Friday, May 11, 2007

Drinking at home good for children

Last month Alcohol concern issued a press release saying how underage drinking was on the rise, and went further calling for parents who give under 15's alcohol to be prosecuted.

This at the time seemed to me to be illiberal badly though out nonsense. If you look at a lot of European countries their children learn to drink responsibly at home, normally at the dinner table. Binge drinking in those cultures is not a big problem.

A lot of politicians asked about the proposal thought it was rubbish too. Good.

However Liverpool John Moore's University has just carried out a study, one of the findings of which was that drinking at home with parents tends to lead to more rather than less responsible drinking whilst drinking behind the bushes in the park leads to more irresponsible drinking. I can't say I am surprised. Dealing with underage drinking by becoming more authoritarian seems doomed to failure.

The BBC has this.


Stonch said...

Agree 100%.

As you say, in those European counties WITHOUT binge drink problems (i.e. France, Italy, Spain) children are often given alcohol as children.

In those countries, moderate consumption of alcohol is seen as an indispensable part of the dining experience, of life.

In Britain (and more so in Scandinavia and the US) alcohol is seen as a drug, and government intervention plays up to that.

Stonch said...

ps. says the man lugging the 40 pint barrel of beer. Binge drink? Not me, sir.

Benedict White said...

Many thanks Stonch!

I notice the barrel is half full. Long lunch :)

ChrisD said...

Introducing your kids to alcohol in a responsible way while removing the taboo and myth that makes kids want to drink it behind the bushes as a sign of rebellion has worked very successfully with many friends and family that I know.

Benedict White said...

ChrisD, it is surprising how common sense works isn't it?