I Allow My 8-Year-Old To Drink Alcohol. Help!

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I ALLOW MY 8-YEAR OLD TO DRINK ALCOHOL
I hosted dinner at my house to celebrate my 8-year old son's first place finish in a track competition. He had never competed in any sport before hence this was a pretty big deal. His father and I wanted him to feel special so we allowed him to have a glass of red wine. That gesture touched off a heated exchange between my mother and me. She was livid that I thought it was appropriate to serve a child alcohol even though it was watered down.

The dinner turned out to be a dud and I didn't speak to my mom for a month. She argued that alcohol effects young children's hormones and stunts growth. I inadvertently blurted out that when I was growing up, sometimes my friend's mother served us alcohol at dinner and we were just 10-years old. It didn't stunt our growth and we didn't become alcoholics.

That opened up a whole new can of worms because my mother confronted my friend's mother - who she's been friend's with for over 30-years -and now they don't speak at all. I would like to get an objective opinion on this issue. At what age is it appropriate to allow your kids to drink alcohol?

Drink Up:

I almost vomited reading your letter. My first response was, "what kind of parent would serve alcohol to a child?" After doing a little research I found out all types of parents engage in this practice, with Europeans, led by the French, being the biggest participants. Many French people believe that if you allow children to drink alcohol at an early age, in a controlled environment, under adult supervision, it will teach them to be responsible drinkers in their teens and adulthood.

If that is true, why not put your 5-year old in a room with another 5-year old or an adult and watch him or her have sex? After all, sex is a more natural desire than drinking alcohol. If they're going to do it they may as well do it responsibly while an adult is present right? Allowing your child to drink is like playing Russian roulette. Because of the early exposure to alcohol some kids will develop a taste for it and become alcoholics and many of them will die of alcohol-related illnesses.

If you believe what you believe because that's how you were raised then I can get it. But don't give me that lame foolishness about, "if you forbid kids from doing something it makes them want to do it more so you may as well let them do it." Stand up, grow a spine and parent. Stop following society and letting your kids decide how you're going to raise them.

Many children turn out messed up with and without being exposed to alcohol at an early age. But lets keep it real. Consuming alcohol is a bad habit. A parent's job is to instill good habits in their children not to teach them how to conform to bad ones.

PLANNING MARRIAGE BUT SKEPTICAL OF LONG-TERM COMMITMENT
Dear Willie:

I've been with my wonderful girlfriend nearly four years now, and after much careful thought and consideration I think it's finally time to pop the question. I have no doubt she will say yes, but my fear is long-term - no couple ever goes into a marriage wanting or expecting a divorce 5, 10, or 15 years down the road. And without wanting to pry into your personal life too much, I know this has happened to you as well, just like so many others out there.

What's the best advice you can offer in terms of making a marriage work?

Long-Term Skeptic:

When you start dating someone, the moment you find yourself liking the idea of spending quality time with that person you have better stop and think about all the things you don't like about them. Because once you fall in love it doesn't matter if you're compatible or not you're going to keep dating them. Before that happens the wise thing to do would be to ask yourself what it is about that person you don't like and if they never changed could you live with their "perceived" shortcomings without complaining about it or becoming resentful.

If the girl you're dating has a problem with you cursing now, she'll have a bigger problem when things get serious. If you can't accept her inclination to party now you won't accept it when you're married. Trust, respect, appreciation, benevolence and communication are the hallmarks of a successful marriage. If your relationship is missing any one of those components, there isn't going to be a happily-ever-after ending.

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24 comments
Robert Davies
Robert Davies

Agreed. But hey, let's fill them up with $1 meals and flavored sugar water. That way they'll kill only themselves.

Robert Davies
Robert Davies

I dunno about this. I am South African of French/Dutch heritage living in the US. My three brothers and I grew up drinking a little wine at Sunday lunch. We are all successful, well-traveled, happy people. This story is interesting because so many Americans are absolutely petrified to be seen as not-PC, and I guess the way this has been handled - all face-fanning moral outrage - just shows how precious Americans have become. Sad to say, but many Americans are so caught up looking at themselves that they forget there is a very large world out there with very different people doing things in many different ways.

Tim Holley
Tim Holley

Just because people can reproduce, doesn't necessarily mean that they should

Josh Carter
Josh Carter

what drivel. the author is a fine example of what is wrong with american society--god forbid anyone take liberties with raising their children or--GASP--trust that their children will have decent decision-making skills. protip: you'll do more damage as a helicopter parent than with alcohol.

Shannon Coatney
Shannon Coatney

The photo posted with this story is a fantastic example of RFT sensationalizing their stories again. What is this? The Penny Press era? These people gave their child watered down table wine, not a tall glass of scotch on the rocks.

Leslee Brown
Leslee Brown

Geez starting your kid out on the road to alcoholism early??? Stupid, stupid. Be a freaking parent. It's not your job to be your kids friend

Michael Mytzlplyk
Michael Mytzlplyk

It is perfectly legal to serve your own kids alcohol. You just can't serve someone else's kids alcohol.

Galin Rizov
Galin Rizov

It is also common practice to get slapped around in public,private and anywhere really ....checks and balances hxahxa

Brandy Sunshine Whittington
Brandy Sunshine Whittington

whats next! smoking kush in the car with the windows rolled up is bad for them too? land of pansies!

Amanda Pruyn
Amanda Pruyn

Oh chill out..this is a common practice in Europe.

Lanie Dattilo
Lanie Dattilo

Are these people serious? This is why you should have to pass a test before becoming a parent.

Ejrin Hodzic
Ejrin Hodzic

I agree with the response! Don't let your kid tell you how to raise them. Little rough love never hurt anyone.

Steve Mincer
Steve Mincer

what do you think is in cough medicine for kids?

Jesda Ulati
Jesda Ulati

I get my kids drunk all the time, then I hand them the keys to the stationwagon.

Kristin Scudder
Kristin Scudder

Grandma siad she used to put bourbon in my bottle. I don't drink alcohol, but I swear she used to blow blunts in my face!

Donna Torchwood
Donna Torchwood

Around 4 my dad let me sip his beer. Mom was not amused.

Erin Fae
Erin Fae

I was rather appalled by a party being thrown for a first place track finish. He's eight, he didn't just get a scholarship. What the F*ck ever happened to, "Good job, son" and a pat on the back? I'll admit to sneaking a sip of my dad's beer at an early age, but parents should never give their kids alcohol. I don't care how old they are. Encouraging them to break a law, even is the law is ridiculous, is the opposite of good parenting. Give the kids his milk with dinner next time.

Kellie Sage Hurst
Kellie Sage Hurst

When I was old enough to figure out a way to buy it for myself. And I didn't allow my kids to bring it in my house. I was the uncool mom in the neighborhood that didn't buy my kids beer and get high with them. I was there mom not their buddy! Parents need to put their priority of raising kids first. They have enough friends they need parents!

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