Kathie Lee Gifford lambasted for implying parents of addicts are failures

Kathie Lee Gifford puts her foot in it a lot. She recently asked Martin Short how his deceased wife was doing, and she just comes across as careless in general. Maybe that has something to do with all the wine she drinks on the job. Kathie Lee has a new interview with Family Circle in which she asserts that neither she nor Hoda are alcoholics despite how much they drink on television. She also says offhand that she must be doing something right as a mother because “my kids [son Cody, 22, and daughter Cassidy, 19] haven’t been arrested, in rehab or kicked out of school.” A lot of people took offense at that, and claimed that Kathie Lee was implying that drug addiction was the result of bad parenting. They’re laying into her on Facebook and sharing some sad stories of loss and addiction. Here are some comments from Facebook, along with a statement from an addiction professional:

Kathie Lee, I think you owe thousands of parents an apology for your rude comment. How dare you assume that you are a better parent because your children have not been in a rehab or been arrested. Really? Addiction is a illness that no one asks for. I hope you understand that no matter what kind of parent you are people young and old make mistakes that can be deadly to themselves. Shame on you, shame on you! May you never find out what it is like with your kids or grandkids………shame – shame – From Pamela

Wow, Kathie Lee Gifford, you really put your foot in your mouth on this one. I’ve already stopped watching The Today Show because of how Ann Curry was treated, and about to stop watching Kathie Lee and Hoda because of your uneducated remarks about drug addicts. I raised one daughter who graduated with two majors and has been very successful. I have raised another daughter who got involved with drugs and spent the last year in a drug rehab. Parents are not always to blame for their children’s successes or failures. Until you’ve walked in the shoes of parents of addicts, you need to keep your opinions to yourself or learn a little bit about the disease. – From Debbie

I have 3 lovely children that I raised all the same, my daughter, Jaycie died of an accidental drug overdose and battled the disease for 7 years, my other 2 boys are both in college leading full productive lives…..the disease does not discrimanate and I hope that it never effects you personally because you would have to eat your words….you are uneducated on this matter and need to make a public apology, your ignorance has hurt alot of people and you need to own it!!!!! I would appreciate it if you would read the petition that I have started and consider signing it and promoting it…Thank you, Sincerely, Susan – From Susan

Here is my son’s memorial page. Lost to addiction on 9/23/10 – a son, brother and Father! A beautiful soul with a disease. Think before you speak Kathi Lee – addiction is a disease and your words hurt. From Patty

Shame on you kathie lee for insinuating that parents are to blame if their children do drugs or are drop outs. Do you think if a husband cheats on his wife that it is the wifes fault? OH YES we all still remember you and Frank many years ago with your own situation. How would you feel if people blamed the wife. I DO NOT blame the wife, but some ignorant person who thinks like you do just might. Think about that please as you pray tonight to ask forgiveness for making good parents feel horrible about themselves. Forgive us if our children aren’t as perfect as you think yours are. – From Paul

It is shocking that someone like Kathie Lee would seemingly kick suffering parents when they are desperately trying to save their children’s lives. Enough misinformation already. Addiction is a disease which affects over 30,000,000 Americans, approximately the same number of Americans suffering from diabetes. If bad parenting were causal of addiction, as Kathie Lee suggests, this number may be even higher. – From Ben Levenson, the founder of Origins Recovery Centers.

I was actually ready to defend Kathie Lee on this, since she was just speaking carelessly and you have to read into what she said to get the meaning. Then I read the whole interview and it’s clear that’s what she meant. She made another statement in which she says that parents are responsible for their adult children’s behavior:

Q. What’s the biggest mistake parents make?
A. Letting kids be selfish brats. That’s why too many adults are grown-up children who still throw tantrums, have road rage and hurl profanities at each other. I’d rather not contribute to the problem, so I’ve tried to teach Cody and Cassidy the art of sharing and the true meaning of “please” and “thank you.”

[From Family Circle]

I agree that kids need to be taught respect and manners, but that doesn’t translate to the assumption that all people who act rude had bad parents! You do what you can as a parent, and then your child grows up, leaves home and makes their own decisions. Kathie Lee’s kids just left home, she has no idea what she’s talking about when it comes to how they’ll do out in the world. Kathie Lee needs to put down the chardonnay and think before she speaks.

Did you know Kathie Lee has a children’s book?

