No drunks in our house

Back in the day when I did my psychology education it soon became apparent that the young parent contingent would happily shout down any research that would point to any probable detrimental effect that parents could have on their offspring but who would alternatively shout from the rafters when other research appeared to show the gloriously positive effects parenting can affect.

So too with the possible link between parental drinking and binge drinking in the young.

The middle class parents for whom a couple of glasses of wine to ‘de-stress’ of an evening naturally dismiss such findings whilst scape-goating the under-classes instead and telling those pointing the nanny-state finger to linger a while  and instead point accusingly at the supposedly ‘feckless’ to see the real effects of poor parental role models. Another great ‘no thugs in our house‘ moment.

Still all classes now have a more convenient role model to blame.

Photo by davidjwbailey under this creative commons license

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2 thoughts on “No drunks in our house

  1. When I was a drinker, I too resented tax increases on alcohol and people moralizing about booze. Now that I am alcohol free (since 2003, anyway), I have a different outlook. I didn’t give up booze for moral reasons so I don’t look askance at “responsible drinkers” but I do recognize that drink plays a significant part in crime, parental neglect and disease. I don’t think these issues should be ignored or minimized.

    As with salt a few decades ago, we are now regularly subjected to reports on alcohol, alternately telling us that some alcohol is good for us and that all alcohol is bad for us. Unsurprisingly, people seize on the reports that support their own opinion (or thirst). The fact that claims on both sides are exaggerated helps to obfuscate the issues.

    The British have a strange attitude to drinking: it’s as if they think that getting drunk and misbehaving is somehow a meritorious thing to do and that a hangover is a legitimate excuse for bunking off work.

    I think that what goes for smoking should also go for drinking: responsible parents should not drink when pregnant or around young children. On the other hand, given the state of our society, they should teach their children about alcohol and its responsible use. If that sounds paradoxical, that’s because it is. Regularly drinking something that is bad for you is, after all, a paradoxical behaviour.

  2. I suppose I am one of these feckless parents. I never take any notice of any advice of this nature as I think I am the best person to decide what is the best way to bring up my children. If you start listening to all this conflicting advice you do one thing one year and then the opposite the next year and that is not a great parenting trait.

    I am a regular drinker. I am however almost always in charge of my children so I don’t drink to get drunk. I have to have my wits about me at all time. But I do think I rely a little much on alcohol and if my children pick up on that, it isn’t a good message for me to be putting across.

    I have occasionally let my children have a drink. If we are having alcohol with dinner and they ask then I pour them some. I don’t make a big thing of it and generally they only ask because they think I might say no and when I pour the drink they ignore it (I drink dry red wine so not really to their taste and I never try to make it more palatable by watering it down or adding lemonade). We often have the alcohol/drugs/cigarette discussion – which one is worst in terms of its effect at a personal level and societal level – and they have some interesting things to say.

    I hope my children grow up with a French approach to drinking ie drink with meals and appreciate a good wine when they find one but don’t go out and binge drink and vomit in the street.

    My daughter is a responsible drinker as far as I know. She stubbornly refused to drink at all initially because she hates to do anything that “everyone else” does (chip off the old block there)but she does now.

    I do get cross about all this interfering by on high but then again I don’t have to read the advice or listen so I guess it’s there for those who need or want it. I think any success I have with my children is because we talk about absolutely everything and try to debate and look at things from all angles.

    Ooops sorry I have gone on and haven’t actually said a lot. Well, it is Friday!

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