Posts Tagged ‘ wine ’

Is It So Wrong To Give Your Toddler Wine Or Whiskey?

Saturday, October 13th, 2012

22 months.

I’ll go ahead and take away any element of suspense for anyone who might think I have given my toddler son wine or whiskey in his tipsy cup… I mean, sippy cup.

Because I haven’t nor do I plan on it.

It’s just that within recent history in the blogosphere, the topic has kept resurfacing. Just this week, a toddler in Wales was accidently served whiskey at a restaurant.

Last year there was a toddler in Orlando who was served a sangria (wine punch) at an Olive Garden.

But for me, those stories were not really that interesting because I could see how easily that might happen in the hectic work environment of a restaurant. Fortunately, we hardly ever take our toddler son out to restaurants anyway, so it’s not really something I’m worried about.

However, there was one particular “giving alcohol to a toddler” story that I did feel was groundbreaking and challenging to the status quo. I’m referring to Slate magazine’s Should You Let Your Kid Try Wine?

The author’s answer, at least it pertains to his own household, seems to be an unapologetic yes. He promotes the idea of breaking the negative stigma of drinking alcohol by exposing his children to it like it’s not a bad thing for responsible people.

Like many of us Americans who grew up in a small Southern town, drinking was not only considered a sin by the moral majority, but the sale of alcohol was actually illegal where I grew up. In other words, it was a “dry county.”

I was conditioned to believe that in order to truly be a good Christian, you had to abstain from alcohol completely; even though Jesus’s first miracle was turning the water into wine at a wedding.

But something about me that you have to know is, I’m incredibly quick and curious to question cultural norms.

Fast forward to me graduating college, moving to Nashville, and now actually believing that having a beer (or glass of wine) a day is a good and healthy thing to do.

And while I definitely have my pet sins I struggle with, as we all do, I am convinced that drinking alcohol is not one of them.

So do I think it’s wrong to give my toddler wine, whiskey, or any other kind of alcoholic drink?

Yes.

Well, actually… I don’t know.

Because I couldn’t tell you for sure that the pain reliever I give my son has no alcohol in it. Actually, I’m assuming it does contain at least a small trace of alcohol.

All I really know is that when my son has a fever, I give him some FDA approved medicine.

Secretly, I wonder if it’s really just dressed-up alcohol to help him sleep through the night.

But even if it doesn’t contain alcohol, what is in it? Where do they get the ingredients from? Can I trust them? Should I trust them?

The fact that I don’t know actually troubles me more than worrying about my son being accidently served a Whiskey Sour in a restaurant, because I’m the kind of dad who would take the first sip of my kid’s drink just to make sure it hasn’t been poisoned, to begin with.

That is, if we actually took him to restaurants in the first place.

But we’re not that brave. The only way I could enjoy a meal out with my toddler is to sedate him with…

A fever-reducing medicine which may or may not contain alcohol.

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Planning Valentine’s Day: 5 Steps for Husbands (And Dads)

Friday, February 3rd, 2012

14 months.

Alright guys, you don’t need my help here. You knew what it took to get her to fall for you in the first place. I’m assuming you’ve already begun brainstorming on how to make this Valentine’s Day special for the love of your life and the mother of your child.

So today I’m just here to offer up a few more decent ideas to throw into the mix, or remind you about, as V-Day approaches us. Here’s what I say about making Valentine’s Day special for her:

Keep it simple, thoughtful, and unique.

1. Buy a miniature cake from the grocery store for the two of you to share. They cost around 8 bucks and are essentially the equivalent of buying two of those trendy $4 cupcakes; which wouldn’t be a bad idea either. Chances are, she will be charmed by your “fun” and “cute” idea of throwing together Valentine’s dessert.

2. Pick up a special drink and serve it in champagne or wine glasses. Whether it’s your wifey’s favorite wine, cider, gourmet beer, or even just sparkling grape juice. The idea is to bring a touch of fanciness and class; yet so simply.

3. Personalize her Valentine’s Day card. I just did a more detailed article on this alone, but for now, what matters is that you write more than “I love you” on a 99 cent card. This is a great opportunity to reaffirm how you feel about her with words that will potentially stick around longer than the words spoken every other day. Seeing something written in black and white really has staying power.

4. Get her a sugary treat for later. It doesn’t have to be a box of chocolates. Maybe she prefers Twizzlers or Jelly Bellies. This aspect is like the stocking stuffer of Valentine’s Day. Plus, it’s just nice to have something leftover for the next day she can enjoy while she’s at work.

