Monday 18 December 2017

Our distressed teens are pointing to an uncomfortable truth

Many children who feel they have a right to binge drink may be victims of their parents' conduct, says Emer O'Kelly

We've all heard it, even said it: "Do as I say, not as I do." But it got a whole new meaning during last week, when the results of a survey of nearly 10,000 12- to 18-year-olds by the National Children's Consultation service (on behalf of the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children) came up with some stark, not to say gob-smackingly unreasonable and judgemental results.

The majority of adults would admit that it's a fairly rotten idea to allow yourself to be seen by your children in a visibly intoxicated state. Not surprisingly, according to the survey, their children agree. Nearly 80 per cent of the youngsters surveyed said that it was unacceptable for parents to drink alcohol and become drunk in front of their children.

On the other side, the majority of parents would also be inclined to say that it's fairly unacceptable for their teenage children to become drunk in front of their parents ... or at all. But the teenagers do not agree with that one. One-third of the teenagers surveyed considered it perfectly alright for teenagers to drink with the declared purpose of getting drunk.

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