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Old 04-23-2011, 09:44 PM   #1
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Default Attention dads and moms: how do you raise children in the context of brewing?

I'm a happy brewer, and a very proud daddy of an adorable little 10-month-old named Max. My wife and I just found out last week that baby number two is on his or her way. In the foreseeable future, daddy is going to have to explain what all the noisy tinkering out in the garage is all about, as well as all his fussing about a fizzy beverage that he and mommy seem to enjoy a lot. I like the idea of my (someday older) children eventually seeing dad and mom as models of responsible drinking, appreciating beer as a creative art form as well as a beverage, and perhaps taking part in the process if they're interested. From the teen years forward, brewing will be easy enough to explain to them -- as long as I keep the taps locked, that is!

But actually raising children in the context of making alcohol at home is harder to tack down. How do/did you do it? How do you explain what you're doing without giving the kids a complex with respect to alcohol? I haven't gotten a straight answer from anyone in the three homebrew clubs I participate in, so maybe I can get a little insight here. Thanks for the responses!

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Old 04-23-2011, 10:08 PM   #2
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We've started to talk about this same thing, but since my daughter is only 6 months old, we obviously have a lot of time to come to a consensus.

As far as the hobby itself, that's easy to explain. "Brewing is daddy's hobby and he uses it to create something he enjoys drinking" (or something close to that). A simple statement like that, mixed with letting them help out every so often, will carry you through most of grammar school.

I have no idea what we are going to do once she figures out what it is and wants to try some. Obviously my kids are going to taste alcohol before they are 21; anything else would be hypocritical. But how to approach that is beyond me right now.

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Old 04-23-2011, 10:12 PM   #3
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Thanks for the quick reply airborneguy. In your plans, is daddy making "beer" or "brew" or just a "drink?" Sorry to get so specific right out of the gates, but these are the questions that plague my mind (and probably yours too) with a tiny one suddenly in your life. And the attention that this beverage receives from mom and dad is going to inspire curiosity... probably a lot sooner than we'd like!

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Old 04-23-2011, 10:12 PM   #4
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I don't make a big deal out of it. I brew, my kids know it, they see me and my wife and our friends drinking it. To them, it's just part of the way life is around here. They've tasted it. Neither one likes beer.

We don't treat it as some sort of mythical dragon or a big deal. It's beer. It has alcohol. You're not allowed to partake in any amounts larger than a sip until you're 21 and if I catch you doing so, say your prayers.

In essence, don't attach so much "stuff" to it. They will learn a healthy respect for it simply by your showing respect for it.

No big deal. It certainly should be one of your least concerns when it comes to raising children.

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Old 04-23-2011, 10:14 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbeergeek View Post
And the attention that this beverage receives from mom and dad is going to inspire curiosity... probably a lot sooner than we'd like!
Why? They wouldn't be any more curious than if they saw you drinking milk all the time. You know it's beer. They don't know the difference between it and the stuff coming out of the tap at the sink.

So long as you're not fall-down drunk all the time, it's not a major issue.
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Old 04-23-2011, 10:15 PM   #6
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The bigger the deal you make about this, the harder it will be. They will see it from the start. As long as you aren't a fall down drunk they'll never know anything but it and have no reason to have a negative opinion.

Never make a big deal about it and they'll never make a big deal about it.

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Old 04-23-2011, 10:19 PM   #7
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Why? They wouldn't be any more curious than if they saw you drinking milk all the time. You know it's beer. They don't know the difference between it and the stuff coming out of the tap.

So long as you're not fall-down drunk all the time, it's not a major issue.
I see what you're saying, but I'd imagine a parent drinking milk all the time would inspire the little ones to do it too. In this case it is a parent not just drinking beer, but making it and visibly fussing over the process from time to time. Forget being visibly drunk in front of my kids -- I never plan on that happening until they can join me over a pint! I'm probably just over-thinking the whole matter, but this is something new parents like myself (and airborne) wonder about as we brew or drink while our innocent baby blinks at us from across the room.
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Old 04-23-2011, 10:24 PM   #8
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Give the kid some little kings and bond!


All joking aside I think you're making a bigger deal out of this than you need to. Show them your respect for brewing and alcohol and they'll develop the same respect.

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Old 04-23-2011, 10:27 PM   #9
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My daughter has always been a part of my brewing. She loves to help out. Of course, she was heading into her teens when I started brewing so it's a tad different.

As said before... don't make a big deal out of it and it doesn't have to be a big deal. It's a hobby. It'll seem normal and they'll go to friend's houses and say "What? You're dad BUYS all his beer? That's WIERD!"

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Old 04-23-2011, 10:28 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbeergeek

I see what you're saying, but I'd imagine a parent drinking milk all the time would inspire the little ones to do it too. In this case it is a parent not just drinking beer, but making it and visibly fussing over the process from time to time. Forget being visibly drunk in front of my kids -- I never plan on that happening until they can join me over a pint! I'm probably just over-thinking the whole matter, but this is something new parents like myself (and airborne) wonder about as we brew or drink while our innocent baby blinks at us from across the room.
Ok, but a baby would also see you fussing over a stove and cooking. I think you are putting too much stock in this.

My kids are plenty old enough to know what I am doing. They just shrug and move on.
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