In the last couple of days I’ve learnt something that shocked me. Did you know that it is illegal to give a child under the age of five alcohol, however it is completely legal for a parent to give their child over the age of five alcohol in their own home.
If I’m honest this is staggering. The fact that parents can teach their children drinking habits from the age of just five years old is just wrong. Surely this is a world gone mad! It’s where supposedly liberal parents see it fit to give children a substance such as alcohol that could ultimately affect their growth and development.
In the past I have written about how I grew up in a household fuelled by alcohol, and I truly believe the influence of seeing this as a child impacted on me having issues with alcohol as an adult. It was normal to me that alcohol was ok, and the truth is, it is not normal or ok. So why would any normal thinking parent think that it’s ok to allow their five year old child to try alcohol and then wrap it up and say it’s ok, it’s Christmas, it’s allowed! These sort of parents are delusional!
I would like to make it clear even though I am tea-total and don’t drink any alcohol, I am not anti-drinking. It is entirely up to the individual to make the choice that they have an alcoholic drink and I would certainly not judge anybody for making that decision, but giving young children a drink so they can try it? No, that’s a step too far in my opinion.
Alcohol is a depressant. It’s also addictive and one of the biggest killers in the UK today. Alcohol can change your perception of what is real and what is not. Binge drinking is also a massive problem in the UK. Many people don’t have a limit and end up drinking to the point where they are incapable of making any sort of sensible decision. Introducing children to alcohol at such tender ages is in my opinion irresponsible and bordering child abuse.
If you were a smoker would you offer your child a cigarette at 5 years old? The chances are most people would answer no to that, yet alcohol can be just as damaging to your health, and the fact that alcohol is a depressant, introducing it to children so young could easily lead to mental health issues later in life.
I believe we as a society need to become a little less liberal in our attitudes and not introduce our children to things that quite honestly can be harmful to their health. I am not saying we go back 50 years in our attitudes of children should be seen and not heard, but we still have a responsibility to protect them and at the same time educate our children which can still be done in a responsible manner without letting them drink alcohol just because they ask what it is and can they try it. No, you can’t try it and here are the reasons why. Let’s not just cave into our children because it makes life easier.
This was a discussion on Great Morning Britain the other morning and one mother said she gave her eight year old child alcohol on Christmas day. I found this very difficult to understand. Why would you give a child alcohol? What is to be achieved by that? I could never see myself giving my six year old twins alcohol at Christmas dinner or any other time for that matter. It’s absolutely ridiculous behaviour, and sending out all the wrong messages to our children. Her argument was to introduce it now because by the time they are teenagers they will think oh, I have done that, it’s boring now, but on the flip side by the time they are 14 they could be alcohol dependent. That’s not a chance I’d be willing to take with my children’s welfare.
I would love hear your thoughts on this subject. Would you let your eight year old child drink alcohol?