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How old before kids can drink?

     
5:50 pm on Jun 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Say I'm taking my kid camping. Just the two of us, nobody around for a long ways.

How old's old enough for you before you figure the kids' OK to have a couple of beer around the campfire?
6:11 pm on June 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Legally (in many jurisdictions, anyway), parents are allowed to provide their underage children with alcohol under their supervision. Not sure if that actually extends outside the house though (I'm sure you can't let your kid drink alcohol in a restaurant with you).
6:15 pm on June 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

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6:23 pm on June 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

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In my country you can legally buy beer when you are 16 and drink alcohol under supervision of adults in public when you are 14. If parents give alcohol to children in private is no ones business as far as I know as long as the children are not in danger. So if you give a two year old alochol you end up in prison, if you let a ten year old sip on your beer, nobody cares, if you let a ten year old get drunk however, you are in trouble.

Those are the numbers I personally feel comfortable with, too.
7:02 pm on June 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Ditto to jecasc's sentiments ..and my 18 year old son doesn't like the taste of anything alcoholic, be it beer wine or spirits, never has..and thinks that kids and teenagers who succumb to peer pressure to drink are fools.

Our wine cellar is safe in his hands..;-)

He thinks drunks of any are ridiculous, dangerous to themselves and others, and to be avoided ..

We agree with him :)

re your kid ..you know him better than any of us strangers.
7:10 pm on June 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

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they're allowed to drink, but they're not allowed to sit around the campfire... health and safety. you might burn down the forest
9:22 pm on June 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

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they're allowed to drink, but they're not allowed to sit around the campfire... health and safety. you might burn down the forest

Almost happened to me once in college...

On a camping trip with a big college group. Might have ended up drinking more than I should have... Late at night and most of the people had retired to their tents. I was enjoying the buzz and stayed out watching the stars. Starting to get sleepy, but too lazy to find my tent, even though I was a bit chilly. Then I remembered being too hot, so took off the coat I was wearing (where'd that come from?) and rolled over a little bit. Next thing I knew, people we running around saying they smelled burned rubber.

Turns out that I apparently rolled over the fire pit (extinguished some time before, but still with toasty warm embers) in my non-sober attempt at warmth. Then when I got to toasty, I rolled away, leaving the coat on the coals, which eventually got a bit hotter than toasty.

I tried to pay for the coat, but the guy said the burn marks were cool. And the story about the guy who almost barbecued himself in it was priceless. :)

Ah, the indiscretions of youth...
9:59 pm on June 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

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He thinks drunks of any are ridiculous, dangerous to themselves and others, and to be avoided ..

You need to put this boy right!
10:03 pm on June 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

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You didn't read LIA's post ;-))

and I didn't proof read mine, above :( should have read "He thinks drunks of any kind, are ridiculous, dangerous to themselves and others, and to be avoided .."
10:13 pm on June 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Hey, there's drunks and then there's drunks. (And there's a difference between a drunk and someone who rarely has too much to drink.)

Also, being ridiculous is not necessarily a reason to avoid a person. People who are drunk are often so much fun to mess with. You son is missing out on lots of free entertainment. :)
10:18 pm on June 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

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One can laugh at them on TV, youtube etc ..or from a distance :)


Ps ..doesn't mean to say his dad didn't do similar things though :).But no more ..one only has so much luck, the day you realise that , you resolve to try not to use it all up.


Camp fires ..people doing dumb things ..Cow and Chicken .."Sailcat" :)
10:37 pm on June 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

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You said in an adjoining thread that you can run faster than your kid. He's not old enough.
7:18 am on June 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I would try doing what the French do and educate her/him about wine, the grapes, the years etc. etc.

This can be invaluable in later life and is far better than having a beer or two, plus it is healthier.

I would start educating my kids about wine around 11 or 12. Just with meals. Take them to vineyards etc.

I would enjoy it too.
8:26 am on June 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

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How old's old enough for you before you figure the kids' OK to have a couple of beer around the campfire?

Forgetting about the various local laws with different ages I would say about 14. (Specifically when under parental supervision).
9:08 pm on June 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I would say 14 to 16 and make sure it is light beer. Maybe follow it up with stories of wicked hangovers etc. just to drill it into him that abuse of alcohol is painful.

I let my young kid (12) have a tiny, tiny bit of wine with dinner during special occasions. Trying to teach moderation and appreciation of the science that goes into wine making. The different regions and types of grapes etc.

Not sure if what I am doing is legal. But there is no way it is intoxicating because the amount is so small, less than an ounce.
8:57 am on June 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Not sure if what I am doing is legal.


Like always, wikipedia is here to help:
[en.wikipedia.org...]
8:07 pm on June 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Thanks, looks like I am not breaking the law! Apparently, we have an exemption if it is in the home and supplied by a parent.
9:52 pm on June 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

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How old's old enough for you before you figure the kids' OK to have a couple of beer


as a parent .. I had two choices - say no drinking at all until son/daughter can buy it , or be realistic, it's a part of life.

So i carefully educated her on the delights of malt whisky, she was supposed to go ugh horrible, but no , it was ummm very nice. Next thing you know my collection of malt miniatures were gone - she was about 8 .

No ill effects, still went out out and got drunk when she was older - don't say thats bad - think back a few years...
10:43 pm on June 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Sadly I know all too well about drunks and camp fires...

One was sitting there drunk and asked me, "Do you smell something plastic burning?"... I said, "Yeah -- it's the bottom of your shoes, move away from the fire!"

Another had lost his wife, job, kids, car, house and most of his friends. One of the few friends he had left let him camp out in a tent in the woods next to his house. He got so drunk one night he fell in the fire, and burnt up his right arm so bad his fingers were stumps of charred flesh and skin grafts up to the elbow -- the booze had numbed him so much he didn't feel it enough to get up quickly.
8:17 am on June 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

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One thing to bear in mind is that the countries that are strictest about giving children alcohol (legally and culturally) seem to have the biggest alcohol problems - especially if you look around Europe. Take a look at this EU report:

[ec.europa.eu ]

especially the map on page 31 of the PDF (105 as printed).

There is a nice world map on page 21/95. I live in one of the countries marked in red and it is very anti-alcohol culturally and legally.

I would say start with diluted wine in small quantities (which can start fairly young) or the occasional sip from your glass and gradually increase over the years.
5:45 am on June 19, 2011 (gmt 0)

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We homebrew our own beer. Once a month we have a new batch to be kegged. We aren't drunks, but our kids (12,11,6,1) are being raised to understand that you can drink responsibly and enjoy beer for the taste, hard work and effort put into making it vs. getting wasted off Natural Ice at some party (been there) lol. When my oldest is mentally old enough I will allow him to have a taste or two just to understand flavor notes etc. Hope is to teach them to respect the process vs. the after effects.