It's normal to
want to unwind after a long day, but a new study suggests that you might want to
think twice before refilling that wine glass if you have kids. The
Institute of Alcohol Studies (IAS) reports that three out of 10 parents have
been drunk in front of their children, while half of them admit to being
The findings from the U.K.-based organization
serves as a warning to parents about alcohol consumption by addressing the
impact it has on children. It turns out, even having a couple of drinks in front
of your kids can leave them feeling worried or embarrassed.
"We know some
children become very anxious when their parents use alcohol in ways that lead
to uncertain, unusual or unpredictable behavior," said Anne Longfield, the
children’s commissioner for England. "In my view, the best way to
make that judgment, as in lots of areas to do with children, is ask them,
listen to what they say and act accordingly."
According to the
report, which was based on a survey of 997
adults and their children around the U.K., 29 percent of parents believed it was acceptable
to get drunk in front of their children "as long as it didn't happen often."
Recently, The Guardian
summed up some other key findings relative to the study, and some of them are a bit disturbing. For example, 15 percent of children
have reportedly asked their parents to drink less, while 12 percent said their parents paid them less attention because of their drinking.
15 percent of children
have reportedly asked their parents to drink less.
Need more proof?
The survey showed that 16 percent of parents
have felt guilty or ashamed of their parenting as a result of their drinking. But the most upsetting remark came from the 11- and 12-year-olds, who described alcohol as “like sugar for adults” and said that parents drink to “solve
The message is
consistent throughout the entire report: Parents need to be more aware of how
drinking alcohol around children—even in small amounts—can negatively impact
the shadow health secretary in England, is no stranger to substance abuse. In fact, he has
spoken about his own father’s death as a result of drinking and is eager for
something to change.
incredibly perceptive of their parent’s drinking habits, and this analysis must
serve as a wakeup call to the government," Ashworth said. "This crucial report
highlights that even non-dependent parental drinking has serious health
implications on children and families."
So, the next
time you're sitting at the dining room table with your kids, debating on
whether to open that bottle of wine or not, remember that those curious
little eyes staring back at you are impressionable—and they never stop watching.