Would You Allow Your Toddler to Have a “Sip of Wine”?Joanna Mazewski
Hollywood actress Lea Michele recently made quite a revelation about her childhood, claiming that she started drinking alcohol early in her life. And by that, we mean really, really early.
During an interview with Chelsea Handler, Lea explained that she would have a sip of wine as a toddler while growing up in a very traditional Italian-American family. Lea said, “I’m Italian, so at the dinner table it would be like Pellegrino, a jug soda, and a huge thing of wine. Everyone was just drinking wine, like it was part of what you would have along with your dinner.”
So with so many parents taking sugary drinks and juice boxes out of their children’s diets, could you imagine your 5-year-old taking a sip of your Pinot Gris before bedtime? While many American moms might be clutching their pearls just thinking about it, for parents in other cultures, it’s not the end of the world. Just like Lea’s Italian-American family, there are plenty of families with different cultural backgrounds that don’t make a big deal out of their children tasting a little of the red stuff.
But while it’s not alright to allow your children to start boozing before they’re out of their diapers, Lea does make a good point that if children are exposed to the evil vices of life early on, there’s a good chance that they’ll stay away from it later in life. Lea herself admits that despite her experiences with alcohol, she rarely drinks as an adult and doesn’t have a strong desire to have a glass of wine at her age. “When they make it so you can have it, then you don’t want it,” Lea said. “It’s when they’re like, ‘You can’t have this,’ kids are like, ‘We gotta get that booze.'”
Plus, how many children do you know who have taken a sip of wine and actually liked it? Many kids find the taste to be unpleasant, and while too much can be harmful, interfering with brain growth and causing delayed development during their primary years, a little sip like what Lea describes is likely not to do any significant damage.
Now, would I purposely give my children a glass of wine? Absolutely not. But would I freak out if they accidentally took a small sip at the dinner table? Not at all. While I’m not a huge wino myself, exposing too much alcohol might be harmful just like the consequence you face when you put too many restrictions on your children’s freedom.
Tell us Babble readers, how would you react to your children unintentionally sampling alcohol?