Do Your Kids Want You To Stop Drinking? Is your alcohol use worrying your loved ones? Three in ten moms and dads say they have been drunk in front of their kids and half have been tipsy, and such behaviour can cause household rows or make children distressed, the study indicates.
Even moderate drinking by parents can leave children feeling embarrassed or stressed or result in their bedtime being disrupted, according to the study led by the Institute of Alcohol Studies (IAS).
It is the first evidence that even low-level parental drinking – at no higher than 14 units a week – can prove damaging to children. Kids who see a mom or dad tipsy or drunk are less likely to see them as a positive role model, the report says.
The findings have provoked calls for parents to think more carefully about their alcohol consumption and for the government to overhaul official guidance about when and how much individuals should consume.
” It is worrying that the majority of parents stated being intoxicated or drunk in front of their sons or daughters. All parents strive to do what’s best for their children, but this study has highlighted an uncomfortable void in their understanding,” said Kath Brown, the IAS’s chief executive.
” Parents who have a glass or two of wine at night deserve to understand how this may affect their kids and the steps they can take to minimise this impact.”
The report, co-produced with the Alcohol and Families Alliance and Alcohol Focus Scotland, says 29.5% of mothers and fathers think it is okay to get drunk in front of their children as long as that does not happen very often.
Ann Longfield, the young people’s government official for England, said: “Many moms and dads make the unwise assumption that modest levels of drinking do not bother their children. Children want you to stop drinking and they need you make a judgment before you consume alcohol in front of them.
Consider what effect your drinking might have on your kids.
” We know some youngsters become extremely anxious when their parent’s alcohol use plays out in ways that lead to uncertain, abnormal or unpredictable behaviour. In my view the very best way to make that judgment, as in lots of areas to do with kids, is ask them, pay attention to what they point out and behave appropriately.”
The report is based on conversations with a representative study of 998 parents and their kids around the United Kingdom. All the parents said they drank no more alcohol than the 14 units a week recommended in official guidance.
The former health minister Caroline Flint, who is the daughter of an alcoholic, stated: “We too quickly push aside parental drinking as benign, enjoyable and just recreation. However, this study shows that mothers and fathers do not have to be routinely consuming sizable quantities for their kids to see a change in their behaviour and experience problems.”
Ali Douglas, the president of Alcohol Focus Scotland, said the shift in recent years from drinking alcohol in bars to purchasing alcohol in grocery stores and off-licenses meant kids now observed parents drinking in higher amounts than previously.
” This implies children are more likely to be around alcoholic drinks and to experience alcoholism. In addition to the unfavourable impacts on children’s health and well-being, observing how adults drink can have a significant impact on our kids’ potential alcohol consumption habits,” she stated.
The UK Department of Health said it was aware that parents’ alcohol consumption behaviour could hurt their offspring and it was thinking about what measures it might take.
” While nobody would want to obstruct the right of parents to enjoy an alcoholic beverage responsibly, we are committed to giving individuals the information they need to make knowledgeable and informed choices about their alcohol consumption. Which we provide through the UK principal medical officers’ guidelines,” a spokesperson said.
” We are also acutely familiar with the impression parents’ alcohol consumption can have on their children. That’s why we are looking at what further support we can provide to deal with alcohol problems in the home, focusing on vulnerable communities including family groups and young children.”
John Ashworth, the UK shadow health secretary, who has spoken about his dad’s death as a result of drinking, said: “This essential report highlights that even non-dependent parent alcohol consumption has serious health and wellness implications on kids and our households in general”.
”Kids are extremely perceptive of their parent’s alcohol consumption habits, and this analysis should serve as a cautionary tale to the government.”
The big problem we have these days is the amount of unseen drinking is climbing to dangerous levels. So many parents are falling into the trap of thinking that a bottle of wine a night is normal.
The Stop Drinking LTD website was set up by a former problem drinker who realised that his alcohol use was causing huge damage to his children and home life. Most drinkers won’t ask because they don’t want to hear the truth. But make no mistake about it, your children want you to stop drinking – they don’t like you drunk!
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