By Abe Sizemore

You’re a parent. You got bills to pay, soccer practices to drive to, disgusting finger paintings to hang on the fridge; just constant bullshit to deal with! While we’re legally obligated love our little ones, the truth is that it’s extremely difficult not to just smack these little shits sideways whenever they start balling’ their eyes out in the Long John Silvers’ dining room because they (in whining child-mocking voice) ‘don’t WANT a crab cake slider or shrimp cocktail shooter’. 

These ungrateful tiny fuckers will never comprehend the sacrifices you’ve made in order to ensure their survival. All the blackout nights in Dave’s garage you missed out on, the Planned Parenthood protests you could have attended, the Vince Neil meet-and-greet opportunities you passed on; none of this matters to the futile brain of a seven-year-old who still wets the bed and starts crying at the sight of a firearm. But despite all the abandoning of our dreams, passions, and goals, sometimes the occasional parent perk pops up and reminds us that maybe not pulling out wasn’t all that bad. And you’ll be pressed to find a parent moment more precious than offering your child their first cold one. 

Ungrateful little fuckers…

Giving a child their first beer is a time-honored parenting tradition that tends to arise at moments of supreme accomplishment, deep grief, or Fish Fry Fridays at the lake cabin in Northern Wisconsin. It’s a gesture that symbolizes a passing of the torch and an exchange of trust. It’s an allegorical contract of credence, in which we acknowledge that despite our age and intellectual gap, we can still be one; harmonious in the present, and conceding our lineage as a sacred blood bond that shall never wither, no matter how many sheets are stained or emancipation of minor petitions are filed. By cracking open a lukewarm Schlitz and waving it in the general direction of your child, you are initiating a pivotal moment of their life, which will serve as a gateway toward the self-medicating solution they’ll adhere to throughout their adult life, and be reflected upon as the moment they ascended to an elevated level of existential consciousness. 

But you have to know when the time is right to offer alcohol to your underage, prepubescent child for the first time. You can’t just toss a Keystone at ‘em whenever they win a little league game or go a day without shitting on the carpet. My old man handed me a Milwaukee’s Best when I was six after he backed over our first dog Pluto in the driveway and said, ‘he’s in a better place now, just like your mother’, and I can’t think of a more appropriate time to taste my first foamy suds. You need to understand the criteria that summons the perfect time to look your child in the eye and offer them true enlightenment. So if you feel your little poop-producing, crayon-drawing, Long John Silvers-protesting rugrat is ready to pop their brewski cherry, here’s a guideline for knowing the time is right to crack them their first cold one: 

They’ve Just Gotten The Shit Kicked Outta Them

An ass-whooping’s as good as time as any for a debut cold one.

It’s inevitable your kid’s gonna talk shit to the wrong mother fucker on the playground or get accosted by a deranged neighbor after a ding-dong-ditch-gone-wrong. And right after they get some baby teeth knocked out by some lower-class, freckled juvenile or require their arm in a sling after Old Man Jenkins down the street finally catches up to them after a riding lawn mower pursuit is when you’ll swoop in with an ice cold yeasty refreshment. Sit ‘em down, pass ‘em a brew, and say something like ‘this may be the first time you got the shit kicked outta ya but it sure as shit won’t be the last time’ or ‘maybe someone should YouTube how to learn Jiu Jitsu’ right before you cheers ‘em. This will help them realize that when they’re at their lowest of lows, there’s always a friend nearby: alcohol. 

They Just Kicked The Shit Outta Someone

To the victor go the spoils!

The flip side of the coin is if your little rascal finally stands their ground, there’s nothing like sharing a little commemorative ass-whooping toast with their old man or lady. You should take pride in knowing your sperm or egg helped foster this little Velcro Jean Claude Van Damme, and your child needs to understand that winners should be rewarded. Pop the top of their Natural Ice bottle and ask for the highlights of their jungle gym rampage. Let them know that while violence may not always be the answer, it’s certainly a valid solution when some ginger calls you a ‘cocksucker’ or questions why they read about your father’s bankruptcy in the local newspaper.

