Tag Archives: modeling behavior

The Model

Note: Title of post reminds me of this song – song makes me laugh.

Last night I attended the Freshman Parent Drug and Alcohol Education Night at my sons new high school. I actually enjoyed it, given the path my life has taken, there was lots to think about. The speaker, of course, discussed how we model behavior as parents. I have always known that I didn’t model great drinking behavior, but I never thought it was THAT bad. One of the points he made that I had never considered before is that the kids don’t necessarily see our behavior the same as we do. He told a story about how he was a very moderate drinker; glass of wine with dinner some nights, couple of beers with a pizza sometimes, and a couple at a party – never too drunk to drive. One day he asked one of his children what they thought of his drinking: “Well Dad, you come home and drink wine when you are stressed from work, and I don’t think you could eat a pizza without beer, or go to a party without drinking.” Point being that the child’s reality did not match his reality. I thought about this. Of course an adult can drink at a party (those of you that can handle it), and I think a teenager can understand that, but “can’t ever go to a party without drinking” – isn’t that what we are asking our teenagers to do? I am.

Anyway, given that my drinking behavior WAS THAT bad, the concept that my kids saw it as even worse is pretty damn scary. Unfortunately, I cannot count myself among the folks who share at the recovery meetings that their kids have never seen them drink. I can however, add this to the list of reasons that I am glad to be sober now.