While reading my son the story of Dumbo, I had forgotten there was a passage around the clowns drinking some "funny water." And of course my son didn't understand what that meant. So that became the moment when I told my five-year-old about the effects of alcohol.
We had talked about alcohol before at the dinner table when he would ask us about our wine. We kept the conversation short: Alcohol is something that adults sometimes drink, but it is not good for growing children.
As it turns out, like the talks about sex, this is another conversation to have early and often. Experts say that parents should talk about alcohol before the age of nine, because most children become curious to try it out at around age 13.
I say: Why wait to start the conversation? Start with your preschooler and keep the explanation on their level.
The one item I really like on that link is the teachable moments - I forget that there is alcohol in some medicines and that even in old-school children's movies (Robin Hood and the aforementioned Dumbo), there are moments when characters feel the effects of too much alcohol.
Do you let your children try a sip of your alcoholic beverage? Tell me in the comments.