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Should adults drink in front of children?

08:38 UK time, Monday, 5 July 2010

Almost a third of UK children say they feel scared when they see adults drunk or drinking too much according to a survey carried out by Childwise for BBC Newsround. Is the drinking culture too ingrained in our society?

Half of the 1,234 10 to 14-year-olds questioned for the study said they had seen their parents drunk. Nearly half claimed not to be bothered by adults drinking, but 16% said alcohol made adults angry and aggressive and 30% said they were scared when adults drank.

The survey comes six months after former Children, Schools and Families Secretary Ed Balls warned parents in England not to under-estimate the "dangerous consequences" of under-age drinking.

Do adults need to rethink their attitude towards drinking? Should children be educated from an early age about the dangers of alcohol? What action needs to be taken to prevent binge drinking worsening in the next generation?

This debate has now closed. Thank you for your comments.

Comments

Page 1 of 4

  • Comment number 1.

    Yes, a bad example can be very powerful demotivator.

    If it stops a lot of kids from becoming binge drinkers, all the better.

  • Comment number 2.

    As long as the adult drinks responsibily, which he or she should be doing regardless of whether or not there is a child present, then I can't see a problem.

  • Comment number 3.

    It's rather a pointless question as adults will continue to drink in front of children. I don't see a problem with responsible drinking in front of children and it could be said that this helps to educate kids to drink & behave responsibly, but unfortunately a very large amount of people in our nation of drunks are very irresponsible and their children will grow up to be just as irresponsible. It's been like this for centuries on these islands of ours.

  • Comment number 4.

    It is fine to drink responsibly in front of children and therefore teach them that it is possible to have one or two glasses and still be a reasonable, logical person.

    However, over-drinking can only add to the problems, teaching children that the thing to do is get plastered. Not good.

  • Comment number 5.

    We wouldnt to deny the kids a very important cultural practice which the Brits love to show the rest of the world! bit like the yanks love to show how much Junk Food they can eat, the brits love to show the world how drunk and violent they can be. Great Contribution!

  • Comment number 6.

    Should adults drink in front of children?

    Define 'drink'.

    If it refers to a glass of wine with a meal or even a beer watching the footie then no problems.

    If it involves careering around the house bellowing out the Yogi Bear song then probably not.

  • Comment number 7.

    Let's put a bit of reverse psychology in to kick off a little thread of debate.

    As long as you're not geting completely 'stocious' and abusing your children, why not have a drink in their presence? If you can handle it, then the kids will not be over curious and go and drink outside your control to excess and get themsleves in trouble. Show them, actually, there is nothing to be scared of but it should be treated with respect, less you make a fool of yourself.

    I think that we protect our kids from too much real life these days, it's OK that they re-enact the Battle of Stalingrad on their gaming consoles and kill untold virtual lives, but not OK for us to quaff a few glasses in from of them? That's not right is it?

    If we start to hide it, then they will only want to do it all the more, because then, it'll be naughty.

  • Comment number 8.

    Never mind children, the drinking culture in this country is scary enough for an ADULT to witness! But if this survey is accurate, and I've no reason to believe it's not, then I find it perversely encouraging: I had an alcoholic stepfather and I believe children who witness the worst of alcohol and its consequences first-hand may be less likely to go on and abuse alcohol. Me? I turned out teetotal, thanks to my stepdad.

  • Comment number 9.

    7. At 09:09am on 05 Jul 2010, FrankandTomsDad wrote:

    I think that we protect our kids from too much real life these days, it's OK that they re-enact the Battle of Stalingrad on their gaming consoles and kill untold virtual lives, but not OK for us to quaff a few glasses in from of them? That's not right is it?



    I don't think this report is really criticising the moderate drinkers. I think the point is that a large minority of kids feel genuine fear if their parents drink too much, because in some cases they know from experience that it leads to their parents becoming aggressive and abusive - which I think we can all agree is not a good thing, is it?

  • Comment number 10.

    A sad reflection on British society. Other countries do not appear to have a problem with underage drinking or parents drunk in front of their children.

    The more something is banned then the more children will want to try it.

    Unfortunately alcohol is far too readily available from too many outlets so increasing the price will have little effect.

    As someone has pointed out, children who have problems with an aggressively drunk parent may well choose never to drink.

  • Comment number 11.

    First person to use the phrase "broken Britain" wins a prize.

  • Comment number 12.

    I don't see a problem with having a few drinks in front of your children but parents should set an example.

    Whether that is a good or bad example is obviously down to the individual parents concerned.

  • Comment number 13.

    my dad has had a drinking problem for at least 30 years. he has four children. 2 have taken his drinkin habbits but me and my other sister dont agree with it. obviosly there are exceptions like partys we we have a couple but never the extend of our siblings. we quite often talk about it as its an every day even of our lifes. at least 2 were saved thats what we say.

  • Comment number 14.

    Of course adults should drink in front of Children provided they drink sensible, as if they do, it shows their children how to drink responsibility. Obviously you shouldn't drink excessively so that you get drunk, as I can understand why this is frightening for Children, I have to say I find it frightening sometimes walking through a city or town given the number of drunks there are in the evening. Most of the time you are OK, but want never knows, and drink does make people a lot bolder and more prepared to cause trouble.

  • Comment number 15.

    11. At 09:20am on 05 Jul 2010, RadialSymmetry wrote:
    First person to use the phrase "broken Britain" wins a prize.
    ---------------------
    It was you. Claim your own prize.

  • Comment number 16.

    I can see the route this is going - ban kids from pubs.. Winner!!
    no more family friendly places - Winner !!
    The Old Quay House re-opens -Winner !!
    Im happy

  • Comment number 17.

    What a ridiculous proposition this is.
    Puritanical fascist minds at work here.
    Of course adults should drink in front of children.

    must work at night dreaming of nightmares to inflict on us
    a genetic need to control every aspect of other peoples lives....

    Leave us alone why don,t you petty minded playschool yobs.

  • Comment number 18.

