A survey by IPSOS found teenage drinking to be common in single parent households. This went on to outline a fact; the consumption of alcohol is slowly becoming inevitable young people’s lives. The rates at which teenagers are drinking are becoming alarming; the rates themselves are alarming, but the fact that young people drink is nowhere near alarming. We have often seen or heard cases of drunken teenagers from the news, and some of us may also have partaken in our fair share of underage drinking. Therefore it is a well-known fact.
However, what is disputable is the causes that people give. The most underlined by experts is the case of single parenthood; especially families raised by a single mother.
What are the effects of growing up under a single mother? Well, for one, growing up without a constant father figure can be detrimental for the growth and development of boys. With nobody to teach them how to be men, their ability to mature into admirable male figures is left in the hands of society, and their mothers. Sometimes the mums succeed in making men out of their sons, sometimes they fail. The same goes for girls; it’s obvious that the need fathers are very important girls’ lives; the unconditional love of a father to a daughter, and his constant reassurance of her being a queen in his eyes, is important for her growth and self-esteem.
Having said all that, look at the attributes that children from single parent families lack; could they possibly lead to them drinking from an early age?
The answer to that is yes, but my yes is an unconditional yes. It does not depend on them lacking the love of a parent, and it does not depend on them lacking those attributes either. Alcohol abuse happens for a various number of reasons, and it does not depend on certain family conditions. Hell, sometimes one doesn’t need a reason to abuse the use of alcohol; sometimes it just gives a good feeling.
Therefore, I feel that it is unfair to pin this on single parenthood. It is unfair on the parents who have done all they can to raise that child; hearing such a fact would definitely break their hearts, especially if they find out that their teenager child is drinking.
Teenagers may very well drink despite being raised in a loving family environment; their fathers may even accelerate it. How are children expected to react when their parents show that it is normal for children to see them drinking alcohol? What about peer pressure? Is it not a factor?
Needless to say, I feel like the ‘single parenthood’ factor should be crossed off the list of possible causes.
What do you guys think? Share your views below.