Do you agree with parents letting their kids drinking small portions of alcohol?

In Europe, it is very popular to drink a glass of wine with dinner on a Sunday night at the age of just 12 and 13. My parents did this, just a tiny glass of red wine on the weekends, started when I was around 15. I feel like now I will always have more respect for alcohol, and as a teenager I never craved it the way most other teens did. What do you guys think?

  • That's illegal and stupid
    23% (26)26% (26)24% (52)Vote
  • That's perfectly rational in small quantities
    75% (85)69% (69)72% (154)Vote
  • Kids should be allowed to drink till they get hungover
    2% (3)5% (5)4% (8)Vote
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Updates:
I don't mean a full glass! I mean a tiny, shot-sized portion of wine

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Most Helpful Guy

  • When I lived in New York, I had two exchange students from Europe who were 18. The first one, he was French. I asked him if he drank wine with his family. He said "Yes", so I let him drink wine with my wife and I and we drank it at dinner. It was against the rules of the organization governing the exchange student program, but I understood that they needed 21 for legal reasons. While I understood, I also thought it was bullshit. As long as his drinking was in our home with us in attendance to supervise, I felt he shouldn't have to change a major cultural habit. Besides, yes, he came to the USA to learn to speak English and to learn a bit about America, but we also get to learn about his culture and drinking wine with kids at dinner is common in Europe. Besides, though, when I was 18, the drinking age in New York was 18, so how is that something I did was legal and not be legal for him now? Was there this major change in human physiology? No, of course not. The drinking age was raised by states to secure Federal highway funds that they'd miss out without raising the drinking age. Furthermore, the drinking age is raised to help prevent drunk driving from irresponsible kids. Well, neither of my exchange students could drive in the US nor have a car to even drive. So, the bottom line for us is that this was a private family matter in our home and we chose to let our students get the opportunity to be responsible adults with alcohol and continue to live like they did in Europe.

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Most Helpful Girl

  • Errr... yeah, waiters have been wanting to pour wine for me since I was 14 whenever we went out for a family dinner. I always declined, because I got to try a sip of beer, cognac and wine when I was even younger and it forever killed my curiosity and desire to have any alcohol... until I discovered alcopops and cocktails.
    Still, I don't believe it works for everyone. For example, my sister enjoys (binge) drinking, even though she had the same "treatment".

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What Guys Said 33

  • in some cases i think its fucking stupid.

    like i got this cousin whos underage, but every time the family gets together and pops the wine she always asks for a glass and for some reason they say its okay because it's "wine" and she gets fucking drunk and its obvious she asks because she's trying to get buzzed/drunk and she gets goddamn annoying after that. rinse and repeat. fucking stupid.

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  • In Spain I never heard of any kids being allowed to drink wine, though I know most parents let us try alcohol, but never drink like a whole glass.
    I have respect for alcohol cause I know its effects, I knew about it since I was a kid, so I knew alcohol isn't something to drink all the time and in big quantities.

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  • Ehhh I don't think it's the smartest idea because really the effect it will have depends upon the family you live with. In some cases the result may be what you experienced but in other instances it could result in them drinking a lot of worse.

    It's just one of those things were you get lucky and you really have no idea what could happen or how it could affect them. I mean I never drank alcohol when I was younger or anything and we never drink in the house at all because my father had an accident with it when he was like my age and just doesn't want to be tempted but I've had a glass here and there out of the house and never had a craving or anything for it.

    You just take the same mentality with it that you do tobacco, good in moderation but no more then that.

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  • Outdated cultural practices don't always align well with a modern day enviroment. Exposing a child to toxins and slowly allowing their body to adapt to these toxins is not advisable considering alcohol can be easily bought anywhere now-a-days.

    There is also a tribe that has a ritual to engulf your hand with 100's of bullet ants, which signifies your transition from a boy to man. I think not but for them it might make sense.

    (In case you are not aware, a bullet ant has a pain scale of 4+ compared to a wasp at 2)

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  • It's not that popular, that's a thing from the most rural places, on villages with more older people (anothe mentallity).

    I don't see the poin about giving to the Kids. It doesn't prevent kids from getting drunk when older. It's a matter of luck, family, friends and watever they find in life.

    Still, i'm not totally against giving a piece of whine for children up to 13, i'm not that radical (it would be very rare anyway, just so they could fill a curiosity that will always exist), keeping in mind that i'm more concerned with other kind of things they need to learn, as to be open, curious, responsible for their acts, pro active etc...

