The Transformers and Indiana Jones star regularly attended meetings with his father, who was addicted to alcohol and drugs. He told Arena Magazine, "I grew up around a lot of aggressive guys. My parents used to take me to AA meetings when I was very young. So I know aggression, I know insanity."
We asked momlogic contributor Roasanne Tobey LPC if it's a good idea to allow a child who's not an addict to attend meetings:
"Generally speaking, an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting is no place for a child. At AA meetings, most people do not hold back when telling their stories, and as a result, the meetings are very powerful. Topics are not intended for children and could be very disturbing for a child. However, in a home where there is active addiction, a child may unfortunately be more aware of how ugly addiction can be, as seems to be the case with Shia Labeouf. While an AA meeting is not the ideal place for a child of an alcoholic, being exposed to people actively working to maintain sobriety may have some benefit.
|AA meetings are not just a place where people come and tell their "war stories." Meetings tend to be very supportive, accepting environments where the focus is on staying sober. The AA groups often form a "community" where people encourage and support each other through difficult situations. There is also an emphasis on self growth and spiritual development. Following the 12 steps of AA is not exactly a bad way to go through life, addiction or no addiction. So while the environment is rough, the message is good, especially for a child whose spiritual and emotional needs are being neglected by their parents."|
Attending an open AA meeting is a great idea for a teenager from any background. Listening to people who struggle with addiction can be a life-altering experience--one that they will not soon forget.