    Dear Sirs,

    Adverse pressures during recent decades have encouraged drinking amongst some newer parents. Teachers strikes during the 1980s removed the emphasis for some children on sports and hobbies so they developed (1) needing to find other activities and (2) suffering from lack of experience in out of school pursuits. The never ending increase in house prices during recent decades has forced newer parent generations to pursue less expensive activites which include drinking. Newer generations of parents also have less time due to a need to work to earn to save impossibly for housing / ever increasing real rents. And employers put themselves forward as being the very best so requiring long hours in offices / at work to meet their expectations leaving little time for other pursuits than a quick drink, or a sandwich at the desk. In many offices / work places there are not the facilities for other pursuits but there is access to drink. And when there is a success, team managers often reward team members by way of "lets go out for a drink"! There is little or no "village" type community spirit about and with staff in supermarkets on shift work, it is now Dennis the Menace's time to anonymously find drink 24-7. And with the obvious and repetitious devastating financial cycles which dominate headlines, I could do with a drink!

  • Comment number 19.

    Yet more anti drinking propoganda from the BBC - you dont neem to do this anymore, your former masters dont care anymore!

    However I would bet that the 30% of children who are scared belong to the 30% of society that should not be allowed to breed.....

  • Comment number 20.

    Why do we have these pointless surveys? Waste of time and money.

    We have a drinking culture in this country that does not encourage moderation and too many people cannot survive without the daily tipple. Many abuse that aspect and drink to excess even though they know they cannot handle it. Often it is a dutch courage recipe so that they can go out and act irresponsibly or violently.

    The evidence of my own eyes is that too much irresponsible drinking goes on and too much mindless violence results from it. This is apart from the number of accidents from those not violent but incapable of controlling themselves.

    I have the occasional drink, am not teetotal and appreciate that sometimes the odd drink can be socially acceptable and even desirable. However there are far too many people who use drink as an excuse to behave badly or to do things they claim they 'can't remember'.

    Add to this the cost to the country of putting all the damage right through hospital treatment etc and you have some idea of the stupidity of the average member of Joe public.

  • Comment number 21.

    This is a very loosely based question and therfore how you answer is open to interpretation.

    Yesterday we had a BBQ at home; and while making the fire and preparing it to cook the meat on, I had a beer. I had a second beer while the meat cooking, which lasted me through the meal and after. I didn't drink anymore. As well as that I don't buy supermarket special lager, I am quite partial to Weissbier, ale's like those made by HRH Prince Charles's organic company and good foreign lagers. My children were there throughout and they had an extremely weak shandy each. They were drinking responsibly with me. I would never drink one drink after another in front of my children as I am teaching them that alcohol is only harmful if you allow it to control you. I have an Uncle who is an alcoholic, so I can see how it can because the very essence of your being.

    But the flip side is people who work their way through more than a case of the cheap supermarket specials and become louder and more abusive as they do it. Of course this is wrong and sets the wrong example, biut no more so than not working becaue the state will let you, being violent and abusive and using foul language etc etc.

    Every element of how you bring up your children is dependant on your own standards in life, and these standards have nothing to do with income, its self pride. Drinking is a small element.

    The experts will have their idea's of how binge drinking starts, but just like an abused child often becomes an abuser in later life, I believe that those that are not brought up to respect alcohol become the binge drinkers of tomorrow, because they don't understand the dangers that alcohol can pose. But parents who binge drink in front of their children are no better or worse than those that demonise alcohol in their children, because people I know who have had this end up being binge drinkers as well for a similiar reason, they rebel and don't understand the dangers of alcohol.

    In life, those best prepared are the children who are given a well balanced grounded upbringing, advised of the dangers in life and encouraged to do well. How this is achieved is a whole different argument, but a marriage with a mother and father is usually the best route.

  • Comment number 22.

    11. At 09:20am on 05 Jul 2010, RadialSymmetry wrote:
    First person to use the phrase "broken Britain" wins a prize.
    ---------------------
    It was you. Claim your own prize.

    ----------------------------

    A Pint??

  • Comment number 23.

    9. At 09:15am on 05 Jul 2010, Rufus McDufus wrote:

    I don't think this report is really criticising the moderate drinkers.

    Maybe it isn't, but you can bet your bottom dollar that it will be used by the "anti-alcohol industry" and temperance fascists to "prove" how bad even moderate drinking is.

    Afer all, you can't criticise it now it's "for the good of the chiiillldddrrruuunn".

  • Comment number 24.

    Children learn best by following example. Whatever parents do, they should not be surprised if their children do the same.

  • Comment number 25.

    9. At 09:15am on 05 Jul 2010, Rufus McDufus wrote:
    7. At 09:09am on 05 Jul 2010, FrankandTomsDad wrote:

    I agree Rufus, but playing devil's advocate, as I was in the original post, it's the thin end of a wedge isn't it? One that curtails freedoms in general?. The smoking ban (which people don't realise is about work place conditions)started as health warnings on packets. Now, as you probably know, most smokers, me being one when I have a drink, go outside, even at home, because it's effectively outlawed.

    Do we need pangs of guilt, everytime we turn to these relatively harmless vices?

  • Comment number 26.

    Adults should show responsible drinking in front of their children.

    To show children regular drinking, excessive drunkeness and so on gives no strength to you supporting them when they start drinking. Which they will at some point. Much as they will listen to their friends more than their parents our society encourages drinking to excess, so someone has to prove that moderation is more fun.

  • Comment number 27.

    The way this is presented begets the answer.

    Adults can drink sensibly in front of children and be a positive role model for sensible drinking. Or they can binge and be a negative role model.

    It's not the drinking in front of children that creates the situation, but how much and how the parent then acts.

    A small salutory lesson: My father had an occasional drink in the evening, but never got drunk - as far as I knew. When I turned 18 he took me out and we had a "pub crawl". As the evening wore on and I noticed him becoming more ebulient I started to become embarassed. I eventually insisted we go home, and had to help him most of the way. He was violently sick en route. The lesson he was teaching was simple - look at how people change and at how embarassing your actions can be to others when you're drinking. I have never got drunk in front of my children until my oldest son turned 18...

  • Comment number 28.

    "If it involves careering around the house bellowing out the Yogi Bear song then probably not."

    But, but... kids love the Yogi Bear song! :)

  • Comment number 29.

    11. At 09:20am on 05 Jul 2010, RadialSymmetry wrote:
    First person to use the phrase "broken Britain" wins a prize.

    =============================================================

    Looks like its you "RadicalSymmetry."

    What prize you going to give your self?

