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Is it my place to step in?

Written By: Terry Foster | September 1, 2011

Filed Under: Family, Life

How do you tell somebody they’ve got a drinking problem? If indeed they do have a drinking problem.

How do you tell a good guy that his daughter cries because she fears he is hurting himself because of alcohol?

One of my daughter’s best friends has cried to her at least twice over the last three months while talking about her dad and his drinking. He is not a mean spirited drunk. Usually he is in a great mood and makes sure everybody is having a great time. People laugh at his jokes and his singing. He is funny as hell and a great guy.

To be honest I would never think of saying anything to him because I know a few folks who like to tie one on and enjoy themselves. But does this make it different because his daughter is scared for her dad? Does that change things?

Is this a case of a daughter being too sensitive or is there a problem?

I am not his best friend. I am a fringe friend. Is it my place to say something?

My fear is if I do then that friendship will end. The daughters will no longer play with each other and there will be an unspoken tension every time we see each other. I am sure he does not believe he has a problem. And he might view me as some good two shoes getting inside of family business.

How would you handle something like this? You can post here, on my  face book or  twitter account at TerryFoster971.

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6 Responses to “Is it my place to step in?”

  1. Phil Says:

    The important thing is to talk to your daughter and give her some perspective on the whole thing. Her friend is likely getting her views largely from her mother or other adults in the family. Not to say the guy might not have a problem, but it isn’t your business, and you shouldn’t make it yours unless he is a close friend and you clearly see that he’s doing harm to himself and family and you need to step up. Otherwise, it’s just a good teachable moment between you and your daughter to talk about the wide variety of behavior involving adults and alcohol consumption.

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  2. Andrew Says:

    If you are a fringe friend they you have to stand down. His daughter could be over sensitive and if you have no evidence that he is out of control then it isn’t your place to speak up.

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  3. Brian Johnson Says:

    If you were a closer friend I would say yes say something to him. Maybe you or your wife could tell his wife about their daughter worries and see where that goes. My sister has a problem and out us 5 kids I’m the only one she will talk to. She hasn’t even talked toour parents in almost a year. Every day I try to think of the best way to tell her she has a problem without pissing her off because everyone who has said anything to her she disowns. Bottom line if they don’t think they have a problem or if they don’t want help you are wasting your breath. Just tell them what you think plant that seed in their mind and hope they figure it out. For my sisters sake I hope she figures it out soon before she loses everyting in cluding her life.

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  4. Jon Taulbee Says:

    This is a great blog topic because I imagine situations like this are more common than one would think. I personally wouldn’t approach him with the goal of talking about his potential drinking problem. Every person is different so you clearly have an idea how he would react to this situation. I think if you were to express your concern with the fact his daughter has reached out to her best friend because she is scared her father is hurting himself it eleminates the chance he will feel personally attacked. By approaching the situation this way you are able to make it all about the child and potentially be a huge wakeup call to the father. By handling the situation this way you: greatly reduce the risk of a fallout between the two families and more important the girls friendship, you allow them to handle the situation privately amongst the family, and you put yourself in a situation to come out with a stronger relationship between the two families. We are all human and make mistakes and while it could initially strain the relationship at first; the fact is you handled it in a way that shows concern for fellow man, respect for the privacy of a family, and most importantly love and support for the children. If I were approached this way I would initially be embarrassed, but in the end I would have nothing but respect.

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  5. LKGLO Says:

    Terry, been through this w/ my parent, long time ago. Can you talk to his wife? Not knowing all the details, I may be off base but after experiencing this, I tend to believe that this girl is hurting a whole lot worse than she let’s on. We finally had to do an intervention w/ my parent. We got a lot of counseling before the actual intervention because they STRESS, that whatever the final ultimatum is, you must follow through on it, otherwise, things are good for a while and it starts up again. I feel for both your little one and her friend.

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  6. AC Says:

    In this case Terry I believe that you shouldn’t say anything right now, but just pay closer attention to this person next time you see him having a few. At least this way if you decide that you need to step in and say something you will know if you are in the right or not.

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