Learn how first sips at home lead to experimenting later
The Phases of Sipping
Phase #1: Sipping
Sips or tastes of alcohol at home introduce kids to drinking. This can include sipping champagne at a celebration, tasting beer foam, or having liqueur poured over ice cream. (1)
The simple act of letting a child sip a drink starts a process that unfolds over several years. With the first sip, children have been allowed to practice a brand new behavior. The next time kids want a sip, parents may find it hard to refuse what they have already allowed.
Over time, a pattern gradually builds toward more alcohol use. How often and how much they sip increases very gradually. By 7th grade, when most children are 12 years old, many children have been having small amounts of alcohol off and on for years.
Myths & Facts
Are there any benefits to giving children sips of alcohol?
“By giving children sips of alcohol, parents can satisfy curiosity and take away the ‘forbidden fruit’ attractiveness of alcohol.”
“By letting children sip drinks at home with parents, children can learn to drink alcohol responsibly when they’re older.”
“Letting children try alcohol at home will make them less likely to accept friends’ suggestions to try alcohol in middle school.”
“Children in Europe drink alcohol from a young age, and they have fewer drinking problems.”
“Letting children sip alcohol will stop them from wanting alcohol because they will not like the taste.”
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