5. Oh yeah, the flowers. Honestly, I never spend a lot on these. The important thing is that you have them to display in a vase on the counter or table. Flowers are important because they last about two weeks longer than Valentine’s Day itself.

Notice how none of my ideas involve spending a lot of money or require too much effort.

Simple, thoughtful, and unique. That’s the man plan for Valentine’s Day.

Not to mention, by default, you’re teaching your son how to be romantic and/or your daughter what she should expect from a guy you would approve of someday.

Image: Man and woman as a happy couple together, via Shutterstock.

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Parenting and Legalized Marijuana: A Glimpse into the Future

Saturday, December 3rd, 2011

One year.

If/when marijuana becomes legalized, how will that affect parenting in our nation? Will America go to pot? Or are the overworked, stressed-out, anxiety-ridden parents better off filling the void with prescription anti-depressants?

I consider myself an evangelical Christian, a self-admitted health nut, and a law-abiding citizen. Here’s the twist: I am a proud cannabis activist. In other words, I openly support the full legalization of marijuana. Yet I’ve never in my life actually consumed the stuff.

If you’ve simply been reading the story headlines on MSN.com within the past couple of years, you may have noticed the growing number of articles talking about the further legalization of marijuana; especially as more and more states having been approving its use for medical reasons- like for cancer sufferers, for example.

The issue of legitimate marijuana use is a slippery slope, thanks to the fact that the plant happens to have plenty of undeniable medical purposes.

Having grown in up the Eighties during the prime time of “Just Say No” and the D.A.R.E. program, I believed that marijuana was a dangerous drug that wrecked peoples’ lives.

But after struggling with the knowledge that marijuana has been used by human civilization for over 5000 years and there has never been one documented overdose, yet thousands die every year in America from prescription drugs, even aspirin, I figured something might be fishy about the stigma of pot.

Another thing that bothered me is that we all can easily think of 5 people we personally know who have a DUI for alcohol, but none of us can name just one person who has a DUI for marijuana alone.

So I spent a couple of months researching to find out why marijuana is actually illegal. I posted my findings on my personal blog, NickShell.com, which also hosts  ”Dad from Day One,” the blog that spun off to become The Dadabase.

In October 2009, I published a 10 part series called “The Cannabis Conspiracy.” Its most popular segment, The Funny Thing About Marinol, has received over 17,000 hits; it is currently the 3rd most popular blog post of my 550+ posts on NickShell.com.

Marijuana possession may land you a life sentence in prison, whereas murder or rape often does not; yet the mysterious cannabis plant is quite intriguing to us, especially on the Internet where people can read about it privately.

We laughed at the pot brownies scene in Transformers 2, yet condemned Michael Phelps when he celebrated his Olympic victory with a bong hit. Americans have a weird relationship with marijuana. We know in our hearts it’s just a medicinal plant, but we continue to allow good (non-famous) people to be arrested over it; and force cancer sufferers to live without it, in many of our states.

That just doesn’t sound very Christian to me.

Based on how much actual knowledge we know about marijuana now, as compared to even 20 years ago, I am convinced it’s only a matter of time (maybe 10 years?) before it’s legal again. (It was legal from the beginning of time… until 1937.)

A lot of it comes down to a changing public perception, especially within recent years as the taboo of it has tremendously faded. Obviously, I don’t fear writing about my pro-marijuana stance here on Parents.com. It’s not something I felt the need to clear by my editors first. But a decade ago, it might have been different.

Honestly, is this even a controversial topic or am I simply preaching to the choir? I don’t know; but I do at least want to initiate the conversation.

So let’s imagine a world where anyone 21 or older can go to the store and buy a box of joints or just grow the stuff in their backyard.

Does that mean parents start abusing or abandoning their kids? Does the entire country become violent and/or unmotivated? Or is it scarier to think about the fact that an estimated 2 million Americans smoke marijuana every day? Obviously a good number of them are parents.

As a parent, I refuse to be involved in illegal activity. After all, marijuana is dangerous… because it’s illegal to obtain. But if it wasn’t illegal, then it’d be… a safe, natural relaxer that has been never proven to give anyone cancer; much less kill them or even cause someone to get a DUI.

Pour yourself a glass of wine and think about that one.

Image (top): Medical marijuana via Shutterstock.

Image (bottom): Cannabis background via Shutterstock.

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