Too many middle-class parents are drinking excessively as a way of coping with the demands of family life, a report suggests. The study, carried out by charity 4Children, warns of a "silent epidemic" of alcohol misuse in British families. The study claims parenting capacity can be hampered by habitual drinking. The report, “Over the Limit: The Truth about Families and Alcohol”, suggested about a third of mothers and fathers drink more than their recommended units a week, but just under two-thirds (62%) of the British parents questioned as part of the report said that their drinking behaviour had no impact on their family life, and one in five (19%) believed their alcohol consumption had a positive effect on their ability to parent.
The report said the households most likely to drink were the wealthiest - with almost four times as many families in the top earning groups drinking every day compared to the poorest. The arrival of children seems to have led more parents to drink more, with one in six increasing consumption after the birth of a baby. "Although we suppose the majority of these parents will not be collapsing drunk on the streets, we found the impact on children can still be significant," the report said and added: "Parenting capacity can be adversely affected, and quality interactions with the youngest children disrupted, by parents who merely drink socially.
The unpredictability of the behaviour of an intoxicated parent seems to have a significant effect on children's development.” 4Children chief executive Anne Longfield called for a rethink on Britain's relationship with alcohol. She said: "What to many parents feels like low level consumption still has the ability to negatively impact on their parenting. Drinking can seriously distort people‟s judgement and the way they engage with their children. Even simple factors, such as the increased likelihood for accidents, are something that parents need to be aware of. “
Read the text and the instructions to the questions very carefully. Answer all the questions in English.
1. Write a summary of the text in English, including the most important points, using your own words whenever possible.
(Maximum 50 words)
2. Find words or phrases in the text that correspond in meaning to the following
a) made difficult: hamperedb) noticeable, meaningful: significantc) interact with: engage withd) probability: likelihood
3. Complete the second sentence of each pair so that it has the same meaning as the first one.
a) They said that their drinking behaviour had no impact on their family life.b) The arrival of children seems to have led more parents to drink more.c) The unpredictability of the behaviour of an intoxicated parent has a serious effect on children's development.
- Children’s development is seriously affected by the unpredictability of the behaviour of an intoxicated parent.d) Drinking too much can seriously distort people‟s judgement.
4. Answer the following questions in your own words
a) How can drinking alcohol influence family life?Drinking can affect family life because it can distort parents‟ judgement, causing unpredictability in the way they treat their children, and also it can make it easier for accidents to happen.b) What factors make parents drink more?
WRITING5. What other things make it difficult to live with other members of the family, apart from alcohol?
(Approximately 120 words).
I think there are a lot of things that make it difficult to live with other members of the family. To begin with, I have two brothers and one sister, and I find it very difficult to live with them. My sister is always borrowing my clothes, and she never washes them after she has used them, but just throws them on the floor of her room. That means that when I want to wear them I can‟t find them, or if I do, they are always smelly and dirty. My brothers are noisy and they are always pushing me around. They are lazy, and they never do things to help my mum, like laying the table, or washing up, and this means that my sister and I always have to do it, or my mother gets angry. In short, brothers and sisters make life very difficult.