Children in meetings

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Re: Children in meetings

Postby Veronique1 » Sat Jan 09, 2010 12:55 am

Hi,

I think it wouldn't be accepted here to have our children attend closed meetings... I took my daughter once, because she had expressed the need to know why I still went to meetings, but that was an open meeting...

Me, I can't really imagine a lets say 10 year old being at a meeting and hearing everything that is said there... I don't think it is beneficial for the child nore for the group as such... Furthermore I assume that the parent who needs to attend the meeting will only be able to listen with one ear... The other one will inevitably be turned to his child...

I agree that in some cases it is quite difficult to find someone to mind the child ... but still I think this is the best solution. Afterall it is only for a short period of time.

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Re: Children in meetings

Postby Mike_S. » Mon Aug 09, 2010 7:27 pm

Okay, I don't know why my previous message on this topic wasn't posted.. if my messages don't get posted I'll be leaving.

If you don't like what I write, delete it and kick or ban me but do not pre-censor my words or it is not 12 step work for me and I will not continue to do it.

The Preamble states that, "A.A. is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other..."

So, our fellowship does not include children.

However, each group is autonomous, so you can have a debate and vote on it.

I am a SDH and my son napped through non-smoking noon meetings at our central county library every monday for 18 months.

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Re: Children in meetings

Postby Lali » Tue Aug 10, 2010 2:57 am

Mike, posts are not deleted without the author being notified as to why. Maybe there's some kinda glitch on your end. Please keep posting.
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Re: Children in meetings

Postby Ken_the_Geordie » Tue Aug 10, 2010 3:58 am

lisar wrote:Mike, posts are not deleted without the author being notified as to why. Maybe there's some kinda glitch on your end. Please keep posting.


Yep; I agree. And moderators are Trusted Servants here; and we notify each other when we delete something or have concerns about posts; and there's nothing I've read about your posts, Mike, so Lisar is correct.

And may I take this opportunity to welcome you also.

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I'm more commonly known as Tosh (it's a nick name, but everyone I know in real life calls me it); just in case there's any confusion; I tend to use Tosh or Ken interchangeably and it confuses some; including me. ;-)
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Re: Children in meetings

Postby Sober25 » Thu Aug 19, 2010 4:45 am

I've seen cases where the kids were so quiet and peaceful you could easily forget they were present, and I've seen cases where the kids needed to be dealt with. It just depends on the kids and parents. As for me, I prefer meetings where it's all adults. I believe there are certain things a small child should not hear, and you never know what might be said (or what might happen) at AA meetings. I wish they would leave the kids at home, but I totally understand that in some cases the parent has to bring the kids or not make meetings at all.
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Re: Children in meetings

Postby LilaJean » Sat Oct 08, 2011 2:10 pm

This has been a very sore topic for me over the years. and i have done search upon search on if kids are allowed at Closed AA meetings. But before i get into that let me tell you a bit about why this is a important topic to me.

I grew up with my mother who was a very heavy alcoholic (i can say that only cuz she will tell you she is). I remember going to meetings with her when i was very young and let me tell ya my mom was wonderful back then. I had my mom back. I don't remember names or faces from then or even what they were talking about but i remember what i felt. at the Age of 12 i started drinking and running with some very bad crowds.

But i had something the rest didn't .... I knew about AA and about getting help. Of course i didn't at that time but i knew it was out there because of my mom taking me when i was little. when i was 14 i had gotten into enough trouble that i got locked up then sent to my first treatment center, it was then i remembered going to meetings with my mom and how we both felt during those few brief times and i knew there was help and hope for me.

I stayed sober for a year then my father got a hold of me and i found out he was going to meetings and had 1+ years sober. I moved in with him shortly after that. It was wonderful to know that he knew what i was going through. I did relapse again (i think i made it 18months at that time). Just after i turned 18 i came back in the program after trying to put a bullet in me. I got really involved in the program and into service work. My relationship grew with my father and mom thanks to AA.

In 2002 i had my own child and being a single parent was rough at this time i had 6 years in. I couldn't afford a babysitter so i just took him with me. Things were fine except one of the old timers just couldn't accept kids being at meetings and kept telling me i wasn't allowed to come to meetings unless i found a babysitter. So i just quit coming and guess what ended up drunk again. I just started going back to meetings and celebrated 3 months on the first. My son is now 9 years old and a total sweety. It's not often i take him but at night it is hard to get a babysitter at times. But here again i was told today that kids are not allowed at closed meetings. My son usually is in the breezeway to go outside, He doesn't disrupt the meetings and if he is to hyper i do leave.

My son is Autistic so he does mumble to himself alot but not usually loud enough to disrupt anyone. But i do agree you need to keep the kids calm so they don't disrupt the meetings. I've had friends that needed a meeting bad so i would step in and take out one of the craft things in my bag i carry and sit with them at the back of the room and keep them busy so that there mom/dad/grandparent can get a meeting in too. But i have also seen that if the child is just a baby it's ok but if they are over 5 it's not.

