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Taking kids to the liquor store


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#1 DanM

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 04:27 PM

One of the many things my 1 year old and I have in common is an appreciation for the bottle, although the contents are different. My wife and I were shopping the other day and I asked if we can make a quick stop in the liquor store next to Trader Joes, one of our stops. She was not sure if it was okay to bring a kid into the place. I see no harm in it. I think she is concerned that our kid might get too curious about what we are buying. What are your thoughts? Do you take your kids to the liquor store?
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#2 Chris Hennes

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 04:32 PM

My dad used to take me on occasion. Then again, maybe I'm an example of why NOT to!

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#3 sparrowgrass

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 04:41 PM

In some states, kids under drinking age are not allowed in liquor stores.

When my boys were little, we lived in Kentucky, and they LOVED the liquor store--for the same reasons they loved the bank. As far as my kids were concerned, that was where you went for candy!

If you enjoy liquor responsibly at home, I don't see any reason to hide it from the kids.
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#4 Lisa Shock

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 04:42 PM

From the standpoint of someone why used to manage one, it's ok with the staff as long as the kids are well behaved and respectful. Running around in the store, playing with bottles and general roughhousing are generally frowned upon for the safety of all.

#5 heidih

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 05:37 PM

The term "liquor store" can be broad. Here they also have sodas, snacks and candy and kids are common. Heck Trader Joe's started as mostly booze. If you go to a specialty store for liquor like a BevMo there are just signs that say kids need to be with a parent. I do not see an issue.

#6 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 05:42 PM

When we go to the liquor store our 5-year old daughter is usually with us. I don't really see an issue either.

She calls it "the bottle store". :biggrin:

#7 Peter the eater

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 05:52 PM

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#8 mkayahara

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 06:15 PM

When we go to the liquor store our 5-year old daughter is usually with us. I don't really see an issue either.

She calls it "the bottle store". :biggrin:

Hey, that's what I call it, too! :wink:
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#9 cookingofjoy

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 06:31 PM

In our local grocery, the refrigerated stuff is in a back corner, and the only way out (without going backwards in the single cart width aisle) is through the liquor section. The alcohol is out in this middle island of shelving, while the soda is safely tucked away on a regular aisle shelf. On a quick trip with the kids(3 and 3mo), the soda aisle was blocked, so we were navigating around the liquor island, and the 3yo wanted to touch the bottles after trying to run ahead, so I picked her up to whisper/reprimand, and I heard behind me the clinking of bottles knocked by her feet. It felt like an actual miracle that none of the bottles fell :)
So I usually try avoid bringing the kids. I do remember going on trips with my dad, though I think I was probably 7 or older, since I can remember it.

#10 Pierogi

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 10:30 PM

As just about everyone else has said, so long as the child is under control, and YOU as the parent are not OUT of control at home due to alcohol consumption, I don't see it as an issue.

Are you going to keep them from seeing beer/wine and even hard booze ads on TV? I doubt it. Best to be exposed "in the wild" as it were, with a loving, protective guide such as a parent.

But then, I sat on the bar of my Grandfather's saloon when I was still in diapers and proclaimed loudly to all gathered that "My Mommy likes Scotch whiskey !", so I may not be the best role model..... :wink:

Edit---Miss Spelling is me.

Edited by Pierogi, 06 May 2011 - 10:31 PM.

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#11 Dakki

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Posted 07 May 2011 - 02:18 AM

Pierogi, if my putative kids needed a role model they could do a lot worse than you.

Like most posters I'm all in favor of kids in the liquor store (or anywhere else) as long as they know how to behave.
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#12 Chris Amirault

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Posted 07 May 2011 - 04:04 AM

By "kids," you mean my two shopping assistants/trainees, one in search of Noilly Prat dry 375 ml bottles and the other scanning the rye section for new items while I ask the manager if there's any good pisco on the way?
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#13 Harters

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Posted 07 May 2011 - 06:54 AM

What on earth can be the possible harm in taking a child to the shop?

