talking over a few drinks. Good luck-it really boils down to how you feel and what you want for your children.


answers from Rochester on

My family never had alcohol in our house (that I knew of) when I was a kid, so I didn't really register it. When I hit middle-school (not going to get into all the family problems and drama) I became aware that my dad drank a lot, he just hid it. I don't think this started until around that time, but he is still an alcoholic, and it caused a lot of problems. My mom, on the other hand, drank responsibly, but not frequently because of my dad (they are now divorced, so I'm not sure what would have been better in terms of alcohol in the house). [As an aside, I still adore my daddy, he just has some recognizable and very sad to see problems, while still being a really great guy!] So for me, I feel that I saw a responsible example and a poor one, but I have chosen to drink responsibly and in moderation. My husband is the same way--he enjoys a beer or two at night, or a mixed drink, wine with dinner, etc. We do keep alcohol in the house, I like to have a lemonade or something at night, etc. If he asks, we tell our 3-year-old that it is an adult drink and he can have water. He knows when we say that that it means he cannot have it, only grown-ups can, etc. We do not drink to excess, so our children are not around anyone who is intoxicated, and if we eat out, I do not drink (because I WILL NOT drive my children even if I am legal--not willing to take any chances there). In our state, minors under their parents supervision could drink legally, but I don't remember the details--so sometimes after I was 17 or 18 my mom let me have a wine cooler with her in the summer. I never went through a phase of drinking or anything else. I guess overall, if you both drink responsibly, it is better to set that as a good example, but don't make a big deal out of it. My sister's reaction to my dad is a little different--she won't allow it in her house and won't let her husband drink at all. When we have company, we ask them if it is something they are sensitive about before we serve it.

Sorry that is so long. If you do not have a moral problem with alcohol, and it sounds like you don't, just teach your children that it is regulated (they have to be a certain age), it can affect your body and mind, adults have to be careful with it, and set a responsible example for them. I will not care if my children drink responsibly when they are old enough, or with supervision if it is legal here when they are young adults but not yet 21. If they do not like it or feel it is not good for them, that will be fine.



answers from Philadelphia on

I think that you need to go with what you truly believe in. I was brought up where my parents had a casual drink with dinner. My husband grew up in a very christian household that didn't believe in drinking. As parents, we want our children to know that a glass of wine with dinner is fine, but to over due it can lead to bad decisions...etc. Letting them see and understand what abusing alcohol can do physically and mentally to you will help them make wise choices as they grow up.
good luck.


answers from Williamsport on

Show your kids how to drink! ABSOLUTELY 100%! I spent my high school years in Germany where there is no drinking age and lots of kids are served beer at the table if they want it! I don't advocate that ( only because it's not legal here-although it totally works for them), but alcohol is MUCH less of an issue over there. College is for learning, the kids drink in clubs ands bars (or not) on their time off from school. People are more mature about it at a younger age. You and your husband are very light drinkers, not boozers with cabinets packed with hard liquor, and that's what you should model. Your kids won't be so likely to become obsessed with alcohol later if they are used to seeing it's proper use for their whole lives.

College parties and stories about college parties are a huge bore- you should be glad you spared your brain cells. My kids see us have wine at dinner occasionally, or one glass during a movie afterwards. They know their dad drinks some beer now and then because he's an adult. My 4 year old already knows that one parent has to NOT drink a beer or wine at a restaurant so he/she can drive.

We never drink too much or get drunk or tipsy and we are very open and thorough about explaining such things. My parents drank only a little but never hid it, and they too made it clear no one drank AT ALL before driving, so I always knew how to volunteer to drive and not drink when I got older. Just be honest and firm. Teach them that alcohol is harmful in excess, like bad food or smoking or anything else and that they need to take care of their bodies and be safe from a very young age so it's natural to them.



answers from Los Angeles on

We have alcohol in our house and our kids know what "beer" is, but the only time we drink around them in on a special occasion such as a bbq with friends/party etc. My husband and I often have a glass of wine at night but it is after the kids have gone to bed. I have told them that alcohol drinks are drinks you can have as adults but a lot is really bad for your body. We have alcoholics in the family so I worry about how they will view alcohol... and I too worry about exposure to it...some ppl say it makes it better if it is not kept such a mystery, others say the opposite. I think it is such a huge part of our society though and I want my kids to also know that not everyone who drinks gets completely drunk or is an alcoholic also.

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