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    • I voted " That's illegal and stupid ", i'm more close to this one, I may do it just for their curiosity, nothing more.

      Regular small quantities for a kid is no good.

  • In my household growing up my dad had a few beers every once in a while and my mom didn't really drink at all. So alcohol wasn't a part of meal time... In my teenage years a few bottles of wine were usually around on holidays and they were OK with us having a few glasses with dinner, but we had started drinking on our own before they loosed up to that idea. I don't think it's wise as a parent to make alcohol a routine thing were a teen can have a few drinks ever dinner or week, but occasionally it's probably not that big of a deal.

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  • In Texas parents can serve alcohol to their children, even in restaurants. I started letting my daughter have a glass of wine when she was about 15. I don't think children should have their first experience with alcohol away from their parents.

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  • I voted A) but only because you said weekends.

    I did get a *tiny* amount like... twice a year, maybe? Just to know the taste, really.

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  • I used to have a tiny amount at Christmas or sometimes at barbecues and stuff like that, but usually only half a glass. Never did me any harm.

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  • I think that is a good idea... makes it less of a treat and when they get out in the real world on their own they are desensitized to the idea of being of age and getting alcohol.

    Ergo it is not a big deal!

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  • The reason they do this in Europe is to teach them how to drink. Kids these days have no idea how to drink, they get a bottle, chug it, get raped and puke. If I ate a hamburger and puked, I'd be suing McDonalds, so why is it okay when you're drinking. That being said I recently quit drinking and smoking.

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  • No alcohol is a pretty dangerous drug as far the small amounts of health benefits it does have like decreasing chance of heart disease the dangers totally out weight the benefits. Like it damages the liver and brain.

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  • very sensible. It removes some of the allure and teaches them to be cautious in small increments rather than going wild and unsupervised with friends who don't know their own limits.

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  • same for me in the UK a tiny drop of wine or a taste of dads brandy and coke.

    like you say when all my school friends were out getting drunk i was fine with not drinking as i been there done that.

    never really been a big drinker

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  • I'm not sure. Kids need to understand that alcohol can be damaging if you abuse it. Some kids understand, easier than others.

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  • I would consider it when they become of age on special occasions, but then again I might change my mind down the road. It's not really something I've ever thought about.

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  • I consider alcohol a real enemy of mine and I don't drink it. They wouldn't be around it and therefor there would be no reason they would want to drink it either.

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  • I've had wine with dinner every time my parents had wine. It started around 10 I think. Very small amount.

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  • My dad offered me a beer when I was 17, and seeing as how he's a minister, and alcoholism has run deep in my family, I was very surprised by it. I took a sip and hated it, haven't drank a beer since.

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  • as child i drank sometimes a bit beer from my dad. I think I developed an affinity for beer so since I was 16 I drank a lot of beer. But since two months I don't drink alcohol anymore. I feel better.

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  • If my kid one day wanted to drink he/she would have to do that for herself.
    I won't stop him/her, but I'm certainly not going to encourage such irresponsible and unhealthy behaviour.

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  • that wouldn't be a bad idea to try in america

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  • Some people can handle alcohol some can't

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  • When I was a kid my dad didn't let me do it

    I didn't have my first beer with him til I was 22 lol

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  • I will not say that's stupid but that's silly coz kids are kids they don't even know exactly what it is so I think parents should let them decide they wanna drink or not when they grow up

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  • I'm letting my kid do acid when he turns 15.

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  • its not illegal in england so i dont a shit

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  • my parents did when i was a kid and now i dont drink at all clearly didn't make an impact to me

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  • I drank five shots and nothing happend so if you can why not.

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  • if you keep your kid away from it when they are legal age they are gonna go overboard with it, i was raised with it and i dont drink, i dont see a point in it, its normal to me but some of my friends are hooked cuz their parents are stricked

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  • More from Guys
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What Girls Said 21

  • I think that it 'being popular in Europe' very much depends on where you live :P Here in England, no kid is going to be drinking red wine, they'll be taking a swig of cider from their parents' can. But no, I don't necessarily think that's a good idea, I don't see the point of it. My parents were very vocal about how I needed to let myself go a little sometimes and how uptight I could be and encouraged me that having a small drink wouldn't hurt me. It didn't make me feel any more positive about drinking.

