Children Under 14 Years Old Encouraged By Their Parents To Drink Alcohol
Parents are commonly against their children drinking alcohol because of the habit's health repercussions. Some parents, however, encourage or allow their sons and daughters, even those under 14 years old, to indulge in alcoholic drinks.
A new report by the United Kingdom's Churchill Home Insurance surveyed more than 1,000 parents in the country and found that 34 percent of them are using alcohol to bribe their kids into obedience, The Telegraph reported. Eleven percent of the parents surveyed with children as young as five to seven allow the youngsters to drink at home. A quarter of the parents, meanwhile, don't have any negative views about minors drinking alcohol.
Parents claimed that allowing the children to drink at home helps them monitor their alcohol consumption and ensure their safety. These are hard to do when children sneak away from home to drink in potentially unsafe areas.
The research found that one in five parents in the U.K. see no problem in allowing minors who are not members of the family to drink alcohol in their house. It isn't illegal for kids aged five and over to drink at home, according to a Department of Health guidance.
Martin Scott, leader of Churchill Home Insurance, said Britain has been struggling with children's attraction towards alcohol than its neighboring countries. Parents want their children to develop a sense of responsibility while drinking, which is why they allow them to drink in a safe and controlled environment like their own homes in the hopes that the kids would refrain from drinking in unsafe areas.
The problem in this approach, however, is it promotes excessive drinking, particularly in teenagers. Scott said people drinking at home have higher chances of injury or destroying property.
Parents in the U.K. think that an alcohol-free childhood is good, but they also believe that it's alright for kids to drink if it's done properly, BBC reported. For example, a glass of wine is fine if it's a form of celebration for getting good grades in an exam.
Children born in Irish families are exposed in a huge drinking culture where kids as young as 10 are encouraged to drink alcohol. Some children learned managing the risks of drinking early on. Irish parents believe that children who were exposed to alcohol early can handle drinking more maturely, while those who didn't drink when they were younger are more likely to pass out drunk or try other drinks.
The Chief Medical Officer, however, stressed than an alcohol-free childhood is the safest and healthiest choice for youngsters. It isn't advisable for kids younger than 15 to drink at all.