A kids’ helpline in the UK has revealed children as young as five have been calling and asking for bedtime stories because their parents were too drunk.
In one case, a seven-year-old girl was hiding from her drunk parents under bed and called to ask for a story about her imaginary friend, according to Sky News. She called on Christmas Day.
Sky reported that Disney, Horrid Henry and Roald Dahl stories were the top requests.
The UK's National Association for Children of Alcoholics say there are 920,000 youths and children who live in a home with one or both parents battling alcohol. That's about the population of Fiji.
Across the globe in Australia, Kids Helpline have contact with around 6000 young people each week.
"Young people contact Kids Helpline for all sorts of reasons," Kids Helpline counselling centre supervisor, Belinda Beaumont, told Mamamia.
"It could be for a chat when they are lonely, to get help with homework, or it could be for more concerning issues such as mental health or concerns about child abuse."
Just less than one in five youths that contact Kids Helpline talk about issues over family relationships but organisers say no problem is too big or too small.
"Kids Helpline was contacted by a 12-year-old girl who witnesses parents drinking each night and at times becoming violent when intoxicated," said Ms Beaumont.
"Given she had such negative associations with seeing the people she loved in her life drinking alcohol, she was wanting to know why people drink alcohol."
The tween was supported by a counsellor who listened to her experiences and made risk assessments to make sure the child was safe.
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