Little Kids Who Sip Parents' Cocktails Often Become Binge Drinkers by High School

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Think a tiny sip of wine or beer is harmless for your kids? On the contrary, a new study suggests that kids who taste alcohol early are more likely to become binge drinkers down the road.

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In the study, researchers found that kids who'd tasted alcohol before starting sixth grade were five times more likely to imbibe a full drink by ninth grade, compared to their peers who've never touched the stuff.

What's more, these so-called "early sippers" were also four times more likely to get drunk or binge drink by the start of high school than the abstainers.

Moral of the story? Keep those drinks away from your kids! Although I'm not against drinking around your kids, I've never offered my 4-year-old a drop, even though she's asked. Because to me, even letting her have a small sip just sends the message to her that drinking alcohol is a-okay. So, no wonder it paves the way to more drinking later on! 

More from The Stir: I Take My Toddler to Bars -- What's the Big Deal?

Now, I've also heard the whole "European" argument about how letting kids sip alcohol removes the taboo -- and the excitement -- so these kids grow up to be "mature" drinkers who don't go overboard.

Still, I'm more a fan of the "broccoli" argument, where we're told to feed our kids broccoli and other veggies early and often. Why? Since that way your kids are just accustomed to eating these foods, which will instill good eating habits they'll keep through life.

Well, the same happens with what they drink: If they're sipping early on, that's a habit they will likely keep, and build on, until voila, one day, they're downing jugs of Jameson in college. So why not be better safe than sorry and keep that glass of cabernet to yourself?

How do you feel about your child sipping alcohol?

 

Image via enricoRubicondo/shutterstock

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