I was surrounded by high school girls ordering soy lattes this morning as I enjoyed a pot of tea at one of the many local coffee shops. My gut feeling is that my children shouldn't be drinking coffee until they've left school.
Peter (11) has now got to the stage where he wants to know why I wasn't happy that he came home from his stepbrother's house wanting to make himself an English Breakfast tea (like he'd been drinking all weekend), and why he can't go for a cappuccino with Allan. My younger stepson, from about 13 onwards, would often do the cappuccino thing with Allan, a ritual that involved coffee and a man to man chat about life.
I suppose it's the caffeine that bothers me, particularly with Peter having ADHD. I know you can get decaf coffee and fruit teas but they just encourage children to progress onto the hard stuff! I'm the same with coke. When asked why they're not allowed to drink it my usual reply is "I'd rather they smoked!"
I did a bit of internet research and one mum argues that coffee works like Ritalin and her son focuses much better when he starts the day with one. So maybe the caffeine argument isn't going to cut it. There is the fact that the drinks are hot. I have visions of Peter making himself a coffee (John doesn't like to try new food or drinks so he's not a worry) and scalding himself. There's also the cost, those girls this morning must be going through $20 a week. But I guess I just see coffee and tea as grown up drinks, and the time that you drink them as grown up time, and I'm not ready to treat the boys as grown ups just yet.