Opinion: The Problem Of Pissed Parents

You know you’re soaking in it…


University students get blamed for a lot of things… Like burning couches, causing riots, stealing road signs, wasting police and medical resources and of course binge drinking.

The reality is however, that uni students are not actually that bad. Canterbury students recently showed how much they cared about their community by volunteering following the earthquake. The time has now come (with the exception of Otago students – let’s be honest there is no hope there) for the name of University students to be cleared.

Binge drinking is a serious problem for a lot of young people. Never mind the hangover and loss of brain cells, alcohol causes nice people to do stupid things. Drinking can, and more than likely will, make you lose your self-respect, judgment and dignity. Just ask my flatmate who got arrested for fighting in public on the same evening that she got bounced from Shooters for flushing her underwear down the toilet. We do not need to think further than the tragedy of James Webster to understand the more serious implications of too much alcohol.

However, it is not how we are drinking, it’s how our role models are drinking. How can we expect teenagers to drink responsibly when their parents and role models don’t? Mum and Dad having a few too many wines at Christmas may seem harmless but really it is an indication of what is acceptable. Doug Howlett getting arrested for being drunk and disorderly yet again may seem funny but the message he is really sending to young people is that it is ok to drink too much.

No one likes to see their role models lose control, that’s usually when those annoying friends of theirs, as the ad says, turn up. “Shouty” Doug, “tomfoolery” Doug, “jumping on cars” Doug, “getting arrested by British police” Doug and then some time later “public apology” Doug turned up.

Drinking has become a rite of passage in New Zealand. Alcohol is not just a dangerous drug; it is an acceptable and even encouraged social tool. It seems that New Zealanders believe the more you drink, the bigger the fun. Now, young people believe that without alcohol they cannot have a good time. Unless they are kissing everyone at the bar, male and female, crying and vomiting in the gutter or arguing with the bouncer, they think they are probably not drunk enough. Warning, whilst under the influence the opposite sex (or even the same sex), may appear surprisingly more attractive than they actually are.
There is nothing fun about sleeping with someone whose sex is debatable, who is quite possibly related to you, or even getting involved in an unmentionable incident of a more gruesome kind.

Parents are role models whether they like it or not. As a teenager there is only one thing worse than being so incapacitated at a party that your parents need to be called to pick you up, and that’s them being too drunk to pick you up. I think that’s when ‘sorry it will never happen again’ Mum turns up.

If you cannot drink responsibly then don’t drink. You will save yourself the embarrassment of hitting on your boss, sharing confidential information about your company or saying “break dancing! Somebody spin my feet, ah ah my back”.

So Mum and Dad do you ever worry about your drinking? Coz I do.