I can think of worse things to give him.
My children have always been curious about coffee. To them, it is a magical drink that makes me instantly happy. They’ve grown accustomed to me gasping, “I need coffee”, like a hung-over-twenty-something. Except I’m not hung over. I’m tired and overwhelmed. Coffee has always been about comfort and community to me.
They’ve all tried it and it was pretty funny watching them spit it out and dramatically gag, as though they’d just had a mouthful of vinegar. I’ve been the only regular coffee drinker in my home for as long as I can remember (my husband only drinks it occasionally) and I’ve been pretty happy with that state of affairs.
Philip is ten and he has been a tea drinker for years. After I put the little ones to bed each night, Philip and I have a cup of tea (a weak one for him) and chat or play Scrabble for half an hour before he too goes to bed. He took me by surprise this week when he asked for coffee instead of tea.
“It smells nice to me now. I think I’ll like it.”
So we had the ‘coffee chat’, about how it keeps you awake and a couple a day is enough, preferably before lunchtime.
“Can I have coffee tomorrow morning then?”
“Okay, but just a weak one,” I said. He is turning 11 in a week. #growing too fast.
The next morning we were running late for Tennis Camp so we didn’t get a chance to even have breakfast let alone make coffee but after Tennis Camp I suggested we go to a cafe for a snack.
“And can I have coffee,” he asked.
“Sure.” I mean, why not? To me, coffee for kids is much better than, say, Fanta or Coke In fact coffee has been proven to have health benefits – as long as it isn’t covered in whipped cream and caramel sauce – and I’ve been drinking it all my life. Coming from an Italian background I was always free to have a sip of wine or a bit of milky coffee.
I ordered him a weak cappuccino and a skim one for myself. He really really enjoyed it.
Now, my 10-almost-11-year-old is a coffee drinker and I’m okay with that. I never really had a problem with him having a bit of coffee here and there. I think my momentary struggle with it had more to do with how fast he is growing up, how mature he is and how I can now say to him, “Want to grab a coffee?” like I do with my grown up friends.
I’m preparing myself for some startled looks when I order him a coffee from our local cafe. They are used to kids requesting hot chocolates, which in my view are way more unhealthy than coffee.
Do your kids drink coffee? Would you let them if they asked?