They Walked In On You Having Sex

Nothing like a little brew before a birds ‘n bee’s lecture.

We’ve all been there, aye? After a strenuous week of shuffling them off to school, feeding them Hot Pockets, and coming up with lie after lie about where the dog went, you’ve finally carved some free time outta your busy schedule to drown in dong or muff. But what happens when you’re getting oh so close to shooting that joy juice and nearly gagging yourself into unconsciousness? The little shit walks in and says they can’t sleep because of all the lamps being thrown against the wall. Might as well kill two birds with one stone by cracking them open their first cold one and explaining why sex and violence are actually neurologically linked and therefore forever intertwined. Now they’ll know not to worry whenever they hear the sounds of excessive glass breaking.

They Just Asked What ‘Racism’ Is 

An ice cold brewski serves as an excellent icebreaker for the ol’ Racism talk.

One of the more overlooked aspects of parenting is when a child asks you one of life’s more tougher questions. With today’s social climate, it’s only a matter of time before your little tike inquires about society’s most devious plague: racism. This is an ample opportunity to have them pop a squat on your lap, pour ‘em a pint of Michelob Ultra, and begin explaining how prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against a person or people on the basis of their membership in a particular racial or ethnic group, typically one that is a minority or marginalized, is just one example of the branches of racism. Don’t be afraid to get too heavy and explore the varying dimensions of racism in between some sudsy sips, such as all the policies and practices entrenched in established  institutions, which result in the exclusion or promotion of designated groups designed to enforce systemic oppression.

There’s nothing like a little liquid courage to soothe the tension of breaking down how while structural racism often manifests as poverty or healthcare disparities, it actually includes the whole structure of white supremacy that pervades the United States including cultural, political, historical, and socioeconomic parts of society; therefore we can see that structural racism exists within and around every level of society and allows the formalization of structural racism by maintaining it across all levels of society. 

There’s Looming Evidence They’re Engaging In Acts Of Animal Cruelty 

A first beer will often warrant a confession.

Cat carcasses in the backyard, overfeeding the family dog with Oreos, unexplained blood splatter on their clothes; there comes a time in every parents’ life where the suspicions can no longer be ignored. When it’s become apparent your child is a fucking maniac who’s torturing animals left and right and well on their way to kicking things up a notch, it’s time to pump their brakes with a first taste of a tall, cool, Budweiser.

Toss one back with the kiddo while ruffling their hair and explaining to them that the majority of our country’s most infamous serial killers, such as Ted Bundy (confessed to 30 murders, but rumored to have an exceptionally higher body count), Richard Chase (The Vampire of Sacramento), Carroll Edward Cole (linked with 35 murders and executed for 5), Jeffrey Dahmer (killed and cannibalized his victims), Albert DeSalvo (the ‘Boston Strangler’ who killed 13 women), Dennis Rader (BTK) and Gary Ridgeway (Green River Killer) all engaged in acts of animal cruelty prior to their careers as serial killers.

Go into detail about all the heinous crimes these people committed as a result of their early, formative animal cruelty years, and once they’re reaching the bottom of their bottle, simply remind them that if you ever catch them fucking around with any animals, you’ll take away their PlayStation 5 for a week. 

It’s Their Birthday

Birthday beer for a Birthday boy!

While age can be defined as a concrete period of time determining the length of one’s existence, integrity and maturity is in the eye of the beholder. Seven, nine, twelve, whatever; sometimes as a parent you just know when the time is right to christen the being you brought into this world with the benediction of beer. After they’re done opening all the presents and eating all the cake and spending all the Chuck E. Cheese tickets, pull ‘em aside for a one-on-one brewski communion. Clink cans and let them know that no matter how much you scream at them and forget to pack them lunches, you’ll always possess a profound sense of responsibility that prohibits you from completely neglecting them to the point of possible extinction. As my old man told me before I took that first sip of Milwaukee’s Best while mourning the loss of Pluto; ‘Here’s looking at you kid.’