My place of business hosts drunk driving “classes”. Each class holds between ten and fifteen people. Just counting now until March, we are running 3 classes a day, 2 days a week. Now my ‘rithmatic isn’t that fabulous, but that checks out to at least 360 people if I plugged the numbers into my adding machine correctly. Uhmmm…Now that’s like one person every day for a year. But in 6 weeks. And we run these classes all year round.
The state of Wisconsin has the number one ranking for binge drinking, and has been rated the worst overall for DUI fatalities. You see them all over the papers here, and the town I am in has a population of only 65,000.
Living in a culture that condones this kind of behavior, it scares me for the kids. Is the state of Wisconsin raising a bunch of little drunks? Mmmm…Yeah I see how that sounds, let me step back a moment…
I do NOT think that people who drink are bad. An adult who responsibly has a couple beers when he/she would like one, goes to birthdays and sees bands in the bar and gets a little tipsy, I’m OK with that. It’s the drinking in the bars 3, 4 times a week. Spending ridiculous amounts of money/drinking ridiculous amounts of liquor, that’s a different thing entirely. So, yeah.
I’d say almost half of the people I know drink more than once a week. They also spend more than $20 bucks at a time. Closer to $50. *side note, my kids don’t know these people!!* So do their parents. Their siblings. All of their friends. And a lot of it gets hidden in words….”I socially drink”, or “I only drink at parties”. But when the partying and socializing goes on 4 times a week (it’s a college town)…
When the kids are younger, 9 and 10 years old, you don’t really think to talk much on it. But you should. Especially if you live here. Their friends’ parents may be functioning drunks, or their teacher (yup. teacher. We had one.).
When talking to your kids, you have to realize they may know someone like this. When you point stuff out, they’ll begin to see it. So use tact, and do not allow your grown up opinions obscure the facts of the matter; “..it’s not ok behavior in our house. We feel that….etc. etc. etc.” Don’t tell them people who drink are bad or you’ll eventually end up with “My mom thinks your dad is bad because he drinks”. And not all people that abuse alcohol are bad. There are just WAY TOO MANY bad consequences. And it’s not a habit to develop.
How do you talk to your kids about alcohol and other drug abuse? Is it a big issue where you live?