The number of pubs, breweries and late-night parties have increased and people actually feel pleased about it. The younger generation’s idea of entertainment is unending flow of booze, night outs, sleepovers and late-morning sleeps. Generally, individuals love to consume alcohol as a way of celebration, when in distress, emotional stress or likewise. We do see a bottle of champagne in many offices when their project is a booming success or even after weddings or birthday parties. When drinking socially has become increasingly seen these days, how about drinking in front of children? Parties and get-togethers are never devoid of our lovely kids whose presence doesn’t deter few parents when it comes to consuming alcohol. But what impact does it have on the child as well as the parent?
Parents: A Child’s First Role Model
Children adore their parents and during their initial stages or even until teenage, parents are a child’s first superhero! They look up to their parents with admiration and try to imitate them in many scenarios be it while having meals, talking, walking or even laughing. When such simple acts are followed don’t you think that a child would surely observe your act of drinking and follow the same too? In general, children learn about what’s acceptable and not by observing their parents & drinking too is no exception.
Individuals go for a glass of wine after a tough day at work to relax and this might even be good enough to ease off tension. But the same can have a delirious effect when the quantity consumed exceeds prescribed limits or when you have children lurking around. A study by the Institute of Alcohol Studies (IAS) shows that a glass of wine is more than enough to make your child anxious about your behavior and start worrying for their parents. A drunk parent makes kids feel awkward, embarrassed and even concerned about their parents. While the parent might not see any noticeable changes the kids always point out every awkward situation that’s an outcome of a parent’s consumption of alcohol. They feel that parents are pushy, their bedtimes are disrupted and even start to panic when they are around their heavy-drinking parents. The study too showed that almost 50% of parents commented that they were unsteady in front of their kids, 29% accepted that they were drunk and another 29% thought that it was not a bad think to stay drunk until it did not affect the kid in any way. From the children’s side, almost one in five kids felt embarrassed when their parents consumed alcohol, 11% were worried, 7% said it led to arguments with them, 8% said their parents were unpredictable, 12% said that they paid less attention and 15% said that they had been put to bed earlier than usual (https://www.businessinsider.com/drinking-in-front-of-your-kids-can-leave-them-anxious-embarrassed-and-worried-even-if-its-just-a-glass-of-wine-2017-10?IR=T). Despite the frequency of alcohol consumption however minimal it might be kids of those parents who drank did not consider them as positive role models.
Above all, the child is sure to copy you. Statistics too show that children who live with family members who drink are at a higher risk of drinking, many parents who drank were also ok with their kids drinking alcohol until it was well within the limits while those living with parents who never drank were at a minimal risk of drinking alcohol.
Recommendations to Parents
Should you drink in front of your children? https://www.telegraph.co.uk/family/parenting/should-drink-front-children/
Drinking in front of your kids can leave them anxious and embarrassed: https://www.businessinsider.com/drinking-in-front-of-your-kids-can-leave-them-anxious-embarrassed-and-worried-even-if-its-just-a-glass-of-wine-2017-10?IR=T
Should I avoid drinking in front of my children? https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/oct/23/should-i-avoid-drinking-in-front-of-my-children
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.