Beats me why it would even cross the OP's mind that there was an issue, even a small one, here.
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#14 prasantrin

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Posted 07 May 2011 - 07:36 AM

What on earth can be the possible harm in taking a child to the shop?

Beats me why it would even cross the OP's mind that there was an issue, even a small one, here.


Well, it's certainly an excuse to talk about one's child, isn't it? Maybe he wants to do just that.

Personally, I don't see how a 1-year old can be affected adversely by simply being in a liquor store, but perhaps DanM's child is more susceptible to outside forces than other children.

And two questions to DanM--you wrote

I think she is concerned that our kid might get too curious about what we are buying.


Why don't you ask her why she was concerned?

He's 1-year old--just how deep do you think his curiosity goes?

Edited by prasantrin, 07 May 2011 - 07:37 AM.


#15 Genkinaonna

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Posted 07 May 2011 - 09:22 AM

In Oregon, kids are allowed in with parents until they are 12 years old. After that, they're not permitted. I think that's a relatively new thing but I'm pretty sure it has more to do with the fact that they sell cigarettes there rather than the actual liquor. I remember fondly when I lived in WI and we could just buy booze at the grocery store! But at least the wine selection here is way better...

If anyone needs to visit a liquor store, it's someone with kids! Nothing makes me appreciate a good drink more than bedtime. But then again, whenever we go to a restaurant the kids ask, "Mommy, are you going to get a Mojito today?" so maybe I'm not the best person to ask about it... :rolleyes:
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#16 andiesenji

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Posted 07 May 2011 - 11:10 AM

What on earth can be the possible harm in taking a child to the shop?

Beats me why it would even cross the OP's mind that there was an issue, even a small one, here.



Not a problem if you have complete control of your child or children. Very young kids are attracted to the pretty labels on bottles and this can be a problem.

I was in a local market in the wine aisle when a little child, carried in a backpack, grabbed a bottle off a shelf and dropped it, breaking the bottle and spraying the mom's clothes and my new, pale green, slacks with red wine. What annoyed me most was the woman just started to walk away until I called her back and suggested she get someone to clean up the mess - there was broken glass all over the floor. She seemed offended that I made a fuss. Her answer was that "he doesn't know any better" and "he likes shiny things."
The clerk who came to clean up suggested she put the kid in the basked but she said "He grabs for things when he is in the basket" Gee lady. He grabbed for stuff from the backpack which put him much closer to stuff on the shelf than he would be in the basket.

The cleaners were finally able to get the stains out of my slacks (silk and linen) but it cost me quite a bit.

Edited by andiesenji, 07 May 2011 - 11:11 AM.

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#17 Chris Hennes

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Posted 07 May 2011 - 11:33 AM

I suspect many of us have horror stories about kids in stores, but I don't think it's really unique to liquor stores: some kids (well, perhaps it's their parents....) shouldn't be in ANY stores!

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#18 Alcuin

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Posted 07 May 2011 - 11:45 AM

My local liquor store serves two roles: selling alcohol, and being a community gathering place. When somebody got voted judge (finally after a couple of elections), the first stop was the store (where a bottle of precious vintage champers was opened). People meet their friends at wine tastings there (which in full disclosure, I help run every Saturday), and stay to hang out, sometimes for hours. Some people just come and hang out in the store, sometimes even doing a little work. Children have birthdays there. Kids are brought there all the time. I even heard that one time, somebody needed a babysitter really quickly for their baby, so they thought to bring the baby there where a blanket and some toys were laid out in the store for the baby to play on and be watched by everyone (this was before my day, but I don't doubt for a second that it is true). The liquor store holds a block party to raise money for the community where no booze is offered gratis, you have to buy that, but they provide free food and a keg of Sprecher's root beer (the best, in my opinion), things like dance lessons and little art projects that the kids love, and music (the band is a local institution named after the liquor store!). In some ways, it's the agora of our little neighborhood.

