Parenting Teens – Parents are adopting more open attitude to alcohol, drugs and sex.

A third of UK parents see drugs as an inevitable part of growing up and most allow children to drink at home from 13, a study says.

British parents are increasingly relaxed about their children drinking alcohol from as young as 10 years old, taking drugs and having sex, according to research released today.

One third of parents, rising to half of those in London, said they were happy for their children to experiment with cannabis. A similar proportion admitted they were relaxed about all drug-taking, regarding it as an inevitable part of growing up.

“Sex, alcohol and even drugs are no longer no-go areas for children as far as parents are concerned,” said Frank Furred, professor of sociology at the University of Kent. “The old-fashioned parent is fast becoming a cultural minority as mums and dads do their best to give their kids the freedoms they did not have. Families have become surprisingly open-minded about allowing their children to experiment and find their own way in life.”

“Parents understand that society has changed and that it is not the end of the world if their teenager experiments with alcohol or has sex,” he added.

I have to say I read this with mixed feelings; part of me is very happy that we have moved away from the traditional old style of parenting and part of me thinks we must take the threat of alcohol, cigarettes and drugs seriously and not make it OK for children to do these things.

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