Embarrassed by Dad

Q: I recently had a small reunion with some friends of mine from high school at my parents' home when I was visiting. I rarely come home to visit and thought it would be fun! My father started yelling at my adult guests because he thought they were drinking too much. I didn't see much of a problem, and he said he was responsible if one of them drove drunk. We are all adults in our 40's and 50's, and I feel like this was inappropriate. I think it's because he wasn't in control. Overall, I am embarrassed in front of my friends and angry and my dad. How do I handle this situation? -Carla, 53

Dr. Anna: I understand that you feel embarrassed by your father's actions here. But ultimately, it's his house and thus he has a right to set the rules. It sounds like he felt deeply uncomfortable with the level of drinking going on in his house. The reason he was uncomfortable is irrelevant here. The right move on your part is to acknowledge that he was uncomfortable and apologize for that. It's okay to make a request like, "Next time you're uncomfortable, rather than yelling at my friends please talk to me privately and we will gladly move the party elsewhere." You also now know that he's uncomfortable with parties at his house and the respectful thing to do would be to organize parties elsewhere in the future.

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