Question about Al-Anon meetings

Old 07-25-2008, 08:06 PM
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Question Question about Al-Anon meetings

I recently started attending a local Al-Anon meeting and have found it to be very beneficial. However, there is something that concerns me and I was just wondering if it is a common issue.

A couple of people at the meeting attend with their young children (the kids look to be around 6 or 7). The kids don't actually sit in the circle or participate in the meeting... they sit outside the circle and color or watch DVD's, etc. However, I am concerned that some of the sharing that goes on in a meeting may not be appropriate for a young child. I also feel that it's a bit unfair for people at the meeting to feel like they can't share freely because a child is in the room. Is this a common occurance? Are there any official rules on the topic or does each group just decide how to handle it?
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Old 07-25-2008, 08:31 PM
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Some of the groups in my area offer child care. Others don't. Although bringing children isn't encouraged, I don't think anyone who brought a child would be turned away. It's just one more factor of the family disease.
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Old 07-25-2008, 09:04 PM
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I am pretty sure that all of the Al Anon meetings I have ever attended read out this thing that says, children are welcome but it is the responsibility of the adult who brings them to provide activites to keep the children quitely occupied.

Far out, I think I just typed that word for word!! Ha,ha.

I can understand the concern about having kids hear stuff they shouldn't hear but I think part of the disease is about 'hiding' what is going on from other family members. I think Al Anon has a book for kids called "what's drunk mama?"

Something I hold in my mind is that at some Al Anon meetings kids would probably get treated with a lot more kindness by other members than what they may get at home because of all the chaos alcoholism causes.

I know one lady who use to attend what was my home group, and bring her 6 kids and one of them was (and still is) a very talented actor/singer/dancer, so everyone in our Al Anon use to go see all the shows she was in and give the little girl gifts to congratulate her. I think kids remember that stuff.
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Old 07-26-2008, 11:26 AM
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I take my daughter to meetings with me and she also attends Alateen. Her father is an alcoholic and drug addict. A lot of people bring their kids because it is a family disease and our participation affects our children, so if we have to bring our children we do so. My daughter and I have a very open relationship. Nothing is hidden, so her reality is not distorted.
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Old 07-26-2008, 11:54 AM
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Thanks for the info. Mostly, I was concerned about small children hearing some of the stories of childhood abuse that sometimes come up during sharing. However, I guess it's the parent's responsibility to shield their child in whatever way they feel necessary.
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Old 07-26-2008, 02:42 PM
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Hi all

I've been taking my daughter to alanon for over 2 yrs since my higher power (a cps judge) "senteced" me to alanon. I was a drunk married to a drunk.

I'm happy to report my own sobriety and acceptance of a higher power. Got my 2 yr chips, alanon and aa, a few months ago.

I had typed this eleoquent reply, got lost in cyber space. Had to go do laundry and ran into our cps case worker, coincidence? I don't think so. hadn't seen her in a year and a half. Got to thank her, she doesn't get that often. Most people don't have a very positive experience in "the system".

I remember the last conversation I had with her, my then wife was in inpatient treatment, it wasn't taking. I asked her if my wife relapsed what they're (depts) next move was. She said they would move to take our 5 yo dd away from us both.

My path was made very clear to me. (higher power knows I don't do subtile). Start taking care of the one that needs taking care of,(5yo d) and divorce my lying cheating drunken wife. Codepen-dance... you betcha. She said maybe a blessing in disguise. She was right.

I digress, my now 7 yo daughter is welcome at our family group, her behavior has become less distracting w/ age, and anyone who coments I find it's usually about their inability to pay attention. She is much less disruptive than most of the "late arrival" adult members. lol

Anywho, with reguard to the sharing, she is usually out in the hall with her meeting bag of stuff. When she was younger stuff was over her head or too boring to pay any attention. Everybody is pretty used to/tollerant of her now... they are truly our family.

A room full of people trying to be the best people they can (recovery) I'm thinking way better than her very small disfunctional bio family (0 recovery).

Thanks for lettin me share, God Bless,

PS Been lurking and learning for over 2 years... perhaps an SR record!
This place is full of very inspirational strong women and men. Thank you.
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Old 07-26-2008, 03:08 PM
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your tag line was very helpful to me when the stuff hit the fan a couple of years ago, my exaw lied to her parents to protect her disease...her dad had ment alot to me for 13 yrs. I could have never gotten them to believe my truth, what other people think of me is truly none of my business.

Time and actions (hers and mine), both very consistant, have begun to heal the damage.

Thank you, and God Bless us all,
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