Punish parents who let children drink to excess

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I’VE heard stories of bad parenting before.

Stories of when they have hit their children, tortured them and made their lives miserable. Or simply they just haven’t cared and left their child to be horribly isolated.

So at first when I read the story about the ‘mum’ who was caught in the street arguing with her son about a can of beer and a bottle of vodka I didn’t know what to think.

Was she denying his rights to enjoy a drink on a crisp, winter’s afternoon? No, because what I failed to mention was he was just 11.

I confess I had my first taste of alcohol at a young age but it wasn’t sneaky, I didn’t steal it from my parents’ fridge.

I was given a bottle of beer one New Year’s Eve and I can tell you it was years away from 11.

I didn’t like it at first and it took me a while to finish, so by the time I came round to the idea of alcohol I was old enough to appreciate it and drink it a little bit more responsibly.

Statistics showed that half of 15-year-olds had been drunk at least twice, a figure which is almost double the average of 29 per cent experienced by other developed countries.

But what is the solution? The first shocking case mentioned erlier of the woman, who had bought her son alcohol and then argued with him when he wouldn’t shar it with her, saw her son taken into care.

But is that enough? If you’re irresponsible enough to allow a minor that young to be drinking alcohol to an extent where they are wandering blind drunk into the road you should be going to jail.

Parents should be far more responsible with their children. Seriously, how could you show your face in public if you, and your 11-year-old were drunk?

Maybe that is the answer for people who are caught buying alcohol for minors. The punishment should carry a much larger sentence.

I will never buy alcohol or cigarettes for underage children as I don’t want to be responsible for any mishaps that might occur after they have consumed it.

If I get into a state because of alcohol then so be it. I am old enough to deal with the consequences and should be in a position to know my limits. Children don’t.

I was lucky to be raised by parents who know the difference between acceptable and unacceptable behaviour. Even now they still worry when I go on a night out and I appreciate that.

They’re just a little less sympathetic now with the inevitable hangover.

The point is if you drink at an early age you’ll build up an immunity to alcohol by the age of 13.

The only thing you should be building up at that age is a collection of friends.