London: Bad parenting makes children more than eight times likelier to drink excessively as young adults, and over twice as likely to binge drink when they are 34, a new study has suggested.
Independent think tank Demos studied data based on more than 30,000 children born in the UK in the last 40 years.
It found that a “tough love” style of parenting was the best way to ensure children drank more responsibly when they were aged between 16 and 34.
The research also suggests that being too authoritarian with children could be as ineffectual as being too casual.
Researchers found that the best approach was for parents to be warm and affectionate until the age of 10 and then combine this with more discipline. Then at ages 15 to 16 there should be more supervision.
It found high levels of parental attachment when children were aged under five significantly reduced the chances of them drinking excessively later in life.
Demos’ study says parents should discuss alcohol with their children and set firm boundaries on drinking, avoid being drunk around them and actively ensure they develop sensible expectations of consumption.
It says ensuring teenagers do not have easy access to alcohol at home and monitoring drinking in the home environment is another important element of a tough love approach.
Report author Jamie Bartlett said the impact of parenting on children`s future drinking “cannot be ignored”.
“This is good for parents: those difficult moments of enforcing tough rules really do make a difference, even if it doesn``t always feel like that at the time,” the BBC quoted him as saying.