When is wine o`clock too early for parents?


Viewed from one angle, parenthood can feel like a long series of mis-steps, self-reproach and faltering recovery; my own parenting motto is “fail again, fail better”, which gives you some idea of how much fun it is in my house. The new 4Children report considering British parents’ drinking habits lands squarely in this tender spot of parental guilt, asserting that a significant (although unspecified) proportion of us have a more problematic relationship with alcohol than we are prepared to acknowledge.

Teetotallers and recovering alcoholics aside, I suspect that few parents make it through the toddler (or teenage) years without making a brittle joke about wine o’clock while scrabbling for the fridge; but so long as our intake remains within squinting distance of the guidelines, we tend not to think too deeply about whether our drinking is having a serious impact on our parenting. Those who find themselves not merely opening, but actually finishing bottles on a daily basis may creep closer to a queasy state of concern.


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