So this post started as a comment to Prats post on Parenting and Alcohol which was actually triggered by Shilpa’s post on it. Now I had read Shilpa’s post too and wanted to say some of these things than too but I don’t know why I didn’t. But today when I read Prats post I knew this had to be written
So I suggest if you haven’t read those two posts till now please read them and come back here
The examples Prats gave in the post I don’t approve of all of them and actually I am aghast at case where a spoonful of vodka was given to the toddler one I have never ever heard of that and everyone in my circle drinks. You don’t need a super brilliant guy or be a parenting guru to understand what was done there was bad and wrong.
But lets look at the some other examples he has given
“A party and a large gathering the entire family is invited, everyone is drinking starting from beer, scotch, to tequila including the non adults in the party.”
When do we become an adult? 18? I think you are actually allowed to buy yourself a drink only post 21. Really? I had my first beer when I was 15. In those times I had it behind my parents back, had a huge hangover and was at a friends place puking my guts out looking back would I have preferred to have my first drink at home in the company and supervision of my parents. You bet a big YES. Than why would I prevent my son to do it?
This time I went to Delhi at a wedding all of cousins had drinks even the younger ones who were around 15 had a peg each with us and I think it was much better than going to a dark corner or on the street and having a drink ready to fall prey to anyone who wants to take advantage of it.
I am a mom and when I think of this problem as a mom I would rather be open and frank with Ojas and have him understand things. Make him aware that drinking is not bad if done in limits becoming addicted to it is rather than him going out and trying the stuff on his own. I would rather have him trip and learn to handle himself along with me rather than puking somewhere on the road. Infact me and N have discussed that when he turns 15 we will take him to a pub and offer him a drink if he wants to have one. And mind it my decision would have been the same if I had a daughter instead.
I totally agree with Ritu, this is what she had to say in the comments
My simple rule is that these are things that they will experiment with. I do not want them to make asses of themselves in public or drink/smoke out of sheer rebellion
U know the problem with drinking is… the movies and the religion have made it a very very harmful thing whereas its NOT, its really not… I am not saying its good for health to be prescribed to everyone what I mean is having a drink a week or off and in the weekend does actually no harm to the body and even if does I will say eating a samosa or a brownie day also does harm the body do we preach against it so much? Do we? Its about it being a taboo and because me make it a forbidden taboo so elusive to
kids teenagers (lets address teenagers as teenagers rather than kids shall we? Cause they are not kids) that all they want to do is try it.
This is really one of those things I hate about Indian culture the hypocrisy which goes behind drinking and frankly I admit I have been a part of it too. It has taken me a long time to stand up and say yes I do enjoy a drink any problems. In our society drink is something that men have behind curtains in a separate room. And when the boys of the family grow up they grow to another separate room to have theirs. Why, when everyone knows everyone is drinking?
I have seen friends whose houses go through a booz cleaning drive before the parents are supposed to arrive.Why? If u think its ok just do it in front of them and if you think its not than please give up. Think of those parents do you think they really don’t know?
And don’t you think the reason for the above behaviour is exactly what the parents did in their teenage. Forbid them from drinking.
For me if the choice is between my kid sitting with me at 15 and having a drink and going out and having and not knowing how to handle himself I would certainly chose the former.