    I think a nice glass of Claret would be a good prize

  • Comment number 30.

    19. At 09:44am on 05 Jul 2010, pzero wrote:
    Yet more anti drinking propoganda from the BBC - you dont neem to do this anymore, your former masters dont care anymore!

    However I would bet that the 30% of children who are scared belong to the 30% of society that should not be allowed to breed.....

    ---

    From BBC conspiracy theories to advocating eugenics in 2 sentences.

    Congratulations.

  • Comment number 31.

    Most children are scared when they see drunken adults?
    Looking outside my window at the various kicking-out hours of pubs, I can definately see why.

    Why oh why, can't these "adults" learn a little self-control, self-discipline? Why do they feel it's socially acceptable to behave like a raging baboon at 1am, screaming in the streets?
    Anyone who tells them to hush-up is lucky no to have faeces flung at them.


    Perhaps it's not alcohols fault.
    Perhaps it's the person who lacks all responsibility, self-control, self-discipline who blames alcohol for the way they act, who is to blame.


  • Comment number 32.

    Taking drugs sensibly and in moderation outside of the vision of chidren is ....... well, teaching people that it is still okay to get yourself slightly drugged-up.
    People drink for a reason, and that reason is virtually always about soothing an 'itch' in their personality. This itch is scratched by alcohol, making the victim more at ease with themselves; therefore changing their nature for the time they are intoxicated.
    The problem is that it is so widespread (drinking alcohol) that tackling this problem (i.e. confronting a pretty agressive herd of drinkers, agressive in that they can't tolerate being constrained by anything) requires making enemies.
    Double the duty on alcohol, and if that doesn't cure the desire to be unfettered by good behaviour - then double the duty again! And again - until drinkers moderate their intoxication to zero....

  • Comment number 33.

    What about smoking? Passive smoking kills and affects the health of others in the house.

    I NEVER saw my parents drink more than one drink, EVER, which I found to be VERY odd. I must admit to drinking more than them as I found their drinking behaviour not to be the norm.

    The problem is only if an adult has a drink problem. But to be honest, smoking is a far greater evil in my eyes.

  • Comment number 34.

    19. At 09:44am on 05 Jul 2010, pzero wrote:
    Yet more anti drinking propoganda from the BBC - you dont neem to do this anymore, your former masters dont care anymore!

    However I would bet that the 30% of children who are scared belong to the 30% of society that should not be allowed to breed.....

    ============================================================

    Sadly I think the percentage is much higher than 30%.

    We are being Americanised in our news by being frightened everyday by people who are supposed to tell us the news. This is not newsworthy, its just a form of social engineering.

  • Comment number 35.

    There's no harm in drinking in front of children as long as it's not to excess. No more ugly a site than a person overwhelmed by consuming too much. I personally lose respect for people that are drunk out of their minds, that's the effect on a child, they gradually lose respect for their drunken parent.

  • Comment number 36.

    Drinking in front of children should show them how it should be done - sensibly and responsibly.

    Being drunk in front of children will merely show them how to be drunk.

    On the other hand, if you hide drinking from children they'll never know how to control it - a typically British way of managing childhood.

  • Comment number 37.

    The BBC is clearly run by a reformed alcoholic.
    Obviously many kids would say yes to being frightened by drunks, and yes, I daresay many have seen their parents drunk. It does NOT follow that for most of these that the drunk adults that scare them are their parents.
    My son has, I have no doubt, seen me drunk, hardly very often as I actually drink very little - even when out with the rugby crowd, he equally is scared of drunk louts on the streets (aren't we all at least a little). This does not mean though that he is scared of me when I'm drunk, the worst he sees is me sleeping it off, I have never been an agressive drunk.

    BBC, if you want to do research please don't draw or insinuate incorrect conclusions. If you want to do something useful research why 25% of all working age people aren't working, the effect this has on the kids, the effect that is caused by the BBC (and others) over paying 'stars' to the extent they can't afford to produce decent programs, the 'arts' obsession (along with anti drink) that causes a complete obliteration of serious discussion, news, engineering, science, manufacturing or other interesting and rewarding careers being featured on the TV or radio, the stupid 'hero worship' of pathetic footballers engendered in the media and the way it warps the whole of childrens peer group to the point where anyone who can kick a ball around is fantastic and every other kid is an object of ridicule. (Oh and yes, the CHEAT coaching Argentinia was NOT - I repeat NOT a 'great' footballer, certainly not the greatest, he was a cheat, pure and simple CHEAT, which makes him about the lowest form of scum on the planet).

    The BBC do far more harm than any drunk parent.

    Dave

  • Comment number 38.

    I think the question should be:

    Should children drink in front of Adults? How many areas in the UK are ruined by "children" seen totally drunk in parks, car-parks, street corners and their own houses? whilst their parents all think it is a great joke.

  • Comment number 39.

    Yet again this is an article that can't distinguish between 'having A drink' and 'drinking to get drunk' . Much as #19 is the usual paranoia HYS is all too full of 'propaganda' is the right word for this sort of article.

  • Comment number 40.

    Statistics can be made to say anything, the positive note here is 70% of children are comfortable seeing their parents drink in front of them. That is a great statistics. Is the remaining 30% a drink problem or is the drinking issue part of a wider problem relating to a dysfunctional society and dysfunctional families.

    it is all too easy for every wrong in society to be blamed on drink and drugs and then society to fail to treat the causes and just look at the symptoms.

  • Comment number 41.

    Interesting side debate on smoking. I was watching "The US verses John Lennon" last night on DVD and was struck by how people smoked on chat shows etc so freely, even in their hotel bed rooms during the bed in's.

    Yet despite knowing smoking was bad for you, it was tolerated.

    Although you can see how it started as small notices on packs, banned televison advertisng, banned sponsorhip of sport and cultural activities, then the full ban. Although I agree with the ban and would like to see it extended to private cars with children in. Surely smoking in such a confined space cannot be anything but harmful for young lungs.

    You have to wonder if the Nanny State are now turning their sights on alcohol after such completely stupid statistics are released. It also shows how the minority win, because if 1/3 are worried, then 2/3 are not.

    I think maybe we should ban breeding worldwide and then in less than 120 years life on earth will be extinct. Life is just too dangerous.

  • Comment number 42.

