When it came to alcohol, there’s one important thing my parents didn’t do.
I’ve never been a big drinker and it’s all because of what my parents did when I was a kid, or should I say it’s all about what they DIDN’T do.
My parents drank alcohol often, but it was just presented as another drink on the table, next to the lemonade and the water. It was just there. They didn’t make a big deal out of it.
Alcohol in my family was never treasured or revered. It was just consumed with meals like any other beverage and not everyday. They let my siblings and I try it if we wanted to and laughed when we grimaced and made faces over the taste of it. They never restricted us from trying it if we wanted.
And there’s one more key thing they did, or didn’t do, that helped my siblings and I develop a healthy relationship with alcohol.
My parents never used alcohol as a mood altering drug. They never drank wine to ‘relax’ or drank beer to ‘celebrate’. In my family the mood altering drug was always food.
Alcohol was just another beverage.
We're Italian and this sort of upbringing is typical of our culture. We did occasionally make wine with relatives. We popped the occasional bottle of champagne to celebrate. But it just wasn't a big deal.
What I noticed about my friends who are big drinkers is that alcohol is a big deal. They plan their lives around it, they zero in on it at functions. They did the whole binge drinking thing as teens.