Alcohol: The New Parents of Our Children

drunks5Let’s be drunk. Let’s be as shitfaced as possible and go out to get hammered publicly. Let’s show the world what we’re doing. Let’s show our inability to walk, and our slurred speech to the point where we won’t even remember this tomorrow. But wait, what about the kids?

It seems that this day in age, alcohol’s widespread abuse is almost overlooked. People see others abuse it and laugh about the effects it’s having when the situation should be completely serious in all of its danger. People lose all rational thinking and motor skills when drunk, so why is it that I see people encourage it when someone is clearly intoxicated? Why is it that people don’t seem to take alcohol use seriously when it comes to someone using it regularly? This is how I’ve observed drinking in our culture, but what’s scarier is the effect it can have on people with regards to their loved ones.

Alcohol’s main effects occur with shutting down parts of the brain temporarily. It’s no myth that alcohol has a direct correlation with misjudgment, violence, and hostility when it comes to use. Even by oneself, that’s a dangerous situation. What happens when you stick other people into the equation?

Obviously, parenting affects a large portion of a child’s mindset throughout his or her childhood. However, parenting has long term effects as well. Look at any large criminal from any nearby time period: Charles Manson, Lee Harvey Oswald, and Jim Jones. Typically, they have had bad parental supervision or attitude coaching from said parents. But these three characters, all parts of influential American History, have one thing in common. All three of them have had terrible, manipulative parents, however, two had alcoholic parents. Now, this won’t mean your child will become a criminal, but it shows the effect alcohol can have on your child.

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Here, a man named Larry Hagner speaks on his drinking habits and his childhood. He mentions his absence of a father for short periods of time and the alcoholic nature of his stepfather. His stepfather was supposedly a great guy except for when he wasn’t sober. He mentions how devastating and toxic it was to grow up with a father who was a drinker. But even Hagner isn’t perfect, for he has his fatherly tendencies in relation to his drinking. His final belief is that he didn’t want to pass on these habits or beliefs to his kids, so he completely sobered up. He has now developed a group called The Good Dad Project and looks to be the best man he can be for his children. For more information about his collective, see The Good Dad Project page.

In a recent tweet, Member of the Canadian Parliament, Seamus O’Regan, mentioned he would cut his drinking habits in order to better his career. He did this for his family, Canadians, and himself.

There’s a correlation here. Parents already have influence on their children, however a parent’s drinking habits also influence the children’s drinking habits and perception of alcohol. For example, should a parent encourage the use or the effects of alcohol, the children will think it’s okay. The parents’ stance on alcohol ultimately bases the children’s usage of it. In the study, Heavy Episodic Drinking and Alcohol-Related Consequences: Sex-Specific Differences in Parental Influences Among Ninth-Grade Studentsstudents were asked to consume alcohol on the basis of knowing how strongly the parents felt about it and the resulting reprimands. In high monitoring cases, the alcoholic consumption was extremely low as compared to that of the low monitoring.

In another study, Parent’s alcoholism severity and family topic avoidance about alcohol as predictors of perceived stigma among adult children of alcoholics: Implications for emotional and psychological resilienceit was determined that based on the parent’s implications or avoidance of alcohol in accordance with the severity, the children’s habits or stipulations could be easily predicted.

So where’s the underlying thing here? I mentioned two individuals above who completely cut alcohol out of their lives. Both have seen benefits in their familial relationships and in their work lives. Alcohol can and will ruin how a person lives their life very quickly. It’s important to moderate and not encourage it. Especially to our children. Our children are the future for culture and for society. A terrible upbringing with relation to even moderate or severe drinking habits can negatively affect their futures. This would affect not only their alcohol habits but their morals and lifestyles. The most immediate result of teaching them such would be better alcohol habits with little to no use and a culture that encourages light usage. Alcohol isn’t unhealthy, a dependence on such is. But the culture, as I see it right now, encourages binge drinking way too much. We need to be the change for our children’s sake. Why raise them to rely completely on it? You wouldn’t want your kids raised that way.

For an adaptation see here: Alcohol: The New Parents of Our Children

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