WHAT I LEARNED: 1. Here’s another instance of me sitting down to read a piece of literature & thinking “I won’t relate to anything in it” & then finding it so interesting! Topics are covered that I never even considered, such as: how to handle members with ADD, intrusive parents, reporting abuse, kids liking the group sponsor more than their own parent, how an Alateen group can still be self-supporting if the school won’t accept donated money, kids attending Alateen in secret, having an Alateen institutions group, kids afraid of becoming an alcoholic themselves because it’s in their family, & most mind-blowing of all… parents removing a kid from Alateen as a way to punish or “ground” them!
2. The overall theme of the booklet is that even though Alateen has its own unique characteristics it is still fundamentally Al-Anon, & that being an Alateen sponsor is Twelfth Step work because the message is being carried forward!
3. In 1993, when this piece was given conceptual approval, it was simply called the Alateen Sponsorship “How To” booklet. But it turned out to be so comprehensive that when it was published in 1996, three other pieces were discontinued: “Operation Alateen” (item # P-30), “Alateen, Sponsor to Sponsor” (# P-51), & the Guideline “What’s Expected of an Alateen Sponsor” (# G-17). Eventually this booklet met its own demise in 2005 (in fact, I’ll be returning this to our District archives chairperson so she can add it back to her lending library for others to check-out). It was replaced by a service tool, which I’m thinking is the new “Alateen Service e-Manual” (but I haven’t read that yet to compare & contrast). 😉
4. I have 2 favorite quotes from this book:
From pages 127–128: “Examples of things we are powerless over:
2. The weather
3. Other people
4. The color of our hair, eyes, and skin
5. When we get sick, or the time of death
6. To whom we are born
7. Our dreams
8. Ocean waves
9. How much we grow
10. Which way the clouds go
11. Loose teeth”
And from page 41: “The problems shared are more likely to be related to school than to home. It’s amazing how few problems there are in the summer!”