I Allow My 8-Year-Old To Drink Alcohol. Help!

Welcome to Ask Willie D, Rocks Off's advice column where the Geto Boys MC answers reader questions about matters, in his own words, "funny, serious or unpredictable." Something on your mind? Ask Willie D!

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I hosted dinner at my house to celebrate my 8-year old son's first place finish in a track competition. He had never competed in any sport before hence this was a pretty big deal. His father and I wanted him to feel special so we allowed him to have a glass of red wine. That gesture touched off a heated exchange between my mother and me. She was livid that I thought it was appropriate to serve a child alcohol even though it was watered down.

The dinner turned out to be a dud and I didn't speak to my mom for a month. She argued that alcohol effects young children's hormones and stunts growth. I inadvertently blurted out that when I was growing up, sometimes my friend's mother served us alcohol at dinner and we were just 10-years old. It didn't stunt our growth and we didn't become alcoholics.

That opened up a whole new can of worms because my mother confronted my friend's mother - who she's been friend's with for over 30-years -and now they don't speak at all. I would like to get an objective opinion on this issue. At what age is it appropriate to allow your kids to drink alcohol?

Drink Up:

I almost vomited reading your letter. My first response was, "what kind of parent would serve alcohol to a child?" After doing a little research I found out all types of parents engage in this practice, with Europeans, led by the French, being the biggest participants. Many French people believe that if you allow children to drink alcohol at an early age, in a controlled environment, under adult supervision, it will teach them to be responsible drinkers in their teens and adulthood.

If that is true, why not put your 5-year old in a room with another 5-year old or an adult and watch him or her have sex? After all, sex is a more natural desire than drinking alcohol. If they're going to do it they may as well do it responsibly while an adult is present right? Allowing your child to drink is like playing Russian roulette. Because of the early exposure to alcohol some kids will develop a taste for it and become alcoholics and many of them will die of alcohol-related illnesses.

If you believe what you believe because that's how you were raised then I can get it. But don't give me that lame foolishness about, "if you forbid kids from doing something it makes them want to do it more so you may as well let them do it." Stand up, grow a spine, and parent. Stop following society and letting your kids decide how you're going to raise them.

Many children turn out messed up with and without being exposed to alcohol at an early age. But lets keep it real. Consuming alcohol is a bad habit. A parent's job is to instill good habits in their children not to teach them how to conform to bad ones.


Dear Willie:

I've been with my wonderful girlfriend nearly four years now, and after much careful thought and consideration I think it's finally time to pop the question. I have no doubt she will say yes, but my fear is long-term - no couple ever goes into a marriage wanting or expecting a divorce 5, 10, or 15 years down the road. And without wanting to pry into your personal life too much, I know this has happened to you as well, just like so many others out there.

What's the best advice you can offer in terms of making a marriage work?

Long-Term Skeptic:

When you start dating someone, the moment you find yourself liking the idea of spending quality time with that person you have better stop and think about all the things you don't like about them. Because once you fall in love it doesn't matter if you're compatible or not you're going to keep dating them. Before that happens the wise thing to do would be to ask yourself what it is about that person you don't like and if they never changed could you live with their "perceived" shortcomings without complaining about it or becoming resentful.

If the girl you're dating has a problem with you cursing now, she'll have a bigger problem when things get serious. If you can't accept her inclination to party now you won't accept it when you're married. Trust, respect, appreciation, benevolence, and communication are the hallmarks of a successful marriage. If your relationship is missing any one of those components, there isn't going to be a happily-ever-after ending.

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Beth Allen Borgerding Ortuño
Beth Allen Borgerding Ortuño

KD this is my experience of Europeans too and I know many. Not as prudish as us, more sensible, yes. Dumb, no. back in the day when water was unsafe, yes kids drank beer, with a veeeeery low alcohol content. they don't have to do that now and they don't. yes some 16 year olds may have their parents give them a glass of wine. also some 20 year olds may have their parents giving them a punishment because they had a glass of wine. it depends on the child (not an arbitrary age).

KD Davis
KD Davis

The French don't start off giving children a glass of wine. Wine is slowly introduced to the child. It might be a few drops mixed in with a glass of water. Definitely not every day. Parents finally introduce the children to full fledged wine when they see fit for the child. That could be when the child turns 18.

Erica Murphey
Erica Murphey

Holy crap! Why don't they just let the kid drink poison?

Sabrina Sutherland
Sabrina Sutherland

Old works countries are not so prude with a lot if things we should learn from them.

Joe Pinney
Joe Pinney

Europeans regularly let their children swing from the chandeliers during drunken orgies. I don't see how this is any different.

Robi Simone
Robi Simone

Clearly people upset about this have never been to Wisconsin.

Ray Hadfield
Ray Hadfield

And in some states children are subject to second-hand pot smoke...legally done....so why not alcohol????

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