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How do you talk to a nine year old about alcoholism? Has anyone dealth with this situation before or a similar situation?

I have recently decided to quit drinking, and I am trying to figure out a way to talk to my son about it in a way that he would understand.

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Asked by Anonymous at 1:51 PM on Nov. 12, 2008 in Tweens (9-12)

Answers (11)
  • First of all, I applaud you for taking control of your life and deciding to quit drinking. It takes an incredible amount of courage and strength to admit you have a problem and to find a result! Congrats to you! Second, I'm not so sure it's really necessary at this point to tell your son that you've decided to not drink. He will notice everyday that you are not drinking. He is still kind of young and should you relapse, (Not saying you will..........but there's always the possibility) then he's going to be hurt and you'll have to explain that to him. Good luck!!! PM me if you need support or anything, I know EXACTLY what you are going thru!

    Answer by TheDiva320 at 1:56 PM on Nov. 12, 2008

  • I would confine my remarks mostly to health. I would say that I have had a problem, it hasn't been good for my body or for those around me, and that I'm working on changing that. I'd say I want you to grow up healthy and happy, and this is not the way to that. etc. etc.

    Answer by PamJM at 1:57 PM on Nov. 12, 2008

  • I would just switch gears.And not make a big deal about it.Instead of drinking, go spend fun time with your kids.And if they ask questions, just answer them on a level they understand.

    Answer by evelynwest at 3:28 PM on Nov. 12, 2008

  • having a similar issue my boys are 9 & 10 and I have been starting to share with them the fact that their dad has a marijuana issue. He still lives in the house but I am starting to again doubt that!!! In fact in my 10yo counseling session today I kinda started to bring it up. he has been trained (by me too) that smoking pot is the norm. Now I need them to find the place where substance abuse (use) is not what regular professional, successfully employed people do not do. BTW Dad is not employed ~ doesn't get out of bed till after 12:00pm I feel sooooo stuck!!! But, Great choice for you and your family I hope you can work on your communication on this issue with your kids!!!

    Answer by mom2priceboys at 12:10 AM on Nov. 13, 2008

  • you go girl!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! im proud of you. im in recovery to i was in it for 5 years i sat my girls down and i told them i was very sick which i was. when you get into the program they will teach you to be honest!!!!! i was honest with them my 9 year old dd looked at me and told me its o.k. mommy every one has problems i trust you. tears filled my eyes. our children understand the most part. they will love us and honestly mine are my biggest rock. im so proud of you it takes alot of courage to say we need help.. you will learn so much in recovery on how to start your new life with your family. thank you for sharing shannon


    Answer by shannonmarie759 at 5:51 AM on Nov. 13, 2008

  • Honestly, you just tell him.

    Having grown up with an alcoholic father, I guarantee you your child already knows... They know alot more than you think. And they understand alot more than you think...particularly about things like this.

    Be honest, don't sugar coat anything, let him ask whatever questions he wants, and be as honest as possible answering them.

    Answer by thalassa at 7:12 AM on Nov. 13, 2008

  • Ask your AA sponser for some advice. If you are not going to AA, then try and get into a meeting PRONTO. They ask for you to attend six meetings... thats all...If you are an alcoholic then you can't do this by yourself. If you think you don't need any help, then there is no question you are an alcoholic so, its best to just go ahead and go. What do you have to loose?

    Answer by fawn321 at 7:20 AM on Nov. 13, 2008

  • Congradulations and I hope that you can stay clean and sober - first for yourself and then for your family. While your child is a great motivativation you also have to like yourself if you are going to stay clean. It will be one of the hardest things you ever decide to do. Be honest with your child but don't make any promises - you honestly don't know if you can keep them. No one who lives with addiction can make promises. What you can do is get help with AA. I have known a lot of alcoholics and AA is the most successful way to stay sober. Your son is not unaffected by your drinking. He has probably seen and experienced things that no kid should have. This doesn't make you a bad mother. It makes you a mother with a drinking issue. There are support groups for children who have a parent that is an alcoholic. There he will have others who understand.

    Answer by frogdawg at 9:01 AM on Nov. 13, 2008

  • cont...As your child's mother you can put a support system into place for him. Talk to family, friends, and his school. A school counselor or mental health counselor can be a good support to check in on him from time to time. Family and friends can help drive him to his support group. You need to let him know this is your problem and your responsibility. That his job is to be a kid and that he is such a wonderful child. Let him know your drinking was because of poor choices you made not because of anything he did or did not do. Let him know it is going to be hard for you but you plan on having lots of support for him and you. Let him know he does not have to take care of you. You are going to take care of him. You can explain that alcoholism is an illness and that you need to work with doctors and other professionals to get better.

    Answer by frogdawg at 9:07 AM on Nov. 13, 2008

  • cont...There are a lot of books that are age appropriate that deal with this subject that you both can read together. And you can also go to family therapy with him to work on your relationshlip. This is going to take a lot of time so be kind to yourself. Don't give up and remember you have a lot of worth. When dealing with addiction every second is devoted to recovery. They say one day at a time. But sometimes it is more like one second at a time. You can do this.

    Answer by frogdawg at 9:10 AM on Nov. 13, 2008

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