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‘My daughter can’t control her drinking’

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Dear Bunmi,

My daughter is 34 with two children, and I’m worried that she’s becoming an alcoholic. Her husband recently sent her packing because of her drinking and she now lives with her kids. She drinks at least a bottle of wine a day.

I try to help with the children and give her money whenever she’s short, even though she has a decent job. Everybody keeps telling me to break-off contact with her and let her stand on her own, but I’m terrified she might harm herself. I think I’m the one who needs help, so I can understand how to help her.

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Fadeke, by e-mail.

Dear Fadeke,
I’m sure every mother reading this understands why you feel you can’t just walk away. When you have a baby, your instinct is to protect that precious bundle. And that doesn’t change, no matter how grown-up the child is. You need to get support for your daughter. Talk her into seeking help at any of the teaching hospitals.

Since she knows you’ll always be there to pick up the pieces, she might have no idea what the consequences of her drinking are.

Asking for outside help is like sending for an advance party — know what you’re dealing with before marching into battle. Let your daughter be aware that apart from her general well-being, she has the future of her children to consider.

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