Should You Let Child Sip Alcohol?

Young curious children often see their parents pop open a bottle of wine or beer and wonder what an adult drink is all about. But what is the harm in letting this child try a “sip” of your drink? A long-term study recently discovered that kids who had “sipped” alcohol as young children were more likely to start heavily drinking and abusing alcohol earlier than those who didn’t. In fact, kids who tried an adult beverage before sixth grade were five times more likely than other kids to consume an entire drink by the time they reached high school and four times more likely to have gotten drunk or binged.

So to answer the above question, it is not a good idea to let your children sip alcohol at a young age. There is an appropriate age to introduce your kids to alcohol and it is not 13. There is no definitive age as to when it is acceptable for your kids to take the first sip of alcohol but a shot of champagne on New Year’s Eve when your kid is 18 isn’t going to be the end of the world. My personal belief is that if a kid is going to grow up to be an alcoholic it doesn’t matter when they have their first sip, it’s just about how they react to it. 

I hated my first sip of alcohol, I thought it was the most repulsive tasting beverage on the planet and swore it off. However, slightly after that first drink, I tried a different drink and another one and all of the sudden, everything made sense. That warm fuzzy drunk feeling hit me when I was 13 and that was the start to a very bad stage of my life. All I can remember from the ages of 13-19 was heavy substance abuse. Fortunately, after some major health concerns, I decided to get sober and leave that life behind.

There is no way of telling if my first sip of alcohol at 13 was the cause of my substance abuse issues but I do know it is what sparked it all. People who are addicted to drugs or alcohol are addicted to the feeling the substance delivers. So, if you give your young child a “sip” of alcohol and he/she somehow gets the effects of the adult beverage your child may be in danger. So think about the long-term consequences of allowing your young one to take that sip. That one “sip” can change your child’s life forever.