Is it OK to consume alcohol in front of the kids?

Michael Thorn, CEO of the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education, appeared on the TODAY Show to talk it out with host Deborah Knight.

He said that “What the research shows is that children exposed to alcohol earlier in their life tend to drink sooner and have more problems with alcohol later in life,” Thorn says.

“We know from some studies that kids from the age of three can start to understand the circumstances under which, or where, alcohol is consumed – whether that’s a celebration, or an argument that leads to a domestic incident. Kids understand what’s going on with their parents drinking.”

But at the end of the day, he says it’s whatever works for your family.

“I don’t think parents should feel guilty. They’ve got a job to do and that’s to raise their kids the best they possibly can.”

And as for older children. There has been many debates about letting your kids have a sip of wine at the dinner table here and there.

Mr Thorn adds, “Drinking with a meal is very much the European culture and there seems to be some evidence to suggest that it’s less likely to cause problems later in life.”

However it’s always best to proceed with caution. Especially because, as Thorn points out, new research has shown that our brains are still developing until our mid-20s.

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  • I don’t think we need to put the wine glass down and hide it from children, that implies we’re doing something wrong.
    I believe I’m setting an example of how to drink responsibly if anything.
    I understand there is an alcohol consumption problem amongst certain age groups and demographic doesn’t mean I need to become a closest drinker.
    Everything in moderation is ok. Education and support services are how to overcome the alcoholism issues.


  • I know of people who sadly have become alcoholics at a young age as they like the taste of it “too much”. Some find ways of stealing it, even if they have to climb up on something to reach it – but then some do that with food too. Children are more likely to suffer liver damage or even kidney damage as their organs are still developing. Parents need to set a good example and only drink small or moderate amounts in front of their children. They need to take into account how much is safe for their son/daughter to drink.


  • Don’t think we have to put the wine down in front of the kids, but we should model responsible behaviour. Same counts for unhealthier foods, we should model moderation in different facets of life.


  • All about modeling behaviour you want from them.


  • In my idea the kids will be negatively affected from adults drinking irresponsibly. But watching their parents drinking one glass of beer or wine here and then, isn’t that bad.


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