    When will you stop glamorizing alcohol by constantly legislating around it?
    In the UK it has become something to look forward to by teenagers, a symbol of entering adulthood. Don't you realize how catastrophic that is?

    "Drinking in front of your children" is fine. Nothing wrong with it.
    The problem starts when drinking has a "purpose", i.e. to get hammered, as a "success criterion".

    I remember my parents drinking during lunch/dinner since I was born, and I had my first glass of wine when I has 12. I never though much about alcohol, it was always something I enjoyed as part of a night-out or a meal, but it was never a prerequisite of a good time. When I moved to the UK I was shocked by the way young people virtually worshiped alcohol, while many were clearly unable to handle it well.
    I believe this is the result of the sudden access youngsters get to drinks when they turn 18, without having any previous gradual "training".

    Just my 50 cents.

  • Comment number 43.

    I am 35 and have seen my parents drink occasionally since I was a toddler, but I have NEVER seen them drunk. I grew up in a house where alcohol was present, but not a big part of anyone's life, and was something that was perfectly acceptable if used in moderation. From the age of 8 or 9, I was allowed a small glass of cider or watered down wine with a meal at Christmas or other special occasion. It worked for me, and I am following the same approach with my own kids.
    Once or twice a month, my daughters (3 and 5 years old) will see my wife or I, or sometimes both of us, open a beer or pour a glass of wine, then sit and enjoy it. We will have one, sometimes two, and stop there. Similarly if friends come over, we'll have a beer with the kids there to see it, but again it's kept within sensible limits. This, to my mind, is alcohol used responsibly and socially, and by the same token, we can, and often do go a month or more without drinking at all. I hope my kids are growing up seeing this as a normal, healthy thing.
    Rather than kids growing up in a completely alcohol free house (doesn't work, I have many friends who are testament to it), or having parents who drink to excess and become unable to look after them, the moderate approach is best. I hope my kids are seeing that sensible alcohol use is perfectly acceptable, normal, and is done socially and openly. I hope they will also see that it is both possible, and normal to have a drink or two and stop, rather than get drunk every time you touch the stuff.

  • Comment number 44.

    As someone who gave up drinking a couple f years ago I see people through different eyes. The change in them when they've been drinking is surprising - they wouldn't recognise themselves.

    When I'm with a group of people that I would normally see as calm, quiet people I notice that as they drink they do become quite irritating in a way that children would find intimidating - especially if there is any propensity to violence in the adults concerned.

    Try taking a video of a group of people (who don't know they're being filmed) at different times through an evening - early, middling and later - and see how they feel about themselves (or even how you feel about yourself). You'll be surprised.

  • Comment number 45.

    This is a historic sad British cultural problem. French parents have been drinking in front of their children for ever. But of course unlike the British, the French do know how to drink alchohol socially and responsibly and to the point, within the family. They also know how to bring up their children properly.

  • Comment number 46.

    "Smoking or drinking alcoholic drinks, at home {NO WAY } Weddings or family partys away from the home social setting i.e hotel or private suite Thats O.K. they would learn from that. But any thing of an adult nature ,should never be done in front of any young children .

  • Comment number 47.

    It is important to distinguish between a responsible parent who enjoys a drink and knows their limits and an irresponsible parent who gets drunk and behaves like an ass.
    The question isn't should adults drink in front of children it should be should irresponsible parents be allowed to continue their antisocial behaviour and teaching the children that getting wasted becoming violent and obnoxious is an acceptable way to behave.
    I have 5 children and I am fully aware that EVERY thing I do is registered within them as acceptable behaviour.
    Vast numbers of people have grown up indoctrinated by the media that a good time is getting wasted and having unprotected sex with a stranger, the main focal point of nearly all soaps is a pub!
    I do not drink because of the medication i have to take and i do not miss it one bit, my wife does enjoy a drink and sometimes has been known to over do it however the children have never seen their mother drunk. Further more at Christmas the children all enjoy a small glass of bucks-fizz. As a parent it is my job to teach my children how to grow up to be responsible and accountable for their actions, after all ALL OF HUMAN BEHAVIOUR INCLUDING YOUR BELIEFS ARE A CHOICE.
    Binge drinking is the norm these days due to bombardment in the media including the bbc that to have a good time you have to go out and get trolleyed. Its always blame the youngsters for COPYING the behaviour of the Adults its all the media have been doing for the past 20yrs we have in this country not random evil children hanging around in groups we have children who have learnt that everything they are doing while hanging around on the street getting wasted being aggressive and voilent from adults Society teaches the young what is acceptable. THEY ( the young) LEARN FROM ADULTS what is acceptable so guess who is to blame.

  • Comment number 48.

    6. whiler wrote:

    If it involves careering around the house bellowing out the Yogi Bear song

    Whats the Yogi Bear song?

  • Comment number 49.

    We do not like or respect our children in this country enough to do what is good for them. If parents actually stopped and looked at their behaviour they would see they are guilty of do as I say not as I do hypocracy. Until the nation stops having children for the money, or starts to take responsibility for the ones it does have this isn't going to change.
    The government are partially to blame by trying to foist European style cultural changes on the UK. Its gone wrong, what did they expect? most adults are no where near grown up or responsible enough to know when enough is enough(this goes for food as well as alcohol) Look around you, we havent yet got to the consumerist state whereby we say actually I dont need this tv/burger/alcopops that is 1/2 price.
    The government have deregulized alcohol consumption, allowed it to be OK to take kids into a pub, ok to buy alcohol from the supermarket along with washing powder and ok to drink outside and driving to school to pick up the kids. It isnt even the lower classes of society, but across the board. The hooray Henrys in their wine basrs at lunch times, the casual drinks with the girls after work. It is all the wrong signal. Alcohol companies must be rubbing their hands in glee at how stupid and gullible we are. Its become the in thing to get wasted at the weekend... no idea why, its hardly a fun thing to do, and kids need to see this and understand that if they see their parents drunk, yes its scary,so bring it on, a life lesson that cannot be taught in school, how stupid and gross a wasted parent is. Grow up Britain, your children are looking at you in disgust and if you cant see it, then you dont deserve your children or the title of parent.

  • Comment number 50.

    Oh so we are not only a nation of closet paedophiles whose children need the protection of intrusive state questioning and intervention, but a nation populated in the main by mindless violent drunks who beet their children to death.

