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Taking kids to the liquor store


DanM
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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.

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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.

True rye and true bourbon wake delight like any great wine...dignify man as possessing a palate that responds to them and ennoble his soul as shimmering with the response.

DeVoto, The Hour

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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.

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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.

Turns out this applies to all places, except for Chuckie Cheese and the back yard :)

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My daughter goes to the liquor store with me. She has even “helped” me brew beer (which for a 3 ½ year old involves holding a large spoon and attempting to stick it every conceivable pot, pan, or bucket) and has been on more than her fair share of brewery tours.

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When I was a kid, my parents would give me small quantities of beer and wine for special occasions, but neither one of them drank distilled spirits. In Florida, where I grew up, grocery and drug stores can carry liquor - it's a big part of Walgreen's cash flow in some stores. There's a private liquor store chain called ABC liquor stores, that take advantage of tourists from states where there is a gummint run liquor store, and don't know that booze is cheaper at Walgreen's.

The first 15 or so years that I lived in North Carolina, they didn't even let adults in state ABC liquor stores; they had glass fronts with a window, where you had to walk up and ask the clerk "please sir, can I have a bottle of Bushmill's?" He would fetch it from the back, ring it up, and pass it through a security port in the wall after you paid. Restaurants didn't have liquor by the drink, but you could brown bag your own bottle; a policy that was generally called "liquor by the drunk." This started to change around 1980.

Highlands NC, which is a mountain resort town with 5 golf courses, ~3000 permanent residents, and more Floridians than natives during the summer - I once counted 10 FL, 2 GA, 1 SC, and 1 NC license plate at the local market there - was the first place to have self service at the ABC store.

According to http://www.alcoholalert.com/drunk-driving-statistics-north-carolina.html

"In North Carolina, the percentage of traffic fatalities that were alcohol related was at the highest level in 1982, with 63%. The percentage has dropped significantly, reaching the lowest levels in 2006, with 31%."

I would argue that responsible adult behavior setting an example rather than making liquor special "forbidden fruit" is demonstrably better policy. More important for 6-16 year olds than toddlers.

Edited by technophile50 (log)
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If you're concerned about being a bad role model, or a bad parent, you could always just leave them in the car.

Right?

:blink:

Just kidding. I agree with the crowd: I don't think there is really a problem. I also sympathize with your dilemma: I've been concerned about bring my 8-month old son into a liquor store...

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I've never had a problem taking my kid into a liquor store, but I was really embarrased going into a liquor store when I was 7 months pregnant. (My parents were coming to visit, and they like their gin and tonics.) I wished I had a big sign to wear saying "IT'S NOT FOR ME".

"There is nothing like a good tomato sandwich now and then."

-Harriet M. Welsch

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If you're concerned about being a bad role model, or a bad parent, you could always just leave them in the car.

Right?

:blink:

Just kidding. I agree with the crowd: I don't think there is really a problem. I also sympathize with your dilemma: I've been concerned about bring my 8-month old son into a liquor store...

This sounds more like a concern about how others might react, which seems reasonable, since running into someone who feels compelled to tell you that what you're doing is wrong is always awkward, but there's not much you can do about that.

I can't see that taking a child into a liquor store is going to cause a unique problem;

I'm with those who've already said that if you're in control of, and taking responsibility for your kid's behaviour, it's fine.

When I was a little, my relatives hauled me on shopping trips that took them to all sorts of shops, and it never crossed my mind that alcoholic beverages had any more to do with me than the golf clubs, corn plasters, or shaving cream that they also bought: They were 'grownup things', interesting, boring, or whatever, but had no relevance in my life.

Michaela, aka "Mjx"
Manager, eG Forums
mscioscia@egstaff.org

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This thread fascinates me: liquor stores? In my corner of the US, liquor is sold EVERYwhere. Virtually ALL supermarkets, Wal-Mart, corner stores, gas stations, quickie-marts/convenience stores, church fairs, etc. If you didn't bring your kids anyplace that sold alcohol, you'd probably have to home-school ;) and stay out of the parks, too. Heck, not wanting to get the kids out of the car is surely one of the reasons drive-through daiquiri shops exist.

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Florida, I brewed beer with my kids when they were little. I had big plastic brew containers, and at first I used a siphon to rack them off the yeast--my younger son liked to suck on the hose to start the siphon! (Yuck!)

I always filled one of those little Coke bottles with beer for them for New Years Eve--they didn't usually finish it, but they liked a taste. They are 27 and 32 now, and not alcoholics!! :raz: The older one used to brew his own, but he now has a friend who works at a local brewery--the friend gets the mislabeled bottles, so Rob always has beer in the house.

sparrowgrass
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I've never had a problem taking my kid into a liquor store, but I was really embarrased going into a liquor store when I was 7 months pregnant. (My parents were coming to visit, and they like their gin and tonics.) I wished I had a big sign to wear saying "IT'S NOT FOR ME".

Yes! I'm five and half months pregnant and I get the worst looks when I stop in to buy a bottle of wine for cooking or some beer for my husband... don't people realize that pregnant women can still do shopping for the household?

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  • 2 weeks later...

:cool:

My late father was a bartender and wine steward, and he never saw a problem with bringing me and my mom into the local bar/liquor store (whose owner he knew well) for an hour or so in the evening on an occasional weekend night. He and Mom got to relax with friends for a bit, and I got to have orange juice or a soft drink -- with a Maraschino cherry! -- and be cooed at (in early years, when I actually was sort of cute) by various other customers. The bar's owner swore I was good for business, but I think he was just buttering-up my pa, who knew some mighty fine sources for good wine...

Thanks for calling a fun memory to mind!

:cool:

Me, I vote for the joyride every time.

-- 2/19/2004

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