Research done by Churchill home insurance has shown that 34 percent of U.K. parents bribe their children with alcohol to “encourage good behavior.”
The same number of parents said they see nothing wrong with allowing their children to drink at home so they can monitor them, The Guardian reported Thursday. The study also found that half of the 1,000 parent surveyed allow their children to drink at home.
Despite a report from the U.K. Chief Medical Officer that says alcohol use in young kids can lead to increased rates of suicide attempts, violence and alcohol-related injuries, the U.K. allows for kids from ages five to 16 to drink at home.
Some see early introduction to alcohol as a means to teach kids about responsible drinking, much the same some American parents introduce their kids to guns at a young age.
“Parents are really important role models for their children,”Joanna Simons, chief executive at Alcohol Concern, told The Guardian. “[A]nd the more that they can keep an eye on the number of units they’re drinking, and have a few days off drinking each week, the more that their children’s attitude to alcohol will be shaped in a safer way.”
However, while Simons understands the rationale behind the parents introducing their children to alcohol at a young age, she cautions it could lead to problems later in life.
“[A]ll the research indicates that the younger that children start drinking, the more likely they are to have problems with alcohol in later life,” Simons told The Guardian.
The Health and Social Care Information Centre puts the rate of alcohol dependence among adults in the U.K. at 5.9 percent.
For reference, Addiction Center says the rate of alcoholism in the U.S. is roughly 16 percent, as of 2011.
Unlike America where the drinking age is 21, the legal drinking age in the U.K. is 18.
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