    The BBC should look at itself and what it encourages...
    Hero worship of sports men who do nothing but buy flash motors and brag about their talent while walking around the football pitch either cheating (Maradona) or being lazy (England football team).
    Worship of 'stars' and 'celebrity' - totally vacuous individuals paid far too much for contributing nothing useful to society at all.

    Perhaps if the BBC were to look at the great engineers, scientists, manufacturing that goes on in this country, the amazing health care, incredible doctors we might end up with a bunch of children with ambition beyond being rich and greedy.

    A few people that have a drink is not the problem in this country.

  • Comment number 51.

    "Double the duty on alcohol, and if that doesn't cure the desire to be unfettered by good behaviour - then double the duty again! And again - until drinkers moderate their intoxication to zero...."

    Enough of this joyless new puritanism!

    Humanity has not struggled through centuries of war and pestilence just so people like you can deny us the simplest pleasures in life - the sun on our face; laughter, silliness & song; fine foods with spice & salt; and, yes, a carafe of glorious red wine!

    By all means, wrap *your* children in cotton wool, but don't be surprised when they resent you for making their lives so boring.

  • Comment number 52.

    There is no problem with sensible drinking at all. All across Europe families will sit down and have a drink with a meal or on its own for the enjoyment of the drinl. They will drink it because of the rich full flavour and feeling of refreshment from the well made wine of beer is truely appreciated. The problem only arrises here, when the adults in question are necking cheap beers or alchopops with the main reason being to get drunk.
    It how it is done is the important thing!

  • Comment number 53.

    Responsible parents should not Drink or Smoke infront of their Kids.
    Alot of kids will want to be just like there dad or mum and do what they do.. which encourages them to take up drinking or smoking sooner than they might .. or might not ever if there parents dont.

    Personally i think Drinking causes more damage to society than someone smoking weed.Drunkens cause damage to Towns and Citys all over the place.
    you dont hear about stoned brawl. more drunken brawls.

    BUT this not make smoking weed in the right. its still bad and should NEVER be done infront of your kids.

  • Comment number 54.

    The Yogi bear song

    ==================

    Yogi Bear
    It's not fair
    Step daddy had too much beer
    And got sick in my hair

    Yogi Bear
    Where are you
    Oh there you are
    Lying in a stoopa

  • Comment number 55.

    "45. At 10:21am on 05 Jul 2010, GUNGHOBUNGADIER wrote:
    This is a historic sad British cultural problem. French parents have been drinking in front of their children for ever. But of course unlike the British, the French do know how to drink alchohol socially and responsibly and to the point, within the family. They also know how to bring up their children properly."

    Which of course explains why France has a higher murder rate per capita than the UK, far more social unrest, greater unemployment etc.

  • Comment number 56.

    First and foremost, people with a drink problem should consider not having children in the first place.

    A parent with a drink problem should try to tackle their problem. They should not take the risk of drinking in front of their children.

    That said, I think parents who can drink moderately, SHOULD drink in front of the children if the context is right. That is, at a relaxed, enjoyable, family occasion. I don't think parents should EVER drink to excess of the drink driving limit in front of or whilst they are responsible for children.

    Parents who drink responsibly in front of their children are teaching the children to drink responsibly when they are older.

  • Comment number 57.

    #53" Personally i think Drinking causes more damage to society than someone smoking weed.Drunkens cause damage to Towns and Citys all over the place.
    you dont hear about stoned brawl. more drunken brawls."

    Agreed. However you never hear about the proceeds of alcohol being used to fund people smuggling and other organised crime do you? The consumption of weed is one thing, the people growing it are a whole different matter. Its worth pointing out that even in Holland were consumption is decriminalised actually producing the stuff is more heavily punished than here.

  • Comment number 58.

    Should adults drink in front of children?

    Almost a third of UK children say they feel scared when they see adults drunk or drinking too much according to a survey.

    The above opening sentence basically ANSWERS the question.

    "drunk or drinking too much " is OBVIOUSLY the ISSUE, NOT just having a moderate drink.

    The issue is that this survey also is supposed to represent 33.3% of children, which is a LARGE NUMBER to experience BAD BEHAVIOUR by parents.

    DRINKING IS NOT THE PROBLEM, THE MAIN PROBLEM IS A LARGE NUMBR OF PEOPLE BEING INABLE TO MODERATE.

    I doubt if 66.6% of adults moderate their use of plastic carrier bags, or recycle or moderate many other things of HIGH importance to our sustainability and existance.

    It is a basic ENDEMIC failure of our species to moderate in ALL things, even religion which so many now are far far beyond moderate beliefs.

    Our species is endemically obnoxious and extravegant beyond inteligent reasoning in so MANY ways/respects, hence alcohol is just ONE SMALL PART OF THE WHOLE and should be LOOKED AT IN the FULL context of humanity and our existance behaviours.

  • Comment number 59.

    Adults who partake of alcohol in a sensible manner set a GOOD example to any children around, and if those unable to control themselves scare children that too is a good thing... said children will realise how stupid the 'binge drinking' habit is and avoid it themselves.

  • Comment number 60.

    As some have already commented , it is probably beneficial for children to see their parents enjoy a glass of wine with food or the odd beer. I think it would help if parents emphasised quality over quantity and could talk intelligently about the beers and wines that they consume. Those who appreciate fine wine are far less likely to enjoy junk food : The two just do not go together ! My love of wine has encouraged me to develop my cooking skills and as a result I serve my son only healthy , freshly prepared food. I also remember how much , as a teenager , I enjoyed going to the pub with my father and having a conversation over a few beers. It probably did a great deal for inter-generational understanding.

    In an ideal world nobody should get drunk in front of their children , but provided they are not violent or aggressive , I don't see that much harm has been done. Children will grow up and make their own choices. It seems that for every child of an alcoholic who grows up to drink too much , there is another who chooses not to drink at all.

  • Comment number 61.

    #57 "Agreed. However you never hear about the proceeds of alcohol being used to fund people smuggling and other organised crime do you? The consumption of weed is one thing, the people growing it are a whole different matter. Its worth pointing out that even in Holland were consumption is decriminalised actually producing the stuff is more heavily punished than here."

    reason u get smuggling and other crimes is because its illegal here.
    if it was legalised like in Holland.. do u think these problems would still exist?
    lets say for instance that was legalised and Drinking was illegal ... am sure the barrels would turn and Alcohol would get smuggled in which would also lead to other organised crimes?