It's funny though, I never really thought of any of this until I started writing it here. Everybody just goes there, and it's not even something I considered out of the ordinary. But of course it is. Nevertheless, I think it shows that liquor stores don't have to be places that are stigmatized. Of course, here in Wisconsin, you can drink with your parents in a bar no matter how old you are (there must be a lower limit to this, agewise, but I don't know it). Personally, as a person who admittedly drinks much more than the average person (but doesn't get drunk a lot these days, getting older as I am), I think it's reasonable not to hide drinking from kids but to show them good examples of people doing it responsibly sometimes. That said, I don't think I'll be taking my kid to drink at the bar (that seems a bit weird to me personally).
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#19 pep.

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Posted 07 May 2011 - 11:54 AM

Of course, here in Wisconsin, you can drink with your parents in a bar no matter how old you are (there must be a lower limit to this, agewise, but I don't know it).


I didn't know there were places with this policy in the US. Seems like a very reasonable policy to me. (As a European, I regard the age limit of 21 as completely insane. It needlessly criminalizes behavior that will happen anyway.)

#20 Alcuin

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Posted 07 May 2011 - 11:58 AM


Of course, here in Wisconsin, you can drink with your parents in a bar no matter how old you are (there must be a lower limit to this, agewise, but I don't know it).


I didn't know there were places with this policy in the US. Seems like a very reasonable policy to me. (As a European, I regard the age limit of 21 as completely insane. It needlessly criminalizes behavior that will happen anyway.)


I agree. They tried to change the law in 2010, but that must have failed because it's still in effect. There is a woman who brings her kid sometimes to wine tastings (he's a teenager). She lets him taste a bit, and he helps her pick out wine. The kid's already got a good palate, and I bet a much healthier view of the uses and abuses of alcohol than many of his peers.
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#21 pep.

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Posted 07 May 2011 - 12:20 PM

I agree. They tried to change the law in 2010, but that must have failed because it's still in effect. There is a woman who brings her kid sometimes to wine tastings (he's a teenager). She lets him taste a bit, and he helps her pick out wine. The kid's already got a good palate, and I bet a much healthier view of the uses and abuses of alcohol than many of his peers.


Over here (i.e. in Austria) the alcohol laws are quite relaxed, maybe too much so. Although I remember that thought they were too strict when I was a teenager :wink: It is a bit different in each Bundesland (roughly "state", but with the area of one of your larger counties), but in general once you are 16, you are allowed to buy and drink wine and beer. Everything distilled (including pre-mixed drinks in recent years) is off-limits until you are 18.

Theoretically, 16 is the lower limit, but I distinctly remember that when going to Ontario for a student exchange at that age, that I already knew enough about alcohol and its effects on my body to know when to stop drinking. Some of the Canadian students organized a secret booze party that left several of them (including my host) practically comatose. Unfortunately for the organizers, one girl wasn't a student of the same school, but rather the daughter of one of the teachers. Predictably, she ratted them out when questioned by her mother about the beer smell still lingering on her.

Edited by pep., 07 May 2011 - 12:22 PM.


#22 MelissaH

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Posted 08 May 2011 - 06:53 AM

...I think it's reasonable not to hide drinking from kids but to show them good examples of people doing it responsibly sometimes....

This, to me, is exactly it. If one primary role of a parent is to model appropriate behavior, this is a perfect circumstance under which to do so.

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#23 BoldBaker

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Posted 08 May 2011 - 12:47 PM

I'm sixteen, and my parents take me to the liquor store all the time! I cook with it, sneak a sip or two, but I'm not really partial to it. Both my parents drink, my dad more than most. But, whatever.

#24 jsmeeker

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Posted 08 May 2011 - 01:16 PM

My dad used to take me on occasion. Then again, maybe I'm an example of why NOT to!



