Photo Credit: Nickelodeon
There are some real-life family dynamics that kids' TV never addresses, at least for the tween-and-under set. One of them is alcoholic parents. That's why specials like Nick News: Under the Influence: Kids of Alcoholics are so important.
Airing this Sunday, Nov. 14, at 9 p.m., the show features five real kids, ages 10-15, who not only talk about their parents' struggles with alcoholism, but about their own as well.
Nick News sometimes tackles inconsequential topics like "annoying things parents do", but here Linda Ellerbee and her crew do what they do best: Explore relevant issues through stories and experiences of real kids dealing with them.
"What children of alcoholics need to know," says Ellerbee, "is that it's not their fault, they didn't cause it and they can't fix it. Most of all they need to know they're not alone."
In the spirit of kids telling their own stories, below are some of their most moving comments:
Kate, 12, from New Mexico: "It was like I was the mother. I have lost some of my childhood. I know things some kids my age don't know -- like maybe should not know."
Brittany, 15, from New York: "I love my mom but she loves drinking more than me. I've tried to help my mom not to drink. I yelled and cried and begged her to stop. I have one tip. If you want the alcoholic not to drink, don't dump the alcohol down the drain. That's just going to make them more angry."
Matthew, 10, from Colorado: "I would worry a lot about my dad... My grades were suffering because I couldn't focus."
Rian, 13, from Louisiana: "One day (my mom) wouldn't wake up, and I started crying because I thought she was dead."
Sam, 13, from Florida: "My dad went into rehab... a place that would take in broken people, and basically taught them skills so they wouldn't drink anymore and would stay sober. Not all the time it would work, but it worked for my dad and that's all that matters to me."
Would you encourage tweens to watch Kids of Alcoholics? Chime in now!