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Nov 22, 2013 08:01 AM

Do you moderate your drinking around your family?

Do you feel like you need to moderate your drinking when you are around your family, specifically during the holidays? I enjoy a few drinks on the weekends and occasionally with dinner during the week. If out with a friend we will probably share a bottle of wine. When I am with my family (4 of us total), they would never imagine drinking more than one bottle of wine for all of us. If I go for an after dinner cocktail I am immediately judged. Little do they know I am having many more drinks when catching up with friends later that night. Do you adjust your ways in the presence of your family or just do your thing and let the judgement rage?

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  1. This is a topic I find fascinating. My personal habits over this have changed many times since I was legal age to imbibe. When I was young having a beer, cocktail or wine with dinner was part right of passage and part pushing the limits. Somewhere in my young adult life I decided quality of what I was drinking was more enjoyable then quantity. I took time to understand a bit about what I was buying before consuming it. When I became a parent, I didn't hide the alcohol, we talked about it with our kids. We talked about our wild times and we talked about losing control by drinking too much. By the time our kids were buying their own drinks, we felt confident they would make good choices about overdoing. Well...they learned their own right vs wrong anyway. All of this to say, I didn't adjust in front of my parents and my kids didn't adjust in front of me...but we did all learn how to drink responsibly.

    Boring answer?

    1. Why allow one's family to influence one's behavior?

      6 Replies
      1. re: beevod

        It's called guilt. Some of us are better at dealing with judgement than others, yes?

        1. re: HillJ

          I would think it was more about respect.

            1. re: coll

              coll, it could. Context matters. I think that when we hide behavior from someone close to us our brain takes a pause for any # of reasons. But the OP's remark "let judgement rage" didn't leave me with that impression.

              1. re: HillJ

                Yes, I do not come from a family of drinkers. If I have two drinks, I will get a comment. The feeling of being drunk for my parents is not seen as a positive, so a drink is more of a supplement to the meal. Whereas for me, a buzz is the objective!
                I get so conflicted over doing what I want and feels good vs what my family thinks is respectable behavior.

                My father immediately disapproved of my last boyfriend when he went for his third beer. And made constant comments along the lines of "another one?!", "you're not going to be able to see straight", "that stuff is fattening", etc.

                1. re: WhatsEatingYou

                  Growing up, I came from families that both drank and comments still happened. Passionate people my crew. Starts out as teasing, ends in a confrontation about some other thing that was on their minds (more than the wine bothering them). Such is life. Calmer heads prevail. The choice is yours to make. But don't ruin a holiday over it, k?

          1. Sounds like you don't come from a family of drinkers.

            Actually, I would say I need to drink more when I'm dining with certain members of my family. My family loves cocktails before, wine with and scotch after so if I moderated, the more likely question would be is there something wrong because I'm not drinking.

            My in-laws though are completely different and a bottle would serve 8.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Bkeats

              I certainly wouldn't be drinking more, just to fit in. They can think what they want.

            2. I rarely drink and the BF tends to have a couple drinks a night. Pre-dinner martini or rum and coke, and beer with dinner.

              My parents don't drink. Yes my father will have the occasional beer or wine with a meal, but due to health issues neither he nor my mom drink hard alcohol. So when we visit them I still don't drink while the BF cuts back to a beer or wine with meals. My dad enjoys having a drinking buddy so he initiate drinking. My mom might have judged the BF a little when we were younger, but as we get older I don't think she does at all. I've been pretty sick and as a reward for taking care of me she bought him a 6 pack of Anchor Steam Xmas, a bottle of TJ's Ale, and a bottle of Dogfish Head American Beauty.

              BF's parents drink more heavily. A pre-dinner martini, wine with dinner, and a post dinner rum and coke. So when we visit them BF drinks the same amount that they do and I will occasionally have wine with dinner. They have let us drink since college so we have never felt judged for drinking or not drinking. Though it is expected to consume margaritas or daiquiris by the pool.

              So yes we adjust our alcohol consumption around our families, but by choice and not fear of judgement.