“Teens were always welcome in Al‑Anon meetings. They began meeting separately with each other as early as 1956, prior to the formation of Alateen in 1957—just as family members met together prior to the founding of Al‑Anon in 1951. A 17-year-old, Robert, started the first meeting for teenagers in Pasadena, California, in 1956. “In a letter to Al‑Anon Family Group Headquarters, Robert wrote:
‘My father has been in A.A. for some time. My mother goes to Al‑Anon. I went with her several times. There were other teenagers there too. I wanted to talk over my problems but I didn’t think the adults would understand, so we started an Al‑Anon group for teenagers. We call it Alateen.
I have made more real friends than I ever had before. We understand each other and can help by talking out our problems.
We learn that alcoholism is a disease and that they [alcoholics] are sick people, not bad. They can’t help what they do and say.
We learn to get over our resentments and self-pity. When we plan on going somewhere or doing something and something happens and we can’t …. Well, instead of feeling bad or getting mad, we get busy and call our friends and try to do something nice for someone else.
Also we try to look at the other person’s side and take our own inventory.
Alateen has helped me to get along better and understand people and get better grades in school. I’m a lot happier, too. It’s a good deal!’”
From Many Voices, One Journey (B-31), pages 74-75
Thanks for supporting Alateen and for making the 60th anniversary a memorable one!