Sipping: Do You Allow It?

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Disclosure: I’m a #TalkEarly ambassador. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

The holidays are upon us, good people! How did this happen?! I had 2.4 mini heart attacks when I realized that HELLO! Thanksgiving is next week AND the Frog Princess has a birthday the week after that and I have done N.O.T.H.I.N.G.

November brings the hustle and bustle of the holidays, planning for trips, meals, gift giving, etc. It is certainly my favorite part of the year.

Recently, the topic of sipping at the table came up and caused a great deal of turmoil within my big ol’ head as I thought about the things I experienced, the things I am shaping for the Frog Princess, how those things match up (and how they don’t) and how others might be handling this situation.

Unlike all the other times when I jump up on my blog soap box and tell you ALL. THE. THINGS. I’m not doing that today. I want to hear from you. And I want to share some research with you to help guide conversations (I found them super helpful during my own chats) and give you something else to think about.

What do you say?

Sili, what’s sipping at the table?

This is when little Johnny asks if he can taste your alcoholic beverage during dinner or a family gathering.

But Sili, sipping doesn’t hurt anyone? I was allowed to sip and I am a responsible drinker.

While 1 in 4 moms believes that sipping deters kids from drinking and 40% believe that not allowing kids to try it will increase their chances of wanting to drink, research shows that earlier drinking is a risk factor for problem drinking in adolescence.

FACT: Adults who had taken their first drink before age 15 were 7 times more likely to experience alcohol problems than those that didn’t start drinking before age 21.

That fact floored me because I recall what I grew up around and the cultural norms that were set from early on in my family. I should also tell you that my father is an alcoholic (I’ll talk more about that in another post) and I think that also set a different tone for us in the house.

NOTE: there are other consequences to letting kids sip that we need to be mindful of!

Reading up on stats has helped reshape some norms in my head and has had me discussing alcohol in more ways than I ever thought I would (radical honesty: it’s not something I ever thought about before). I don’t just say “it tastes bad” because we all know that might not always be the case. I’ve tried to set some facts down at the house. The Frog Princess knows that Mami (and daddy) Juice is for adults. Most 6-year olds know this.

But as they get older, they get more curious about it and that’s where our influence is going to count. What we expose them to and how we talk to them about alcohol will become more and more important then.

#TalkEarly has a myriad of resources that I have found super helpful as I change the narrative and culture of alcohol in this house.

And that leads to the question: do you have rules about sipping alcohol in your house? What about alcohol in general?