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  • I think a parent allowing their underage child to try alcohol from them is okay, as long as they're like 16+ or something. But not give them their own drink. I do understand that a lot of families let their kids have wine with dinner sometimes though.

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  • i am italian, and i've been drinking wine since i was a little kid; as an adult, i've never seen the appeal of "getting wasted', because alcohol wasn't "taboo" the way it is in north American culture.

    as with anything else, teach kids to use it responsibly and it's less likely they'll abuse it.

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  • My dad has always given me a cup of wine since I was 10 ^^ Maybe not a full cup, but now that I'm 16, we drink wine at least once a week together. I mean, I'm french so it's in my genes ;)

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  • That's how they get their kids to sleep! LOL kidding.
    I don't know how to feel about that. It worries me that children around that age you described (12-15 years of age) drink small shots of wine. I bet it's a cultural thing. I don't really understand it, but I respect it. If I have kids down the road, I think I would try to prevent them drinking at an early age.

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  • I absolutely think it's okay. I think that if you show then how to know when to stop, how to enjoy wine or something then it's okay. If you always deprive kids of something and tell them it's bad as soon as they are 18 and an adult and you don't have control over them.. that's when they're like oh cool I can do it however much I want now. And they get stupid, blackout drunk. They are incoherent and do things they will regret. Rather, you let them have small bits here and there. You show them proper 'etiquette' I guess you could say.

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  • I voted B. I've had wine and beer under my parents supervision way before I was 21 lol.
    Also, my friend's mom actually let her get drunk at home (under supervision) before she went off to college so she learned what her limit was and how to take care of her self the morning after. I don't think that's a horrible idea. Better than finding out the hard way while out, in my opinion.

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  • Parents giving very small quantities of alcohol to teenagers isn't an issue. I also come from a European culture where alcohol is a huge part of the traditional cuisine, and serving it to teens is not unheard of.

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  • My parents allowed me to have small sips or drinks of alcohol at family gatherings or here and there throughout the year. I've never gone too crazy with alcohol or searched for it like some did in high school. I think it's totally fine.

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  • I don't understand peoples problems with this, it's not like the parents are giving their kids bottles full of wine, they're giving them half a glass for the whole night. It makes the kid feel more mature and also gives them a respect for it. As long as their in a safe environment, who cares? And to all these people saying 'some people have different affects' how much of a light weight do you have to be to get drunk off a glass of wine?

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  • Yeah, it's fine and it's completely legal in my state as long as the parents are around and you're in the privacy of your own home.

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  • I don't know if rational is a good word to use here, but I think it's fine.

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  • My mom has always let me drink and I think it's a good parenting choice because I don't have any desire to sneak alcohol or go drinking tonnes behind her back because it's not something I'm not allowed to do. Strict parents create sneaky kids.

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  • I'd rather my kids experience alcohol in a reasonable, safe way when I'm there to guide them, than get smashed when I'm not there and end up in serious trouble or dead. If It's not forbidden, the curiosity isn't as strong. No need to rebel.

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  • My parents do that too, small portions of course.

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  • That's not okay in my opinion.
    Then again, alcohol is not in my menu.

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  • Come on! I live in Europe and yes we drink alcohol before we turn 18. I think it is better to consider consuming alcohol as not a big deal than waiting to be an adult to start drinking

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  • In Europe it's definitely not normal for allowing 12 and 13 year olds to have a glass of wine? I don't know where you got that from. But at 15 and 16 I was allowed to drink alcohol as I do now. As I come from Ireland it's not really a big deal it's just drink but in America, Canada alcohol seems to be this taboo thing.

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  • My mother is born in Europe, and her mother would give her a few sips of beer around age 12. I don't think it's a problem if the guardian/parent is there and makes sure things don't get out of hand. When I was in pain, my mom offered some rum (like a few sips) but I'm not interested in alcohol.

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  • Since I was in middle school my parents have always allowed me to taste beer. When I don't have anything that night I would sometimes have a small glass myself. On family vacations I would have more (maybe like two drinks total, so still not much). Most importantly, they taught me safe drinking rules (drinking and driving, taking your drink with you, lots of little stuff like that). I feel like I didn't crave it as much as other teens (although most of my friends weren't huge drinkers in my teens), but I learned what it tasted like and felt like to have a drink or two when I was in early high school. Learning this in the safety of your own home at a younger age I think can be a really good thing.

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  • no, that's not normal, my parent oblige be to drink some alcohol and I don't wanted and it's dangerous even it's just a little he gets you sick

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