Different Families Different Dances: Children of Alcoholics in the Classroom

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Different Families Different Dances: Children of Alcoholics in the Classroom
When you live in a family where a parent has an addiction you learn ways of coping to help the family and get your needs met. Sometimes those strategies are counterproductive in the classroom. Participants will learn about Children of Alcoholics and strategies to help students be more successful in school.
Presenter: Ann Mary Roberts - Radford University - Radford, VA

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Different Families Different Dances: Children of Alcoholics in the Classroom

  1. 1. DIFFERENT FAMILIES/ DIFFERENT DANCE CHILDREN OF OF ALCOHOLICS IN THE CLASSROOM code: 1181 North Carolina Middle Level Education March 17th, 2014 Ann Mary Roberts Radford University
  2. 2. AGENDA • INTRODUCTION- WHO AM I WHO ARE YOU • GOALS OF CLASS • DYNAMICS IN THE ALCOHOLIC FAMILIES • ROLES CHILDREN CAN ADOPT • IMPLICATIONS IN THE CLASSROOM • WHAT CAN TEACHERS DO • QUESTIONS AND CLOSURE
  3. 3. WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO GAIN FROM THIS WORKSHOP?
  4. 4. ASSUMPTIONS • MAIN ROLE OF PARENTS IS TO PROVIDE FOR NEEDS • PARENTS ARE HUMAN AND MAKE MISTAKES
  5. 5. CHILDREN OF ALCOHOLICS Resilient Clever Getting their needs met Not deficient or less than Strengths and limitations like every other child
  6. 6. MANY VARIABLES INFLUENCE /IMPACT ALCOHOLIC PARENT
  7. 7. Emerging themes in an alcoholic family Take blame Shame Guilt Unclear boundaries Don’t know what is normal Don’t trust feelings/senses Chaos Need for control
  8. 8. Co-dependent • Caretaking: become indispensable, become a martyr. • Assuming responsibility for other's behavior. • Increasing control efforts when chaos increases, attempting to control everything and everyone, • Believing that with more effort you can fix the addict/family. • Accepting only acceptable feelings.
  9. 9. Hero Child • “little mother/father” in the house • always does what's right • over-achiever • very responsible • needs everyone's approval • not much fun • controlling • driven
  10. 10. Rebel/ Scapegoat • hostility & defiance • withdrawn & sullen • gets negative attention-trouble- maker • independent • truth teller • trouble with addiction
  11. 11. Lost Child • loner • day-dreamer • solitary (alone) • withdrawn • drifts & floats through life • not missed for days • quiet, shy & ignored
  12. 12. Mascot/Clown • super cute • immature • anything for a laugh or attention • ambassador • hyper-active, short attention span • won’t take things seriously
  13. 13. How do these behaviors manifest in classroom?
  14. 14. Suggestions for Teachers Emotionally /physically safe place Compassionate boundaries Listen- reflecting feelings Alert guidance Advisory-skills building
  15. 15. Summary Children of alcoholics are resilient, clever and are just trying to get their needs met like any of us They have learned a different dance to get those needs met and to take care of their families Caring teachers can positively impact their dance
  16. 16. ANY QUESTIONS? It has been my pleasure! annroberts AROBERTS@RADFORD.EDU Code: 1181

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