'Judge me if you want': Kristen Bell on why she allows kids to drink non-alcoholic beer
What do you think?
Every family has its own rules regarding children and alcohol. Some believe that allowing their kids to drink before the age of 21 can lead to severe problems and have stringent zero-tolerance policies. Others allow their kids to have the occasional wine at dinner because they believe being too restrictive could make drinking more desirable, so it’s best to take a casual approach.
What do the experts say?
Psychology Today says that a review of 13 studies concludes that young people are less likely to develop alcohol problems if their parents have stricter rules about its use. “On current evidence, parents should be advised not to allow children to use alcohol,” the meta-analysis concludes.
On Monday, July 24, Kristen Bell put her spin on the age-old debate on “The Kelly Clarkson Show” by admitting that her older daughter occasionally drinks non-alcoholic beer. Bell and her husband, Dax Shepard, are the parents of two daughters, Lincoln, 10, and Delta, 8.
The conversation arose after Clarkson noted that her daughter accidentally drank champagne as a baby.
“My kids have ordered non-alcoholic beers at restaurants before, which sounds insane if you don’t know,” Bell admitted.
Lincoln developed a fondness for non-alcoholic brews at a young age because her father would drink one when the family went on walks.
“He’s a recovering addict, but he likes non-alcoholic beer, so he’d pop one open, he’d have [our oldest daughter] on his chest, and we’d walk and look at the sunset,” she recalled. “As a baby, she was pawing at it, and sometimes she’d suck on the rim of it. So I think it feels to her like something special, something daddy, something family.”
Lincoln’s taste for non-alcoholic beer has made for a few uncomfortable moments for her mom and dad.
“We’ve been at restaurants where she’s said, ‘Do you have any non-alcoholic beer?’ and I’m like...maybe we just keep that for home time,” Bell continued. “But then I’m also sort of like, you can judge me if you want. I’m not doing anything wrong. Like that’s your problem.”
Czech researchers found parents should avoid giving their children non-alcoholic beer because they’ll become accustomed to the bitter, hoppy taste, which could lead to abuse later in life.
Bell and Shepard’s casual approach to non-alcoholic beverages feels like an extension of their overall parenting philosophy. "I hate the word 'taboo.' I think it should be stricken from the dictionary," Bell told Real Simple earlier this year. "There should be no topic that's off the table for people to talk about."
Shepard has been open with his daughters about the dangers of alcoholism.
"One of the cuter moments was, I wanna say, my oldest daughter was 3—back when my daughters really wanted to be with me 24 hours a day—and she said, 'Where are you going?' I said, 'I'm going to AA,'" Shepard recalled. "She said, 'Why do you have to go?' I go, 'Because I'm an alcoholic and if I don't go there, then I'll drink, and I'll be a terrible dad.'"