I am not worried about anyone breaking my anonymity. But my son helps in my recovery. If i skip on meetings he just looks at me and says "mom you need a meeting" or "are we going to the meeting tonight". Our relationship has grown leaps and bounds going to meetings together. And it is also teaching me to be a better mom. "patients, tolerance, and Acceptance is our code" Being a single parent is hard but being a single parent without Family support also an alcoholic and my child being Disabled is Hell on earth. AA is our family and I'm not ashamed of that. So yes i do think children should be allowed to go to closed meetings because they are potential alcoholics. Why not give them a head start and show them they don't need to follow in our footsteps.

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Re: Children in meetings

Postby leejosepho » Sun Oct 09, 2011 5:43 am

LilaJean wrote:... AA is our family and I'm not ashamed of that. So yes i do think children should be allowed to go to closed meetings because they are potential alcoholics. Why not give them a head start and show them they don't need to follow in our footsteps.

Greetings to you, Lila, and I agree if the child actually wants to be there, s/he is not disruptive and the stories being told are not too crude. I do not recall having ever taken either of my daughters to meetings, but I certainly did make sure they knew what A.A. is all about ... and that has since made a tremendous difference in each of their lives as well as my own.
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Re: Children in meetings

Postby Joe H » Mon Oct 10, 2011 6:50 pm

if kids are allowed at Closed AA meetings.

In this area they are not. The closed statement reads that the meeting is for those who have a problem with alcoholism. But there are no rules in AA and each Home Group is autonomous and can set their own guidelines.

There is one exception in this area and that is for birthday celebrations and then almost all groups around here welcome the family.

I am glad we here remember that this is truly a family disease.
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Re: Children in meetings

Postby lorriwinner » Sun Jan 22, 2012 6:32 pm

look, times have changed. we have mandated sex offenders in meetings now. when a child is present they dont always get up and leave. aa meetings are not a place for children. if the sponsor, or one of the gals cant step forward for that hour and babysit until the mother can make other arraggements then she should seek out a different meeting that perhaps accomidates child care, a womens meeting for example many times has child sitters in a different room. the sex offender who is court mandated gets to stay, the kid has to go!
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Re: Children in meetings

Postby avaneesh912 » Sun Jan 22, 2012 7:20 pm

we have mandated sex offenders in meetings now.


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Re: Children in meetings

Postby PaigeB » Sun Jan 22, 2012 11:46 pm

Court mandates AA for alcohol abusers who may also be sex offenders... but it is completely on the sex offender to regulate themselves according to the court order to stay away from children. The Court cannot force AA or any meeting to do anything. In my state, if a child is present, the offender must remove themselves from a meeting. I would call the police if they refused to do so.

But that is a personal opinion & not related to alcoholism - therefore, there is no room for my personality. AA Principles would dictate here. I would think that each meeting would be autonomous in how they handle such matters.

Closed meetings are for persons who have a desire to stop drinking. My home group is a closed women's meeting and we make accommodations for women with children. We also make an extra effort to point out other meetings that offer child care or allow children even though they are a closed meeting. The age of the child has been discussed at our business meeting and we take it on a case to case basis for kids 5or6 and over.
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Re: Children in meetings

Postby Blue Moon » Tue Jan 24, 2012 1:21 am

PaigeB wrote:I would call the police if they refused to do so.

To clarify: you would kick the alcoholic out of an AA meeting, even seek to have him or her arrested, yet the non-alcoholic kid who does not even qualify for membership gets to stay?
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Re: Children in meetings

Postby PaigeB » Tue Jan 24, 2012 1:45 am

Meh - I was in a bit of a mood last night when I wrote that. My thinking was that the law requires they govern themselves and stay away from children. In my area there are so many meetings that could be avoided easily.

The question is do you kick the mom out, who in desperation, brought her child to the meeting....

or

The sex offender/alkie who is at the meeting to get his paper signed? If he refuses to govern himself and leave the vicinity of the child? What of the principle of honesty?

Either way we are talking about protecting a child - That is an outside issue and not AA.. I guess both mom & perp stay? It is up to the mom or up to the perp to govern themselves.
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Re: Children in meetings

Postby Blue Moon » Tue Jan 24, 2012 6:43 am

The dilemma: Who are we to decide who gets to recover? I sure wouldn't want that burden of responsibility!

A third option would be the sober members of the group figure out how to get them both an equal opportunity.

If any mother had to go for a colonoscopy, I guarantee she'd figure out a way of not having a child in the room ;)
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Re: Children in meetings

Postby Karl R » Tue Jan 24, 2012 7:52 am

A third option would be the sober members of the group figure out how to get them both an equal opportunity.


Such is the case with my f2f home group. In our locale parole/probation was denying permission for alcoholics who happened to be in the system due to certain crimes permission to attend AA meetings. We took this as an opportunity to do some PI work with parole probation. Because we rarely have children in my home group we now welcome such individuals and parole probation refers them specifically to our Group. The fact that we don't usually have children is not by design but by virtue of our room configuration, the times of our meetings and the fact that we tend to be an old guy's Group. At the rare times when we do have children come to meetings with their moms we practice just a bit of quiet vigilance. We're comfortable with it, parole/probation is comfortable with it, individuals have access; both moms with children and the convicted.

It works with a bit of extra service on the part of the servants of the Group.

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