Do You Let Your Kids Drink Coffee??

A friend of mine forwarded me an article the other day from the Huffington Post, “I Let My Kids Drink Coffee“, authored by Catherine McCord, founder of Weelicious.com.    I was completely surprised not only by the article itself, but by the multitude of parents who eagerly chimed in agreement.

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Judging by how many parents voiced that their kids drink coffee I think I might strike a bit of a nerve when I in turn voice my opinion, but I have to say that I 100% disagree with the article and the theory that “everything in moderation” is ok.  By that same logic we would let our children have a “thimble” of wine, or vodka, or cocaine, or heroin for that matter.  Not EVERYTHING is ok in moderation, and while the argument can be made that there is more caffeine in pop, chocolate and other readily available commercial junk brands, I believe the counter argument is that perhaps children should not be allowed any of those either.

I believe that children will be curious about what we as parents do, eat, say and so on.  It is up to us to model our behaviour so that they in turn follow us.  But we as parents also have to set limits and boundaries for our children.  They will ask us to do things we might not consider appropriate or safe, are we supposed to allow them to do these things “in moderation”?  Or is it our job to know the difference between what is safe and set realistic boundaries?

Will our children one day come back and say to us “but mom, I did X Y and Z but you said everything in moderation’.

Caffeine is not healthy, that’s a fact.  Another fact is that caffeine is highly addictive, even more so than alcohol.  And lastly, decaffeinated coffee is actually more harmful and toxic than caffeine itself, due to the process by which the caffeine is extracted. {Don’t take my word for it though, just read about it here, here and here.}

Lastly, a really REALLY great article to read if you’re interested as to the medical effects of caffeine on children {not just someone else’s opinion or personal experience} do yourself a favor and read this article published by the American Psychological Association, ironically titled A Sip Into Dangerous Territory, its pretty sobering.

Now that I’ve clearly articulated my point of view I want to know what your opinion is.  Do you {or will you} let your kids drink coffee?

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