Photo credit: WENN.com

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144 Responses to “Kathie Lee Gifford lambasted for implying parents of addicts are failures”

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  1. Jackie O says:

    i find that to be true. if a child grows up to become an addict, it is usually due to some parenting failure.

    very hard to accept, especially for the parent and other siblings.

    • daisydoodle says:

      wow, that’s a big trial balloon you sent up….as a parent I’ve had many ups and downs with childrearing, it’s not that simple Jackieo, I’m not going to get into specifics, however, I have 3 very successful kids, but there are no guarantees.

    • Rachel says:

      Not always. My father and uncle are successful, were straight-A students, never touched drugs in their lives. Their sister (adopted — my grandmother is biologically her aunt, but her own mother was/is an addict and irresponsible) barely graduated and continues to use drugs and is on welfare. Same parents, different genetics. I don’t think the parenting is always the issue, there is a lot of other things at play.

    • Nanz says:

      You are completely wrong on this and, worse, ignorant. Addiction is a disease. Speaking as a recovering alcoholic from a supportive two-parent, middle-class, church going family, I can assure you it is most certainly NOT my parents’ fault.they did everything in their power to “raise me right,” but alcoholism and addiction know no bounds. Think before you judge and definitely before you speak!

    • TheOriginalKitten says:

      Jackie-Bad parenting might leave your kid more SUSCEPTIBLE to addiction but good parenting is never a guarantee that your child won’t become a victim of addiction.

      All the stellar parenting in the world cannot prevent the power of addiction.

      • itstrue says:

        I’m in agreement with Jackie on this. I had an older brother and younger sister get good and strung out and I can pinpoint exactly what my mom did to cause it. I was her favorite…I turned out fine. She never beat me, she did them. If you ask my mother about it, the denial runs so deep she believes her own fantasy of what really went on. It’s very hard to shine the light on yourself.

      • itstrue says:

        P.S. what’s wrong with a parent who has a couple good kids saying “I guess I did something right”? As much as everyone wants to say they have no control (parents of messed up kids) those same parents would certainly take credit if their kids became great successes. So basically it’s not my fault if they suck, but it’s totally my doing if they’re rocket scientists.

      • irishserra says:

        TheOriginalKitten, yours is easily the most sensible comment on the matter.

        The bottom line is that drug abuse, alcohol abuse, any kind of abuse (food included!) is a substitute for a comfort, substitute for coping skills or some other emotional void in one’s life. While the underlying issues MAY have their roots deep in childhood issues, not all of those issues may be the fault of the parents, and then again, NOT all of the underlying issues may date back to childhood.

        We do our best as parents and hope for the best, but time and unforeseen occurrences can intervene at any time.

        That being said, I don’t think Kathy owes anyone an apology. It was a thoughtless comment, a trifle. If she had bothered to put more thought into it, I’m sure she would have crafted a more accurate statement, but the policing of everyone’s comments is petty.

      • MrsBPitt says:

        @TheOrigianKitten – You are absolutely right…and I hope and pray that all these “perfect” parents don’t find that their child is an addict. My brother, sister, and I had wonderful parents. My sister is a beautiful, loving, big-hearted woman…she is also an alcoholic. Neither my brother, not I have a problem. Same parents, same childhood…great parents don’t always have great kids, or sometimes they have great kids, but those kids have an addiction problem…KLG’s kids could still have problems, my sister’s problems didn’t start till her mid-twenties…I hope she never has to eat her hurtful words…

      • gg says:

        I totally agree with original kitten. It’s a combination and also a crapshoot.

        How in hell can people generalize with every addict? People are vastly different, born into very different cultures and socioeconomic circumstances, with very different mental and physical propensities. How can anybody paint everybody with the same brush? Impossible!

        And I think I just reiterated emily’s and Morticians’ comment below.

        Worse, putting 100% of the blame on all parents of all addicts in this world is ignorant, mean, dangerous, and just wrong.

    • Gijimenez5 says:

      I agree with you Jackie, children are a blank slate when they are born and while we cant predict their personalities it is up to us to persuade and show them how to use it for good. My grandmother had 6 kids 2 are addicts my biological mom being one of them. Do I think she is to blame yes. Why because it is known that she didn’t talk to any of the kids about the dangers of drugs, when she was approached with my moms and uncle behaviour she refused to acknowledge the problem. She let her teenage kids go to parties without supervision. She didn’t ask questions, didn’t look for signs, because she thought it couldn’t happen to her. Educate, become involved in your childrens lives, know their friends, be a parent not a friend, guide your kids, speak from experience and trust me they will do what is right.

