UK Parents Drinking Affecting Their Children
Middle-class parents are drinking to access to cope with the demands of a family life. A new study by the charity 4Children, found that around one third of all British parents are drinking more than their weekly allowance and this could be affecting their children.
Among those most likely to drink are parents in the wealthiest households. These people often escape the stigma of drinking because of their wealth but they may be doing immeasurable emotional and psychological damage to their children.
The report stated, “Such experiences can have deep-seated and profound impacts which can last a life time. Those who have first hand experience of habitual parental drinking or drug use have told us of the fear, shame and upset it causes. And of the barriers it puts in the way of children doing well at school and enjoying normal childhood experiences – like having friends round to your house.”
According to 4Children’s research, 17% of parents continue drinking the same amount even after discovering they were expecting a baby. 5% of mothers actually increased their drinking. Furthermore, 23% of parents continued to drink the same amount after their child was born. Overall, parental drinking exposes around 280,000 babies to potential harm every year.
“Though we assume the majority of these parents will not be collapsing drunk on the streets, or using class A drugs in doorways, we found that the impact on children can still be profound. Parenting capacity can be adversely affected, and quality interactions with the youngest children disrupted, by parents who merely drank socially, or finished a bottle of wine over dinner. 4Children is concerned that too often this results from a profound lack of awareness amongst parents of the damage that hazardous drinking can do to their families.”
According to the report, parenting capacity can be negatively affected by alcohol. Drinking disrupts parent child interactions and can throw necessary childhood routines into disarray. Alcohol not only affects peoples judgement and the way they interact with children, it can increase the likelihood of accidents. More importantly, parents are setting an example for their children.Continued on the next page