Children of Addicted Parents

A Helping Book for Children from Troubled Families
- with a special focus on children of addicted parents

I CAN BE ME  supports children from troubled families. It includes a special focus on children of addicted parents, and also supports children who are experiencing other adverse childhood experiences. 

Parental addiction is one of multiple “Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) that can pose a risk to a child. ACEs are potentially traumatic events. They include problems within the family, such as mental health concerns, substance use disorders, domestic abuse, intimate partner violence and sexual, psychological/emotional and physical abuse.

These concerns can co-occur within a family and persist across generations. They increase the psychological and physical health risks for children while compromising their sense of safety, their feelings of security and their overall psychological well-being.

ACEs are associated with a wide range of health problems throughout a person’s life span. The more ACEs children experience the greater their risk of developing mental health concerns, including Substance Use Disorders (SUDs). Without help, these concerns can remain with them and cloud their adult lives.

I CAN BE ME is a helping book for professionals and parents who want to help children of alcoholic and drug addicted parents. It addresses family problems from the perspective of children whose parents are addicted to alcohol or other substances.

I CAN BE ME supports children from troubled families. It includes a special focus on children of addicted parents, and also supports children who are experiencing other adverse childhood experiences. With I Can Be Me you can help make a difference in the lives of these children.

The Adult Guide for Parents, Family Members and Helping Professionals

Are you worried about a child of addicted parents? Is addiction an issue in your family or the family of a child you care about, and/or work with? Do you wonder how you can support children of addicted parents?

You are not alone. Family problems like problem drinking, drug abuse and codependency affect children and contribute to and exacerbate child problems. 

Millions of children are growing up world wide in families where parental addiction is a problem.
In the United States alone, an estimated 11 million children under the age of 18 live in US households with at least one alcoholic parent. 

With I Can Be Me -- A Helping Book for Children from Troubled Families- you can make a difference in the lives of these children. Children can suffer whether the addicted family member is a parent, sibling or other close relative.

Children often need help during the alcoholic parent's stage of active alcohol or substance abuse and through their struggle for recovery. Unhealthy family patterns can continue long after sobriety is achieved and affect the child.

Without help, children of addicted parents are at increased risk of developing social, emotional, behavioral and learning problems. These issues can predispose them to problems as adults.

Through entertaining drawings and text I CAN BE ME teaches children about addiction. It also suggests strategies for building healthy coping behaviors in children.

Through a series of creative exercises and activities children learn:

  • They are not responsible for their parents' addiction.
  • About feelings and how to express them.
  • About the defenses or masks we use to hide our feelings
  • How addiction affects the entire family.
  • How to make good decisions and solve problems.
  • There are good things about their families.
  • There are lots of kids with addicted parents.
  • They are not alone and can find help.

I Can Be Me also includes:

  • A focus on helping children move through their defenses toward increased psychological well-being and healthier coping strategies.
  • A focus on helping children build healthier, more positive views of their lives, themselves and their capabilities.
  • A focus on building increased independence, self-reliance and competence.
  • Strategies for developing appropriate problem-solving and decision-making skills.
  • A focus on building healthier family relationships and attachment bonds.
  • A focus on helping children build an increased sense of confidence and esteem.

Designed for children's ages 4 to 12, I Can Be Me can be read and worked through with a caring adult. Simple line drawings and text speak to children in a language they understand.

I Can Be Me is written from a child's perspective. The pictures and texts are based on the experiences of children who have attended support groups or individual sessions for children of alcoholic parents.

Children hear others speak to them through the pages of this book. They learn they are not alone..... there are other kids just like them. The drawings and text help children to express their feelings and thoughts through work-book activities, drawing, writing or discussion.

You Can Help

You can adapt I Can Be Me to help the children of addicted parents you care about and work with.

  • Use I CAN BE ME with an individual child or several children in group settings.  
  • Eight separate units make this an ideal companion to counseling or support group sessions.
  • Parents or counselors can also use I CAN BE ME to address the unique concerns of an individual child.
  • The introduction suggests strategies for integrating I CAN BE ME into to your own helping program or family life.

Parents, as well as counselors and therapists who deal with children, families and addiction will love the easy to understand text, the simple format and entertaining drawings. They will also appreciate the way children are invited to share their fears hopes and experiences through drawing, writing and discussion.

Information and support are organized into eight core chapters:

  • Addiction -- a family problem children can't cause or stop
  • Feelings
  • Feeling Masks
  • A Family Problem 
  • Help Yourself
  • Decisions
  • Family Change
  • Lots of Kids Like Us


"I CAN BE ME" Has Been Well Received

"I Can Be Me" is superb and very, very accurate--congratulations!  Could you please
 send me another copy? I would also like to distribute I Can Be Me to the school systems, which
 lack greatly in understanding and information." (a concerned parent and community member)

"{The book} helped me to understand my son's experiences and feelings, while providing me  with support
to begin working with him on the issues we both needed to face."(Recovering mother of 9 year old boy)

"I encountered a situation in a school I serve where alcohol was a significant factor in a serious sexual abuse situation. I was glad to have "I Can Be Me" at hand." (Guidance Counselor)

"Excellent and much needed. "I CAN BE ME" offers children hope and a sense of control."
(Therapist, Addiction Treatment Centre)

"I am planning to use "I Can Be Me" to facilitate a group for 8 to 12 year olds of addicted parents.  I was impressed with the exercises and hope other professionals will appreciate "I Can Be Me" as much  as
I have. (
Psychologist, Children's Out Patient Department)

Find out more about what people are saying about I CAN BE ME

I Can Be Me-The Children's Workbook


 There are two versions of I Can Be Me - the adult version which serves as a guide to support children of addicted parents, and the children's work book. These two books can purchased separately or bundled together. 

Contact Us About your Book Order

Please note that all fields followed by an asterisk must be filled in.

Recommended for ages 4-12: soft cover-149 pages, 9x6, ISBN: 978-1-4259-9899-8

 With I CAN BE ME you can support children of alcoholic and drug addicted parents, and help make a positive difference in their lives.

I CAN BE ME helps you make that difference. It provides you with support to help move children of addicted parents toward healthier, happier lives and more appropriate coping strategies.

Sincerely Yours,

Dianne O'Connor, Ed.D.,ABSNP, ABPP, C.Psych.

P.S. "I Can Be Me" helps children of alcoholic parents.

Stop wondering about what to say or how to help. With "I Can Be Me" you will discover how to support children of alcoholic parents. These children can benefit from your help-now.

Total Cost: Price per book-$21.75 (includes shipping & handling). CD/USD-regular mail.
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