18th June marks Father’s Day, and as I headed out to buy a card and gift for the dads in my life, I was dismayed by just how many cards and gifts revolve around alcohol. The number 1 suggested gift item at a large well-known supermarket is a pint glass, closely followed by Beers of the World, personalised spirit and shot glasses, hip flasks, bottle openers, and T shirts with hangover slogans – is this how the gift and card manufacturers see our dads? Is this how we see our dads?
Weirdly alcohol is hot wired into our psyche, and we are constantly bombarded with messages around how drinking and excessive drinking is normal. In fact, the teetotallers amongst us are often viewed with suspicion and more commonly derision.
Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to weight gain, we all recognise a ‘beer belly’ when we see one, which has a detrimental effect on both physical and mental health. Alcohol is all too often partnered with other unhealthy habits, like smoking and if done regularly and repeatedly can increase the longer-term risk of serious illnesses such as cancer and liver and heart disease.
So this Father’s Day take a stand and say no to encouraging your dad to drink. If you are set on buying a gift, why not try a book to encourage him to learn or discover something new, or better still simply spend time with him. If he’s able, take him for a walk, watch a movie together or play a board game just like you did when you were a kid.