      • Emily says:

        Children are NOT blank slates when they’re born. They have temperaments, susceptibilities, and propensities because of their genetic makeup. Further, parents cannot control all the life experiences their children have, not even when the children are tiny babies. I was born with a hole in my lung and had to stay in a little spacesuit for the first few weeks of my life, and then I had pneumonia four times in my first three years. My parents didn’t control any of that.

      • MorticiansDoItDeader says:

        More likely than not, it’s a little bit of nature and a little bit of nurture. There are children of addicts who seemingly rise above it all and turn out to be successful, productive human beings. These are the people who impress me most, as they probably have some genetic predisposition to addiction, yet they rise above that AND the bad parenting.

        @kitten, I think we’re on the same page :)

      • TheOriginalKitten says:

        Exactly, Mort and yes, we are on the same page (**high five for rational thinking!**)

      • Suzy (from Ontario, Canada) says:

        I agree Emily, children are born with genetic propensities and things happen beyond our control that can also have an impact. When my oldest son was born I almost died and was extremely ill for weeks after his birth. As a result, despite wanting to hold him in my arms and breastfeed, I ended up being so ill that he was supplemented with a bottle from the start and we were apart a great deal. Very different start than my next son who was in my arms immediately after birth and never separated from me at all. Plus I wasn’t always the best parent, I made mistakes. At the time I was trying very hard to do my best, but looking back now, some 20 odd years older and wiser, I see things that I would give anything to go back and do over differently. I consider myself a good parent because I never stop trying to be a better parent and learn from my mistakes, listen to my kids and recognize that they aren’t me. They have their own personalities, their own dreams and their own positive and negative traits.

        Neither of my boys are addicts, but the oldest has struggled much more with figuring out what he wants and dropped out of university. By comparison, my younger son is very successful and focused. But who knows what the future holds. I have a friend who’s brother was a complete mess all through his 20s, even joined a weird cult for a few years, but in his 30s he went back to university, got an engineering degree and now is hugely successful (happily married and very successful and happy in career). There are so many variables. I come from a very abusive/dysfunctional background but never got into drugs or drinking beyond the occasional drunk days in my univ days. I hate it if people imply my mother had anything to do with me turning out so well, because she didn’t (unless it was me looking at her and seeing what I didn’t want to be).

    • Emily says:

      Sorry, you’re wrong. You need to learn something about what different drugs do to people’s bodies before making statements like that. Everyone reacts differently to drugs, but here’s how I reacted to an extremely commonly prescribed painkiller.

      I was on percoset (prescribed) for two weeks after my back injury. I took less than my recommended dosage. When I went off it, I was in utter misery for a week. I couldn’t sleep at all, I was super nervous constantly, my body kept needing to move, and my entire body was in serious pain. I didn’t even like percoset — all it did was put me to sleep, and it didn’t help the pain any more than Advil did. But I was craving it like mad, if only so I could get a few hours’ sleep.

      People are prescribed percoset at high dosages for months at a time. My body needed it after just two weeks of taking less than the dosage my doctor prescribed. I was an addict. I was able to stop using it, but I have no doubt that I would have needed rehab if I’d been on the stuff for longer. Tell me how that shows my parents failed.

    • k says:

      I would say the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

      Sometimes parents subconsciously treat their offspring differently. And since the offspring each have different wiring, the variables get multiplied.

      In other cases, it’s simply an issue of the hand you’ve been dealt – psysically, mentally, and socio-economically.

    • F5 says:

      agreed, Jackie.. Parents f up kids every day.

      • daisydoodle says:

        I hope everyone is a perfect parent, however, one of my 3 children became an addict. Guess what? I monitored where she went, what she did. I was a stay at home mom, and I’m a nurse. She’s a college graduate, and my husband and I were a unified front. Something disconnected, with DNA, social, parenting, whatever it doesn’t matter, but, at the end of the day, making a blanket statement about parenting is wrong and I hope for all those who agree with Jackie O, there might be a day (I hope not) where you might look back on that statement and feel bad about the way you pointed fingers at what they thought a parent did wrong….phew!

      • Pandy says:

        Agree daisydoodle. Our brains are wired to have a pleasure response to drugs, alcohol and cigarettes. Some of us really really enjoy the response and others don’t feel the effects as much. Guess which response addicts have? Blaming parents is just wrong, its your brain’s “wiring”.

