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Old 09-16-2012, 11:39 PM   #1
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Letting addicts around your kids

When do you cut-off or limit contact with someone in your family who has an addiction? How much does the age of the kids have to do with it? Is having a "dangerous situation" the only line?

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Old 09-17-2012, 12:05 AM   #2
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Re: Letting addicts around your kids

I have been struggling with this problem myself.

I've resigned myself to knowing that I am going to have to explain the addiction to the kids at some points so I'm working on the wording of that.

I've loosely been thinking that once the kids have figured out something is 'off' that if the person in question is drinking (it's alcohol in our case) then they won't be allowed around the kids whilst drunk.

At least that's what I'm thinking..
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Old 09-17-2012, 12:29 AM   #3
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I have the luxury of living miles away from my relative with alcohol problems (younger brother).

But I have thought a lot about it after seeing several posts around here.

I'm fine with my children seeing relatives when they are sober/clean. They can come over to visit, for meals, to play and have family time, etc. If they have alcohol or drugs in their system they can go sleep it off at their own home, go check into rehab, or spend a night with a friend. I will not allow anyone who is abusing substances to be high/under the influence around my kids or in my home. I would not allow anyone with a substance abuse problem to be unsupervised with my child (even when they are clean), and I wouldn't have them living with me.

That's my two cents.
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Old 09-17-2012, 12:32 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by BeccaSueCongdon
I have the luxury of living miles away from my relative with alcohol problems (younger brother).

But I have thought a lot about it after seeing several posts around here.

I'm fine with my children seeing relatives when they are sober/clean. They can come over to visit, for meals, to play and have family time, etc. If they have alcohol or drugs in their system they can go sleep it off at their own home, go check into rehab, or spend a night with a friend. I will not allow anyone who is abusing substances to be high/under the influence around my kids or in my home. I would not allow anyone with a substance abuse problem to be unsupervised with my child (even when they are clean), and I wouldn't have them living with me.

That's my two cents.
Obviously I'd have to figure out how to deal with a situation if I was dependent on someone with an addiction. For example, if DH and the kids and I lived with parents bc we were down on our luck. It's not like we could kick them out or force them into rehab. And I can see that some people might be stuck in situations where they're choosing between living with addicts or being homeless. :-(
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Old 09-17-2012, 01:40 AM   #5
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DS1's father is an addict and an alcoholic. While he doesn't want hardly anything to do with him, and that makes it easier in terms of dealing with it, I have a really simple set of rules - Don't be drunk, don't be high. I don't care what you do in your own time, I'm not your keeper and I don't have to worry about you anymore. But our son's safety will not be in jeopardy because of it; accidents can happen, bad judgment calls can be made, etc. If he wants to see our son, he has to be clean and sober for the x number of hours he's around him, and he will never be around him without me present unless he has a proven track record of sobriety. If he shows up acting funky and I have the slightest inkling he isn't straight, he doesn't see him. I only had to turn him away once for him to realize I was serious about that. And I know him well enough to know when he's himself, and when he isn't. But the things he does and how he acts when influenced are also easy to spot, so that makes it easier.

The line for me is when it's directly affecting my child. He won't be forced to see it, hear it, or deal with it. I don't care if he understands what they're doing or not. My sister can't see him if she doesn't take her meds. My brother can't see him if he's drinking. I only allow what I do because they're family tbh. All others that have such issues I've removed from my life, and for a period of time (about 5yrs), family with such issues were removed as well. Most still are.

For me it comes down to how badly I want DS1 to have a relationship with them. I don't care if he knows my friends (if I had substance abusing friends that is), so I wouldn't take him around them at all if they were abusers. I do, however, want him to know his father, uncle, aunt. But I also want him to know the real them, not an altered them.

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Old 09-17-2012, 04:45 AM   #6
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Re: Letting addicts around your kids

I don't shelter the kids from my addict family members, but they do have limited contact. My sister is well on her way to becoming an alcoholic, if she isn't one already. She has always abused one drug or another. My older girls know what kind of problems their Auntie has, if anything, it makes them not want to ever drink or do drugs all the more, kwim? It opens up lots of good discussions about things like drinking and driving, alcoholism, prescription drug abuse, illegal drugs, etc.
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Old 09-17-2012, 04:46 AM   #7
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Re: Letting addicts around your kids

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hillargh View Post
DS1's father is an addict and an alcoholic. While he doesn't want hardly anything to do with him, and that makes it easier in terms of dealing with it, I have a really simple set of rules - Don't be drunk, don't be high. I don't care what you do in your own time, I'm not your keeper and I don't have to worry about you anymore. But our son's safety will not be in jeopardy because of it; accidents can happen, bad judgment calls can be made, etc. If he wants to see our son, he has to be clean and sober for the x number of hours he's around him, and he will never be around him without me present unless he has a proven track record of sobriety. If he shows up acting funky and I have the slightest inkling he isn't straight, he doesn't see him. I only had to turn him away once for him to realize I was serious about that. And I know him well enough to know when he's himself, and when he isn't. But the things he does and how he acts when influenced are also easy to spot, so that makes it easier.

The line for me is when it's directly affecting my child. He won't be forced to see it, hear it, or deal with it. I don't care if he understands what they're doing or not. My sister can't see him if she doesn't take her meds. My brother can't see him if he's drinking. I only allow what I do because they're family tbh. All others that have such issues I've removed from my life, and for a period of time (about 5yrs), family with such issues were removed as well. Most still are.

For me it comes down to how badly I want DS1 to have a relationship with them. I don't care if he knows my friends (if I had substance abusing friends that is), so I wouldn't take him around them at all if they were abusers. I do, however, want him to know his father, uncle, aunt. But I also want him to know the real them, not an altered them.

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ooh, off topic, but congrats on Benjamin! He's soooo cute!
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Old 09-17-2012, 04:55 AM   #8
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Re: Letting addicts around your kids

I don't shelter my children from addicts in our family either. They have very limited contact with them and by all means NEVER alone with them. But it is important to me for them to see what drugs/alcohol can do to a person. And how it can ruin not only the addicts life, but family's relationship with the addict.
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Old 09-17-2012, 05:24 AM   #9
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Re: Letting addicts around your kids

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Originally Posted by blane,j,&morgansmom View Post
I don't shelter my children from addicts in our family either. They have very limited contact with them and by all means NEVER alone with them. But it is important to me for them to see what drugs/alcohol can do to a person. And how it can ruin not only the addicts life, but family's relationship with the addict.
I agree with this. I don't have any family or even close friends who have this problem. We have other issues though LOL! I agree that letting children see what drug and alcohol abuse can do to a person is like a tool in teaching them what not to do. Just like the "Scared Straight" program where they take troubled kids into prisons so they can really see what their could end up like.
Of course I don't know what or how to explain that Uncle Joe smells bad because he drinks so much whiskey it leaks out his pores and he passes out and forgets to bathe. Or Aunt Jane has brown rotten teeth because she uses drugs that ruined them. Is it as simple as just stating it the way I just have?
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Old 09-17-2012, 06:38 AM   #10
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Re: Letting addicts around your kids

If there were threat of direct physical, mental, or emotional danger to my child, that person would not be a part of our lives. Otherwise we limit contact.

My sister was an abused a lot of things, and honestly seeing her and how messed up her life was, was enough to keep me on the straight and narrow.
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