46% of children aged 10 to 14 have seen at least one of their parents intoxicated and 29% had seen it more than once, according to Drinkaware. The industry funded charity is launching a national campaign to raise awareness of the issues around children and alcohol, encouraging parents to talk to their children and to be aware of their influence.
Drinkaware commissioned an ICM survey of 1,000 parents and their children aged 10-14 and says parents may often be giving mixed messages. They state what children see and are told are both influential in shaping their understanding of ‘normal’ or acceptable drinking behaviour - and the odds of a teenager getting drunk double if they have seen their parents drunk.
Alcohol Concern however have been campaigning for tougher regulation on alcohol advertising and report that children and young people in the UK aged 10-15 years are exposed to significantly more alcohol adverts than before. A report by Alcohol Concern Cymru says children are often able to access alcohol via home delivery services.
Last year the think-tank Demos produced a follow up report further emphasising the influence of parenting style on children’s drinking as teenagers and later in life. Mentor UK urges parents to think about alcohol, access, attitudes. A 2012 4Children report warned many middle-class parents are drinking excessively as a way of coping with the demands of family life. A Joseph Rowntree Foundation report Young People, Alcohol and Influences took a broader look at influences on young people's drinking.
Further reports and guidance related to children and young people can be found here on the Alcohol Learning Centre, including the CMO guidance which says an alcohol free childhood is best. Last year two reports called for the protection of children from alcohol harm. See all Alcohol Policy UK young people tagged reports.