I went to the liquor store with my dad all the time, too.

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#25 DanM

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Posted 08 May 2011 - 03:49 PM


What on earth can be the possible harm in taking a child to the shop?

Beats me why it would even cross the OP's mind that there was an issue, even a small one, here.


Well, it's certainly an excuse to talk about one's child, isn't it? Maybe he wants to do just that.

Personally, I don't see how a 1-year old can be affected adversely by simply being in a liquor store, but perhaps DanM's child is more susceptible to outside forces than other children.

And two questions to DanM--you wrote

I think she is concerned that our kid might get too curious about what we are buying.


Why don't you ask her why she was concerned?

He's 1-year old--just how deep do you think his curiosity goes?


I am the primary caregiver, so my life pretty much revolves around my child, but no this is not another opportunity to talk about my child. It's simply seeking the opinion of others in a food related forum about something my wife and I discussed.

My daughter is insanely curious. She will get into everything and anything if you let her.
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#26 prasantrin

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Posted 08 May 2011 - 05:56 PM

I am the primary caregiver, so my life pretty much revolves around my child, but no this is not another opportunity to talk about my child. It's simply seeking the opinion of others in a food related forum about something my wife and I discussed.

My daughter is insanely curious. She will get into everything and anything if you let her.


So if you discussed it with your wife, what reason did she give for thinking it was a bad idea to bring your child into the liquor store? In your original post, you said, "I think she is concerned that our kid might get too curious about what we are buying" which implied you were not certain. Aside from your child being underage, what other reason did she give for being concerned?

All young children are curious. It's a natural part of child development. I doubt your child, no matter how smart you think she is, is thinking, "Look at all these bottles of alcohol. I hope Mommy and Daddy pick some up so I can try getting drunk for the first time." At most she's probably thinking, "Look at all these pretty bottles." Unless she's grabbing them off the shelf (and if you're a diligent parent, she won't be), there's really not much of a problem, is there? I'm still with Harters on this one.

FWIW, I used to go to liquor stores when I was young, and I'm not an alcoholic in any way. In fact, I rarely drink. Come to think of it, I used to be allowed to drink small sips of alcohol when I was a very young child (I remember having Kahlua at age 5 or 6, very small glasses of Dubonnet around the age of 8, and drinking some whiskey when I was 10). And my relationship with alcohol has absolutely nothing to do with having entered liquor stores as a baby, toddler, or young child; it has everything to do with my parents setting an example of how to drink responsibly.

If you're worried about your daughter being overly affected by entering liquor stores, you may have much more to worry about than you realize.

#27 KD1191

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Posted 08 May 2011 - 06:57 PM

Of course, here in Wisconsin, you can drink with your parents in a bar no matter how old you are (there must be a lower limit to this, agewise, but I don't know it).

Not just your parents, but your guardian or spouse, too, so long as they are of legal drinking age. It seemed my brother was "married" to a different girl every night for a while there before he turned 21.
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#28 cookingofjoy

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Posted 08 May 2011 - 08:05 PM

I think it's a little funny that Wisconsin has such a disproportionate representation in this thread :)

(I'm from WI, too, so no judgment, it really does seem to be a part of the culture of the state.)

#29 Tess

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Posted 09 May 2011 - 07:09 AM

If you enjoy liquor responsibly at home, I don't see any reason to hide it from the kids.


This.

A lot of people start to question aspects of their drinking when they have kids-- wondering how it looks to the kids. That's probably a good thing. Strangely enough, I just saw a recovering alcoholic on TV admit that she stopped because her kid was referring to "mommy's juice"-- the wine she was drinking all the time. But that's the thing: if you're modeling bad behavior, it's not just at the point where you're buying the stuff. In fact if you are drinking to excess, I dare say being secretive about it it only makes it worse.

#30 pikawicca

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Posted 09 May 2011 - 01:19 PM

Here in Indiana, minors are not allowed in liquor stores. Period.