  • Comment number 62.

    I think the biggest issue is not if one should drink in front of children but how one should drink in general. If you drink and get emotional then you should temper yourself in the way you drink. I get scared when I see some adults drink and I am an adult!

    About once a year I drink to excess because I find myself in a situation conducive to that, more by accident than intention and I always regret it, but it reminds me for next time. However I would never think to get 'drunk' at a family occasion because they shouldn't be conducive to that.

    I have always said: Drinking for a reason is a bad thing, drinking just because you can is OK, drinking to get drunk is dangerous for you and everyone else.

    In the Mediterranean regions people manage to drink reasonably at family occasions because they choose to drink carefully in general. The general Kamikaze drinking of the Northern Europeans seems to be the biggest problem.

  • Comment number 63.

    The problem is that Brits treat alcohol as something special, exalted, exciting and rather naughty, which is puerile. Remember the notion that extended drinking hours would turn us into a continental-style 'cafe society'? What no-one understood is that this approach places alcoholic drinks alongside the likes of mineral water, espresso and tea as just one of any number of choices of things you might want to drink. This is how I've brought up my children; the issue never gets as far as drinking in moderation vs. drinking to excess as I've also deployed the attitude to drunkenness that goes with cafe culture, which is that to be obviously drunk isn't just a bit of fun, it's so uncool as to be beneath contempt. Can you see people sitting around a table in their local Wetherspoons drinking iced tea with lemon, though?

  • Comment number 64.

    Lynn from Sussex wrote:
    A sad reflection on British society. Other countries do not appear to have a problem with underage drinking or parents drunk in front of their children.


    I'm guessing you've never been to Finland, Norway, Sweden, Germany, the United States, Russia...

    What's really sad is the number of people who claim that Britain is some God forsaken country where everything is bad, although what's even worse is the constant stream of Temperance movements we seem to have in this country.

  • Comment number 65.

    Drinking in front of children, my wife and I have often discussed this subject - I am a parent, although my son is now 24 - I have to say that I enjoy a good pint - a being one rather than many - or glass of wine as most people do, it isn't so much what you drink, it is the how, how much and how it affects you or the drinker that is the point here.

    There is nothing wrong with having a glass of wine, or a pint of your favourite brew with family and friends round in front of children, it is the common sence approach here that is the important thing, parents are looked up to by their children and therefor set an example for their behaviour generally, sensible drinking is just a part of this setting of an example.

    Personally, I hate to see people drinking excessively until they collapse or end up vomiting over the pavement or where ever. No, I'm not an old grumpy, I was young once and got drunk a couple of times in my early 20's, I was very soon put in my place by my father, who was a good example to me in every sence.

    Children very quickly lose any respect for a family member who is a heavy drinker, gets drunk either in the home or the local, or gets involved in drugs, the slippery slope from where there is little to grasp onto to climb up again.

    But! and here is the rub! The previous government, and no doubt this one, will try to put the price of alchohol up, claiming the 'low' price of alcohol (which is cheaper in most other European countries) is the cause of 'binge drinking', I don't beleive it is, raising the price of achohol is simply not the answer, that will only have the effect of raising crime even further and increasing smuggling alcohol into the country.
    If there is heavier drinking in the UK compared to our European neighbours, the question should be asked - why?
    Families struggling against an ever increasing cost of living with little or no hope of bettering their prospects, not being able to pay some bills because they simply cannot afford it on low incomes, this, and the reducing size of houses and a stamp size garden, cramming more and more people closer together in tighter and tighter housing estates eventually creates a 'Rats in a Trap' scenario, eventually something has to give, it usually ends up as dink, drugs or crime, or a combination of all three.
    I am quite sure that if an in depth survey were to be carried out, this would undoubtedly be at the top of the list.

    Yes, a long way from the area of drinking in front of children I agree, but I also think it is a major contributing factor to heavy drinking and an area to be looked at in detail.

    For those of us who are lucky enough to be able to sit with family and friends with drinks, the common sence approach to sensible drinking in front of children still applies, but spare a thought for those not so lucky through no fault of their own, I am sure we all know of, or know someone in that situation.

  • Comment number 66.

    I would wonder how they define "drunk" or "drinking too much", and whether the issue is attempts to frighten kids off drink. How many are convinced that seeing their parents drink more than the recommended allowance of units occasionally means that their parents are raging alcoholics about to drop dead? And what message does it send to them when their parents are fine despite all the horror stories they have been told?

  • Comment number 67.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 68.

    "The survey comes six months after former Children, Schools and Families Secretary Ed Balls warned parents in England not to under-estimate the "dangerous consequences" of under-age drinking."

    This from the party that in 13 years did NOTHING to kerb supermarkets flogging cheap drink and sucked up to the Portman Group. Shameful and hypocritical.

  • Comment number 69.

    As a child, in the 50's, I would often sit in pub gardens with my parents. It was a pleasant family event then.

    Years of lax, liberal attitudes have produced element within our society that aren't even fit to have children.

  • Comment number 70.

    #61 " reason u get smuggling and other crimes is because its illegal here.
    if it was legalised like in Holland.. do u think these problems would still exist?
    lets say for instance that was legalised and Drinking was illegal ... am sure the barrels would turn and Alcohol would get smuggled in which would also lead to other organised crimes?"

    You totally missed the point of what I said in my first post. The consumption of cannabis in Holland is decriminalised. The production is not. How do you think the Dutch Cafe's get their stocks? They have a worse problem with smuggling than we do and punish it even harder than we do. Worse, dealers rarely deal in one drug either: the cannabis helps support the trade in other nastier drugs (and the Dutch certainly haven't decriminalised Heroin or Crack)

  • Comment number 71.

    Seeing drunk adults has to be a negative expereince; seeing responsible adults drinking responsibly is not traumatic at all.
    A lot depends on the age of the child; when they become responsible enough to see creepy behavior and avoid it, well, it's a lesson well learned.
    How is anyone going to learn about the negative effects of any drug overuse without having some contact with its effects? Otherwise you are just setting up a "forbidden fruit" that is pretty attractive.

