You probably remember some of the scariest moments from your childhood, when you were small and the world around you seemed larger than life. We were afraid of the dark, the shadows in the corner of the room, the monster in the closet and a who can forget screeching at the site of a snake slithering toward you in the grass?
Kids scare easily because the world is an uncertain place, so when they see their parents in an altered state, from say–drinking–for instance, it can be incredibly difficult for them to deal with.
A recent survey conducted in Great Britain by BBC Newsround’s Childwise included just over 1,400 kids between ages 10 and 14 years. Out of the children surveyed, more than 30% admitted to feeling frightened when their parents drank, and eight out of ten admitted their parents exhibited strange behavior while drunk.
One of the ironic things was that despite their fear, many of the children believed their parents’ drinking was just part of a fun night out. Experts believe this might negatively influence kids and possibly lead to future problems with binge drinking. A shocking 60% of the kids said they would drink when they became adults, with only 17% of them noting they would only drink in moderation.
It never ceases to amaze me how shocked we are when we discover the impact and influence our behavior has on our kids. After all, we are their number one role models, so why wouldn’t they think the way we behave is appropriate, even when we behave inappropriately?