Nick News "Under the Influence: Kids of Alcoholics" Premieres Nov. 14 on Nickelodeon
NEW YORK, Nov. 8, 2010 - It's a good feeling to know you can rely on your mom or dad, good to know there's someone who's in control when things start to feel out of control. But around 11 million American kids under the age of 18 don't know that feeling. The reason: They have a parent who's not in control. And that parent is not in control because he or she is an alcoholic.
Five kids share their experiences dealing with parents who are struggling with alcoholism in the Nick News with Linda Ellerbee special, "Under the Influence: Kids of Alcoholics," premiering Sunday, Nov. 14, from 9:00 to 9:30 p.m. (ET/PT) on Nickelodeon.
"It was like I was the mother," says Kate, 12, from New Mexico. "I have lost some of my childhood�I know things some kids my age don't know - like maybe should not know."
"What children of alcoholics do 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."
"I love my mom but she loves drinking more than me," says Brittany, 15, from Mattituck, N.Y. "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."
You'll hear from Matthew, 10, AGE, from Westminster, Colo. "I would worry a lot about my dad," he says. "My grades were suffering because I couldn't focus."
Then there's Rian, 13, from Westwego, La. "One day (my mom) wouldn't wake up," Rian says. "And I started crying because I thought she was dead."
Jerry Moe, National Director of Children's Programs at Betty Ford, acknowledges it's difficult for kids growing up in homes where there's alcoholism because they never know what's going to happen next. But he also says kids can cope, "by having safe people that you can talk to about what's going on at home. By learning problem solving skills, ways to stay safe."
The good news is that alcoholics can get better. "I wondered, �What's wrong with my dad? Is he sick?" says Sam, 13, from Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. Yes, his father was sick. He suffered from a disease called alcoholism, but agreed to go to rehab after an intervention. "My dad went into rehab, and I saw this place, almost surreal like. It was 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."
Nick News, produced by Lucky Duck Productions, is now in its 19th year and is the longest-running kids' news show in television history. It has built its reputation on the respectful and direct way it speaks to kids about the important issues of the day. Over the years, Nick News has received more than 20 Emmy nominations and recently won its eighth Emmy Award for The Face of Courage: Kids Living with Cancer for Outstanding Children's Nonfiction Program. Additional Emmy wins for outstanding children's programming include: Coming Home: When Parents Return from War (2009); The Untouchable Kids of India (2008); Private Worlds: Kids and Autism (2007); Never Again: From the Holocaust to the Sudan (2005); Faces of Hope: The Kids of Afghanistan (2002) and What Are You Staring At? (1998). In addition, in 1995, the entire series won the Emmy. In 2009, Nick News was honored with the Edward R. Murrow Award for best Network News Documentary for Coming Home: When Parents Return from War - the first-ever kids' television program to receive this prestigious award. Nick News has also received three Peabody Awards, including a personal award given to Ellerbee for explaining the impeachment of President Clinton to kids, as well as a Columbia duPont Award and more than a dozen Parents' Choice Awards.
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