Should Parents Teach Their Children to Drink?

A large-scale survey of teenagers in an English seaside town found that 70% of young people had been given alcohol by their father or mother. In response, police in Britain have sparked a national debate about parental responsibility. What can we learn from this research?

Founder and Medical Director of Castle Craig Hospital Dr. Margaret McCann, wrote: “Alcohol is entrenched in the culture of the United Kingdom. It is common for many people to drink alcohol during a social activity. Mainly at dinner and sometimes during lunch, after work or in the evenings. When we are on holiday, or if there is something to celebrate, we quickly drink a beer, wine, eggnog or something stronger. By the age of XNUMX, most people have drunk even more on average.

But alcohol is an addictive substance. Inevitably, for some people, social drinking leads to dependency. These people need alcohol to function. They continue to drink despite the serious problems it causes to their health, family and relationships. When someone becomes addicted, alcohol and drugs can ruin an addict's life and the lives of those around them. It is the addict's family that often bears the brunt of the havoc that addiction can wreak.”

A family illness

Because addiction affects the entire family, it is also called “a family disease”. The effects of addiction are greatest within the family. But there are more reasons. Research shows that the risk of developing alcoholism is partly genetic. The genetic makeup that a person inherits from his parents partly explains the pattern. In addition, lifestyle plays a major role; children consciously or unconsciously imitate what they see in their parents. Fathers with a beer in the football canteen and mothers who need a glass of wine after a busy day seem to be the rule rather than the exception these days. And what about children's champagne on New Year's Eve? These are actually comparable to chocolate cigarettes; apparently very innocent, but still a wrong example.

The role of the parents

It is very important that parents are aware of their exemplary role. Because that lifestyle plays such a major role, it is important that children see that parents can also have fun without drinking and that there are also plenty of delicious soft drinks. Home is the best place to learn that you can also say “no” to beer or wine; that you do not have to give in to social pressure, and what the risks of alcohol consumption are.