ANOTHER week, another survey.
This time it’s the shock-horror quelle-surprise revelation that children who regularly see their parents get hammered are more likely to binge drink themselves.
Well, that was the headline anyway.
If you actually look at the detail, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation report also found the influence of FRIENDS was the most significant factor in childhood drinking, as the likelihood of youths drinking to excess more than doubled if they spent more than two nights a week
socialising. (Especially if parents don’t know where they are.)
I can’t remember a single time I ever saw my parents drunk, even though they have always been regular pub-goers.
I can, however, remember the first swig of cider I had in the village playing field and the first Dubonnet and lemonade which was sneaked out of a pub for me by an older kid. I can also vividly remember the first time I saw someone vomiting into a wicker waste bin at a party we were both too young to be at. My parents weren’t to blame for my teen drinking, I was.
The parenting rules on booze are simple.
Don’t get paralytic in front of your kids. Don’t let them think that life can’t go on if you don’t have a glass of wine by tea-time. Educate them about the true consequences of booze/fags/drugs/sex (which may indeed be interconnected) and try to keep tabs on where they are, who they are with and what they are up to, without turning their lives into a police state.
(I’m sure this will come back to haunt me as my children all hit their teens).