Drunk children

04 December, 2012

UK: Children of parents who drink above the Government’s unit guidelines are more likely to have been drunk than children of parents who drink less, according to Drinkaware.

The research suggests that 19% of children who have parents that exceed the unit guidelines have been drunk and 21% drink at least monthly, compared to 11% and 12% respectively of those in the the other group.

The research was conducted by Ipsos Mori for the alcohol education charity. They polled 1,433 ABC1 parents and their children (652). It highlights that 30% of ABC1 parents in the UK are drinking above the unit guidelines and that there are links between the amount parents drink, their attitudes to children and alcohol, and their kids‚ drinking behaviour.

To coincide with the research, Drinkaware has published advice for parents encouraging them to talk to their children about alcohol during the Christmas party season and to be aware that their own festive drinking could have an influence on their kids. The advice, available at drinkaware.co.uk/parents, is compiled by Drinkaware’s Mumtank, a group of expert mums, including Mumsnet co-founder Carrie Longton, TV’s Dr Sarah Jarvis and parenting expert Sue Atkins.

The research also highlights that more than a third (36%) of parents who drink above the recommended daily guidelines believe they drink within safe limits.

Siobhan McCann, head of campaigns and communications at Drinkaware said: “Most parents want their children to grow up with a healthy relationship with alcohol and try to set a good example. The problem is that some parents drink above the guidelines without realising and this in turn influences their children’s attitudes and behaviour.

“When it comes to alcohol, parents have the biggest influence on their children and lots of children would turn to their parents first for advice. Family gatherings during the festive season are a great opportunity to talk to your children about why people drink and the consequences of drinking to excess in an open and honest way. Parents who aren‚t sure what to say can get advice from experts on Drinkaware’s Mumtank at drinkaware.co.uk/parents,” said McCann.

Meanwhile, more than three quarters (77%) of 10 to 17-year-olds think that seeing young people their age getting drunk "isn’t cool". 93% think it is not OK for someone their age to get drunk once a week and just 11% think that it’s OK to try getting drunk to see what it’s like.

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