Children in meetings

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Re: Children in meetings

Postby lorriwinner » Mon Jan 30, 2012 7:10 pm

the sex offender is alcoholic. they dont get up and leave with child in room. now i know and it is repetitive. now by law i am supposed to report to law. wouldnt that be great? the cops raiding the meeting? me breaking anonymity? ok, so kid can stay. does that mean i can bring aunt mabel who has alzheimers and i cant get someone to take care of her. i am legal caretaker. aunt mabel gets a little out of hand but no more than a 2 year old. i need my meeting. aunt mabel not alcoholic, neither is the kid. see once the door is open, its open wide. once its open its hard to close. you get 2 or 3 kids, now you have a bit of disruption..ya gonna backpaddle now? what do you say, its ok for a "few" or one or 2 kids but when it gets to be too much...well then...thats a different story? there is nowhere to draw the for one all for all. it takes the focus off the new and or suffering, and puts it on darling shirley temple sucking on her bottle, getting passed around and cheeks pinched. i have watched this for 34 years and this is no place for children. aa is a big room full of really sick people. kids need not be there.
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Re: Children in meetings

Postby ann2 » Tue Jan 31, 2012 2:48 am

I always felt if it was an open meeting, sure, Aunt mabel can come. I got sober in a meeting with kids, the mom was seriously dependent on bringing them for her recovery. never thought much of it, as a newcomer I didn't notice anyone trying to 12 step the kids :-)

It really depends on the group. Much later, when I was living in another country, I couldn't attend due to child care needs. I dropped in with the kids before the meeting started just to say hi and let the guys know what I was doing, and boy ded their faces tell a story! They were worried the kids would be there, and even though I wasn't planning on staying it let me know that I shouldn't plan on it in the future either :-)

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Re: Children in meetings

Postby c111 » Wed Sep 03, 2014 11:55 am

"Nothing comes between me and my kids-not even your sobriety".

This kind of BSPC attitude and accompanying kids have no place in AA meetings. For one thing, young ears aren't yet capable of the pretext of "anonymity". Theses are adult topics with adult stories and adult language. This is not for youngsters to sit and listen to. Our open meetings attract all kinds of deviants who can barely hold up in adult company much less the company of children.

It's a HUGE liability as well. What of one of these kids disappears? Bad news for all.

I think there are no references to this topic in the Big Book or As Bill sees it simply because back at the beginning no one would fathom having children in attendance, with perhaps the occasional exception of a baby or a toddler, but definitely not young, impressionable boys and girls.

In my first days attending, if there would have been kids there, I might have walked out and never come back.

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Re: Children in meetings

Postby ezdzit247 » Wed Sep 03, 2014 1:38 pm

Good topic!

Here's my two cents...

According to all the statistical surveys ever conducted in the US, it has been demonstrated over and over that alcoholism is an equal opportunity disease and that about 50% of the practicing alcoholics in any given locale are women. However, after the AA founders finally got over their prejudice and started allowing women to attend AA meetings back in the 1940's, following the initial boost in mixed gender meetings, the number of female AA members in any given locale has rarely risen above 25% of the total membership and generally runs more like 15%. This topic discusses one of the #1 issues that prevents and has always prevented young female alcoholics with children from attending AA meetings--lack of child care resources.

It was really heartening to me to read posts about groups who are progressive and proactive in addressing this issue in positive ways and making it possible for more young women to join AA and attend meetings. It also gave me a chuckle to read some of the rationalizations from the bah-humbug types who are anti kids at meetings, especially the ones who thought kids might hear inappropriate language. Wow! A quick tour of any public elementary school bathroom in the US would rebut that argument. Not only do our kids know more profanities than most AA members i've heard ranting in meetings, they know them in several more languages other than English. :wink:
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Re: Children in meetings

Postby Mick101 » Tue Apr 07, 2015 4:53 pm

Very good points in this discussion, but I think there is still the question of whether or not it's healthy for children to hear what we want anominity from. Will my son, who is a sponge for all that he hears, be affected from hearing about my and other people's struggle with the disease of addiction. I think there may be a time and a place for it but not necessarily at a meeting and so young.
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Re: Children in meetings

Postby sweet_tea » Sun May 10, 2015 8:40 pm

There is one meeting I intend in which a few children are regularly there. One is about three and the other is a baby. It is very distracting being in a meeting with them there, because the three year-old literally runs around the room, talks, plays with a truck, etc. The baby also often gets fussy and makes noise or crawls all around the room while people are sharing. The three year-old will talk in a loud voice, and the mother doesn't always take him out of the room. She will just pick him up or play with him and try to distract him.

They are cute kids, but I don't think they should be at the meeting. It's not their fault; they are kids. But it's really difficult to hear people and focus on what they're saying with the kids running around and talking. I have watched other people reacting to the kids and appearing frustrated by the interruptions. The moderators don't do anything.

I wouldn't mind if this were an occasional thing, such as maybe the mother couldn't get a babysitter one night. But it's not; just about every time I see her at this meeting--four or five days per week--she brings her two kids.

I have thought of switching to another meeting, but I really enjoy this group.
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Re: Children in meetings

Postby PaigeB » Mon May 11, 2015 12:34 am

Offer to bring a friend to the meeting to help watch her kids out of the room?

It is difficult, but the group can talk to her about options and behaviors for during the meeting.
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Re: Children in meetings

Postby clouds » Mon May 11, 2015 8:05 am

Some of us used to take a daytime home meeting a week to moms with kids who didnt have babysitters or were without husbands who would babysit.
Agreed, such meetings were distracted by the kids.

I still think this is a better option than mothers taking kids to meetings.

Another idea is that if there is an AA club house moms can take turns, like every 15 minutes in the designated kid room while the other moms are at the AA meeting.

There are lots of offenders in AA, rarely would they identify themselves as such. Parents beware.

IMO meetings should be kid free, for sobering up is serious business needing serious attention through listening.
Daytime meetings like I mentioned above, might be options for moms who dont have safe child care resources available.
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Re: Children in meetings

Postby tyg » Tue May 12, 2015 1:45 am

This is a wonderful topic and here is my experience on the subject

One of my regular meetings provide childcare, they are watched by recovered members outside of the meeting room but the children are free to go as they please to their parents.

Who are we to turn away any alcoholic who is seeking help? I know many alcoholics who wouldn't be able to go to meetings if children weren't welcome. Should we send them off, wish them well, and hope another group will take the responsibility to carry the message and help that alcoholic?

Though I think children should be allowed at all meetings, children absorb way more than they get credit for and could hear and absorb things that may not be very healthy. Children exposed to AA does not necessarily increase the chance of them NOT becoming alcoholic themselves. I know many who've grown up in AA and found it necessary to take a great beating from ol "John Barleycorn" before accepting Step 1 and applying the program.

Children say what is on their mind, is it really so bad they talk to non-alkies about the program or inquire if alcoholic? Isn't it a good thing that one is treating their illness instead of living the way we were?

I absolutely LOVE Alcoholics Anonymous and the 12 Steps saved my life! However, not only did I recover with Alcoholics Anonymous.... I got a little bit more educated in the many ways one could lie, steal, find drugs, manipulate, hide drinking and recognize predators.
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