Editorial: children playing

PHOTO: Urmas Nemvalts

Some two dozen minors got caught in a Rapla County birthday party by police, drunk. Turned out afterwards, drugs were involved. As one developed alcohol poisoning, they hauled her to the highway side so arrival of ambulance would not spoil the fun. The kids were taken to police station to be fetched by parents. 

While the worst was avoided, the picture is bad and serves to illustrate the Estonian juvenile alcohol problem underlined by various studies.

For a growing a developing organism, alcohol has an altogether other effect than on adults wherefore age limits have been set on sales.  Primarily it’s the brain that suffers, then leading to psychic disorders and the like.

Unavoidably, while the kids are still at home raised by the parents, the latter bear the bulk of responsibility as establishing the initial standards and attitudes. As the Britons put it: «Do not raise the kids, as they will turn up just like you. Better raise yourselves.»

There was this experiment psychologists arranged in a kindergarten in the2000ies where children aged five were asked to play a party day. The kids sat down and begun to «toast» glasses of water. What’s bad about kids just playing, some may ask. But they do mainly imitate the adults when playing... What happened in Rapla County was no longer just kids playing, but one way or another they were imitating the big people. Just the content of the glasses was no longer water.

And so the parents do directly stand as examples. Some pour them a little with own hand, on birthday. Thereby bringing down the psychological barrier. While the reasons young people deink may vary – such as peer pressure or parents being alcoholics etc – the main reason is scarce attention paid by parents and other adults to what they are doing.

Then, at one point, it’s no game anymore.


Cartoon: If you think to be like me someday, son, I'll spank you!