Sometimes I'm a hypocrite. I love coffee, have been drinking it since I was about six. I allow Tyler to drink coffee. He started a few years later than I did, but he's been drinking coffee on a regular basis since he was about ten. But I have to admit, I'm still shocked when I see other kids drinking coffee and I never know whether to give the parents a "thumbs up" or give them the stink eye.
The other day I was in Winn-Dixie taking advantage of the free coffee (shout out to Community Coffee ) when this little munchkin walks over and makes herself a cup of coffee. She looked like she was maybe nine or ten. I didn't give her the stink eye but another customer commented, rather loudly, "You gonna drink that coffee? You too young to be drinking coffee!" She simple smiled and walked away. I saw her later with her mother, who seemed not to mind that she was drinking coffee. As they strolled I noticed people were giving her and her mom the stink eye. I realized that's probably how people look at Tyler and me when they see him drinking coffee.
Most days when I drop Tyler at school, I see at least a student or two heading to campus with a cup of coffee clutched to their chest. As I was dropping Tyler at school last week, we stopped at PJ's, our favorite coffeehouse. Normally, when we go there, he's the only minor drinking coffee but on this particular morning he saw several other kids from his school. So it seems it's becoming more the norm, seeing young kids drink coffee.
But is it okay to do so? The "experts" have long debated whether coffee is good for adults to drink. One study touts its benefits, another tells you to just say no. I finally gave up and decided I would take my chances and keep drinking my java. As for my kid, his coffee habit is not as strong as mine so I'm not worried. I think the decision to allow your child to drink coffee is, like most parenting decisions, a personal choice. Ultimately, you have to decide what's best for your family.
If you'd like more information on this subjects, here's a few useful articles:
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Myra Faye Turner, Writer