I’ll Drink to That!

Guess what? I have been reading again. The woman who shared her views in an article I found interesting caused me to wonder what other families do in her situation.

The subject has to do with alcohol consumption. You see, this woman was raised in a household where the parents had cocktails every day before dinner. Of course the time “before dinner” got progressively longer and the kids had to deal with drunk parents most of the time. The little sister of the writer started stealing sips out of every drink she could at a young age and was an alcoholic before leaving high school.

I found it interesting that she never discouraged her own children from drinking. What she did was to let them decide if they wanted to drink and taught them that alcohol was a beverage used to enhance a good time – not a drug to be abused. She went so far as to buy wine or beer for her children instead of making it taboo and having them find some unscrupulous adult to purchase alcohol for them. Only her kids were allowed to consume the alcohol she purchased for them, not their friends, and only in moderation.

My parents approach to teaching me about alcohol was similar to what this woman did. She has three very successful children and none of them have problems related to alcohol consumption. I have 10 siblings and none of our various hardships has to do with alcohol consumption.

It just makes sense to me that a parent would want to teach their child about something so potentially dangerous that is legal for any adult to purchase and can be acquired with little to no effort no matter the age. But, every fall semester the stories of alcohol poising, drunk driving accidents, arrests for underage drinking or public intoxication make the headlines. Many disbelieving parents who discover that their child was involved are heard to say things like, “we told him never to drink”, “we never let her near alcohol.” And that is why they didn’t know how to handle themselves when the time came to make a decision about what to do.

Every holiday celebration at my house had adults drinking beer and whatever hard liquor someone decided they wanted to share. I had never finished a whole beer when I got to college. It didn’t taste good and hard liquor may as well have been poison. It sure tasted like it. I learned to drink with my college buddies to keep from feeling left out. I also made sure that they got home on more than one occasion. It was obvious which ones knew nothing about alcohol and what it could do. Don’t let that be your child. Tell them what you think. Ask them what they think. And, the most important part of all – listen closely to what they have to say.

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