Moderate drinking by parents can make children feel 'anxious'

Danielle Fowler
Freelance Writer
15 percent of children have asked their parents to drink less [Photo: Getty]

A new study has revealed that even moderate drinking (approximately 14 units a week) by parents can deeply affect a child’s mental health, reports The Guardian.

The survey, led by the Institute of Alcohol Studies (IAS), discovered that three in ten parents have admitted to being drunk or tipsy in front of their children. The findings are based on interviews with 997 adults and their children across the UK.

And research indicates that such alcohol-driven behaviour can cause children to feel embarrassed or anxious and as a result, they are unlikely to consider their parent a ‘positive role model’.

This is the first time a major study has indicated that low alcohol consumption can prove to have such a damaging affect on youngsters.

Chief Executive of the IAS Katherine Brown told The Guardian: “It is worrying that the majority of parents reported being tipsy or drunk in front of their child. All parents strive to do what’s best for their children, but this report has highlighted a troubling gap in their knowledge.”

12 percent of children say that their parents pay less attention to them as a consequence of their drinking [Photo: Getty]

She continued, “Parents who have a glass or two of wine in the evening deserve to understand how this might affect their children and the steps they can take to minimise this impact.”

The study revealed that 29 percent of parents believe it is acceptable to be drunk in front of their children as long as they do not make a habit of it.

Children described alcohol as ‘like sugar for adults’ and a large majority who took part in the survey believed that their parents drank to ‘solve their problems.’

The shadow health secretary Jon Ashworth stated: “This crucial report highlights that even non-dependent parental drinking has serious health implications on children and families.”

He continued, “Children are incredibly perceptive of their parent’s drinking habits and this analysis must serve as a wake-up call to the government.”

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