  • Comment number 72.

    Surely the best thing for parents and other adults to do is to demonstrate to children what normal healthy drinking behaviour is. That means have a glass of wine or a beer with dinner, drink at parties, toast with champagne at a wedding, by all means get a little giggly and happy, assuming that you do not have to drive, and while you're at it, offer your over-10s a small sip, maybe a much diluted drink. But never ever get stupid, aggressive or uncontrolled in front of children. Show them what healthy drinking is, and they will follow. 30% are scared when adults drink, because those particular adults are not drinking sensibly; nearly half aren't bothered, because most adults can drink sensibly.

  • Comment number 73.

    This appears to be part of a campaign to denormalise drinking in the same way that smoking was. With most of these 'surveys', the questions are constructed to give the answer the surveyors want.

    Britain, according to the ONS, is drinking less now than 5 years ago and is part of a continuing downwards trend. Thus,binge drinking in the future will obviously be less of a problem.

    Lets also not forget that the so called healthy number of units of alcohol that can be consumed in a week was made up and has no evidential basis. The true limit is a factor of 5 higher.

    In France, children are allowed to drink from an early age and they do not have a "binge drinking" culture thus empirical evidence suggests there is NO connection between children drinking and later drinking patterns.

    The problem with drunken behaviour in the city centres is caused by the police refusing to arrest them for being drunk and disorderly. This would appear to be a political decision as people see the problem and, instead of saying why aren't the police doing their job, start thinking that banning alcohol is a good idea.

    What the government needs to do is butt out of running peoples lives for them.

  • Comment number 74.

    The question should be should adults get drunk in front of children?

    If a parent has too much to drink or are drunk in front of their children, then who is taking responsibilty for them.

    We will have a drink in front of our daughter, but it will be a glass. We have a responsiblilty to our daughter and would like her to enjoy alcohol when she is older, but not need to drink to excess.

  • Comment number 75.

    Ban alcohol completely! save the country a fortune and make town centres safer.

  • Comment number 76.

    Living within an alchoholic situation is the most terrifying, distructive enviroment for any child or adult to live within; I and my children have first hand experience of witnessing abuse and irrational behavior from an "out of control man" whom I was married to for 22 years. A home should be a place of safety and example. It has taken many years for myself and children to recover from.

    Unfortunately the Government rakes in a far to vast amount of Tax from alcohol to consider intervention of some sort. What is mostly needed is good EDUCATION and public awareness about the profoundly detructive impact that alcohol can have upon individuals and society as a whole; Not only is it full of toxins it actually contains poisinous qualities, destroys brain cells but it can also and does ruin lives and keeps a nation sedated.

    Alcohol is a powerful substance to be respected and enjoyed in moderation. If you want to get "out of your head drunk" , then ask yourself the question "WHY"? What are you avoiding emotionaly; deal with it without using alcohol to supress it! Stay sane... National EDUCATION and awareness is badly needed both targeting adults and children alike.

  • Comment number 77.

    I think that adults need to be responsible with their drinking and stop blaming alcohol when they become violent, destructive etc. There are too many people who go out to get 'sloshed', rather than just have a good time. People who can't control their drinking should pay for any damage caused and any injuries due to being drunk (this should not be free at the NHS). If they are too stupid to be unable to know when they have drunk beyond their limit, then they are not mature enough to drink.

    I feel sorry for family members coping with alcoholics. I don't see much of a problem with a parent having a can of beer or a glass of wine, but there is a difference between this and being so drunk that a person smashes up the home or beats up relatives. Once again, it is the fault of the person, not the alcohol, and it is the person who needs help and who needs to take responsibility for his/her actions.

  • Comment number 78.

    the last thing i want to see through the bottom of my beer glass are children running around pub lounges and or pub gardens....keep them away

  • Comment number 79.

    #27. At 09:55am on 05 Jul 2010, teedoff wrote:

    "Adults can drink sensibly in front of children and be a positive role model for sensible drinking. Or they can binge and be a negative role model."

    And thus endeth this morning's debate. Simples, sorted, end of, QED and 'nuff said.

  • Comment number 80.

    those who pretend to just have one glass of wine in front of their children are deluded, there are 6 glasses in a bottle...what happens to the rest of it? be honest!

  • Comment number 81.

    starquin10 wrote:

    The problem with drunken behaviour in the city centres is caused by the police refusing to arrest them for being drunk and disorderly. This would appear to be a political decision as people see the problem and, instead of saying why aren't the police doing their job, start thinking that banning alcohol is a good idea.

    What the government needs to do is butt out of running peoples lives for them.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------

    I agree with most of your post (particularly the bit about the government butting out of our lives), but I don't think the police not arresting people for drunk and disorderly is a political decision. Its a logistical one. Have you seen the state of some town/city centres on a fri/sat night. It would be impossible to arrest them all. I doubt the police would have the man power. They need to be concentrating on more serious crime. Unfortunately they'd rather target decent members of the community for doing 33 in a 30mph zone because it brings in revenue.

  • Comment number 82.

    Is it not time to dump the habit of regular scare-stories? It's just another side of the divide-and-rule policy.

  • Comment number 83.

    Do any of the people who write these reports ever go beyond our own shores?
    I have lived on a Greek island for over three years. What I see is that the vast majority of the adult population drink at least some alcohol virtually every day. It is not something special or scary, it's just a normal part of everyday life and the Greek children grow up with that attitude towards alcohol. I can honestly say that in all that time the number of Greeks I have seen drunk can be counted on one hand and the number of violent aggressive drunks is precisely nil (excluding the Brit hoiday makers in their union jack shorts and oh so tasteful tattoos).
    This is nothing to do with drinking per se, it is all about the attitude of the British people which I'm sorry to say is somewhat embarrassing.

  • Comment number 84.

    "Half of the 1,234 10 to 14-year-olds questioned for the study said they had seen their parents drunk"

    Drunk as in 'off their faces' or 'moderately tipsy'?

    Pretty much every day, the BBC leads its news with a 'shock report shows BRITAIN IS CRAP' story.

    Why do they do this? What is the point? And what makes the BBC think it's so superior that its job is to take our money on the pretext of making news programmes, and spend it on telling us how crap we (not the BBC, mind, just us plebs) are.

  • Comment number 85.

