What is Alateen?
Alateen is for young relatives and friends of alcoholics; it is part of Al-Anon. We believe alcoholism is a family disease that affects everyone in the family. Alateen meetings in this Area are attended by 9-19 year olds. By attending meetings, young people gain an understanding of the illness and feel the benefits of realizing they are not alone. They learn that they did not cause this problem and that they are not responsible for their relative’s or friend’s drinking or behavior. By sharing their experiences, they find solutions to their problems and hope for the future.
Each Alateen meeting is sponsored by two experienced Al-Anon members who are screened and cleared to work with young people by the FBI. “It’s easy to deceive ourselves into thinking that the children don’t know what is going on. But if we are really honest, we will see that the children do know something is terribly wrong. Children have an amazing capacity for dealing with the truth. Shrouding the illness in mystery and lies is far more frightening than a down-to-earth talk about the disease of alcoholism.” (from the Al-Anon Family Groups pamphlet, How Can I Help My Children? [P-9])
What if my child resists attending?
That’s a question we have been asked over and over…the best analogy we have heard is that you generally don’t “convince” your teenager to go to the dentist, doctor or other such places. They go because they know it is good for them and will help them stay healthy. Same for going to Alateen meetings. We suggest that each member attend at least six Alateen meetings before they decide whether or not Alateen is for them.
The first meeting or two can sometimes be a little scary …is a true awakening to realize that you are not the only teen on earth to be facing these problems…
Excerpts taken from the WSO website
For meeting times and locations and local Alateen information, please click here or go directly to www.alateenmddc.com.