    Should adults drink in front of children?

    I take it you mean drink alcohol!

    There's no harm in drinking tea, coffee, water etc. is there?
    Or have the PC brigade gone competely barking?

  • Comment number 86.

    Of course parents shouldnt get drunk in front of their children but there is no harm in a having a few drinks in front of them. My parents were nearly tea total and frankly their lack of alcohol intake meant that I wanted to try it more! Like most folk on here I reckon that the 30% figure reflects the general upbringing that such children face - not just drink but violence in the family etc. Afterall 70% were not scared.

  • Comment number 87.

    the drunken yobbish behaviour we see at weekends will only get worse when the public sector cuts start to bite, no cops to control the drunks, nevermind the view from the eyes of children, i cant stand to see young women staggering around city centres completly out of control, urinating and trying to act all ladettish...it really doesnt look good and boy will they have problems in 20 years or so time...mark my words

  • Comment number 88.

    Adults should set a good example of sensible and pleasurable social drinking.
    They should demonstrate attitudes of responsibility, and show they respect the law on drinking, drugs and driving.

  • Comment number 89.

    i dont have kids, and dont want any...i suspect this is just a ploy to limit what i can do on a night out- just as the smoking ban was.
    I suppose the secret would be to get the kid so paralytic first they dont remember mummy belting out meatloafs greatest hits while dancing on the telly... (joke)

  • Comment number 90.

    Yes, in moderation. This is the only way to instil sensible drinking habits.

    Drinking too much in front of the children is obviously a bad idea, but so is not drinking at all. Since everyone - including children - knows that, in reality, everyone drinks, not being seen drinking makes parents look a bit silly, and also dishonest. Unless, of course, the parents really do not drink - but we're not talking about that.

  • Comment number 91.

    Strange how our European partners manage to have culture's where alcohol is regularly used -especially with meals- in front of children,& yet the binge drinking problems the UK experiences just aren't present to to anything like the the same degree over there,if at all??

    What we've got here is a "symptom" of a deeper rooted, underlying societal malady,& until we address the causes of it, nothing will change,as with all other diseases.











  • Comment number 92.

    The usual HYS non-question which always pitches right wing versus left wing!
    Perhaps the BBC ought to examine it's own output and determine whether telling everyone they are miserable - does actually make them miserable?
    The sooner the media in this country actually report facts and not suppostions, assumptions and rumour, we might start to live in a happier place that may counteract some of the negative behaviour that we see from an element of society. It's always about finding someone to blame for everything. Move on...

  • Comment number 93.

    Parents should know that looking drunk in front of their children is not right. The problem is that too many parents nowadays don't know what is right or wrong.

    Perhaps there should be some mandatory parenting classes for people with young children, just like there are classes for people that are about to have a baby.

  • Comment number 94.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 95.

    "80. At 11:26am on 05 Jul 2010, dwangeddy wrote:
    those who pretend to just have one glass of wine in front of their children are deluded, there are 6 glasses in a bottle...what happens to the rest of it? be honest!"

    Thats a spectacularly offensive statement. I suspect many people do what I do- stick the cork back in the bottle and finish it the next day, or use it in a pasta sauce. You can even freeze the stuff in an ice cube trays for cooking with.

    Just because the bottle is open doesn't automatically mean you drain it. In any case so what if you do? The much over-praised french order the stuff by the carafe at the table, not per glass.

  • Comment number 96.

    Another ludicrous money wasting survey.

    Other continental countries are much more open about alcohol, introducing their children to a glass of wine at an earlier age in a family environment. They don't sneak off for a drink out of sight of the kids.

    The collapse of society has little to do with alcohol - this is just a symptom. It's about a complete lack of parental respect and, in the case of drunken parents, the misery of living in this vindictive society which drives adults to the bottle.

  • Comment number 97.

    This is just propaganda from those with a chip on their shoulder about drink, or more accurately, those with a chip on their shoulder about anyone who does not conform to their view (which is of course the only possible view) of life.
    Exactly the same process is used against smokers, though now they know the rules of the game the anti drink few have accelerated it. Stand by for more and more of these "reports", and the pathetic "journalists" who play along with it (presumably for career purposes), rather than asking the real questions - who funds the "reports", and who stands to gain from them (including ego's), and are they in any way scientific.



  • Comment number 98.

    "51. At 10:28am on 05 Jul 2010, NorseRaider wrote:
    Enough of this joyless new puritanism!

    Humanity has not struggled through centuries of war and pestilence just so people like you can deny us the simplest pleasures in life - the sun on our face; laughter, silliness & song; fine foods with spice & salt; and, yes, a carafe of glorious red wine!

    By all means, wrap *your* children in cotton wool, but don't be surprised when they resent you for making their lives so boring."
    ____________________________

    The interesting thing about this is that you can have it all (and more) without alcohol. All the laughter, silliness, food etc. is appreciated MORE with a clear head, than with an intoxicated head. It actually adds to the stresses of life being intoxicated, and detracts from the enjoyment (oh, the irony).

    As for wrapping my children up, it is because I am not intoxicated that I can judge risk better, appreciate greater consistency of parental approach and therefore my children understand risks better, and also how to have more REAL fun (as opposed to that artificially created stuff that intoxication produces). Because I am more consistent at parenting my children I have more physical and mental energy to allow my children to go to bed when they want (usually between 10.30 - 11pm), to entertain them if they need it, to have no rules around TV and diet (i.e. they have unfettered access to food and drink, without us having to moderate behaviour or to even teach them anything) - they, at 12 and 10 years old have more fun than their peers purely because they have the freedon to destroy their lives .... yet choose not to.

    In fact - I would say they have a chilled life where I am not showing them the woes I have, and therefore never pass on my angst to them. Humanity continues to stuggle for the very reason people drink and pass on the struggle. Don't drink = no need to pass on the struggle

  • Comment number 99.

    Let me see - a fixed-penalty charge of £60 for starters? Fish in a barrel.

  • Comment number 100.

    We have just had the prime example why drinking should be regulated a LOT more in this country, not just in front of kids....the World Cup, lots of drunken yobs leaving debris behind them, little men become "lions" with one sniff of the barmaids apron and of a sudden start roaring aggressively and needlessly.

    Alcohol is a problem that definately needs addressing

 

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