    • swack says:

      What parenting mistake could a parent make that would cause their child to become a drug addict or an alcoholic or a murderer or . . . I could go on forever. You give your children what they need to move on in life and hope they do well and make good decisions.

    • hatsumomo says:

      I have to agree with you..to an extent. Sometimes its just hard to pinpoint exactly where you didnt do that tiny bit extra when raising a child and when they do/dont become productive upstanding citizens. And the same goes for when they are successful.

    • Angel says:

      Wow! Way to buy-in to the whole victim mentality: Boo hoo, I had a crappy childhood, it’s all my parents fault! The refrain heard from many a defendant in court.

      Once you are an adult, you are responsible. I grew up in the disease, surrounded by dysfunction, anger and violence. I’m not an addict, alcoholic or in jail. By your rationale, I should be.

      Crappy parenting can absolutely affect a persons choices in life. But NOBODY makes anyone else an alcoholic or addict. That is old thinking, WAY old!

      I’m sick of our culture living in this state of victimization. I hardly know anyone that can say they had a truly happy childhood. There’s always something: divorce, neglect, abuse, addiction or ridicule. By that token, we should all be addicts!

    • steph says:

      My parents were always more lenient with my brother than with my sister or myself. He was a hardcore addict for YEARS. From the time he was a kid, though, nothing ever satisfied his need for excitement. He also never cried, barely recognized pain at all. So who knows? If they were a bit more strict would it have mattered? I doubt it.
      Parents can be a catalyst for drug abuse. So can outside abuse, trauma, and just a plain old addictive personality. You cannot blanket all addicts together and say that it’s their parents fault. There are many factors that possibly cause one to turn to addiction, usually more than one come into play and create a perfect storm for that specific individual.

  2. Aussie girl says:

    Like most of her comments she doesn’t think before she speaks. You can do everything right as a patent & still your child may end up with the disease of addiction. You can control how you bring you children up but you can’t control society or the world. Kathy you really need to STFU! I still haven’t gotten over the Martin short wife comment.

  3. mk yarwood says:

    Her children likely stay away from vices because of their crackpot mother. I find that to be true across the board. In the end, it is a society focused on perfection and filling in the right blank that is to blame for its citizens falling through the cracks.

    • corny says:

      There would be no end to the amount of drugs I would need if she were my mother!

    • Veronica says:

      It’s true! My aunt (mother’s sister) is an EXTREME alcoholic (has been for over 25 years) and because of how I’ve seen her destroy everything in her life I’ve been more aware of what it can do to you and while I drink here and there, I’ve stayed away from it for the most part.

      Oh and everyone who says that it IS the parents fault for children with addictions, my aunt is the only child of 4 that have any issue with it, the rest have families of their own and thriving careers.

  4. Launicaangelina says:

    Here’s my story (short version). My parents were great and raised us to be educated, work hard and be good, moral people. They had great values and tried to instill them in us.

    We grew up in a small town and drugs were rampant. It was easy to get alcohol (as a minor), marijuana, cocaine and meth – very easy. Both my sister and I experimented because it was the norm. I walked away but my sister became a drug addict and has had a roller coaster life since.

    Addiction is a disease and does not discriminate. While some people are genetically predisposed, others are not. You can have the most amazing parents in the world but if you’re curious and want to experiment, it could lead to a nightmarish disease.

    Kathy Lee put her foot in her mouth. I’m upset about her statements but to me, she also appears ignorant. She’s simply lacking the education. This country can use better education because she’s not alone in her thinking.

    • TheOriginalKitten says:

      @ Launicaangelina-you said everything I was thinking and put it perfectly.

      Addiction is very very complex and although a bad childhood or emotional issues CAN lead to addiction, it really isn’t the sole determining factor. Genetics, life choices, social group/friends, and personality all play into it.

      I DO think what she said was rather ignorant but I also think there are probably a LOT of people out there who think like her.

    • Ol'Miss says:

      Thank you for your informed opinion! Our family has dealt with addiction over many years, and I’d have to say that until you are part of it, you cannot understand it. It is a family disease, as the family and friends change their behaviors to “help” the addict, but sadly, they end up perpetuating the actions of the addict! Hats off to all who see their loved ones who suffer from addiction, love the person and strive to understand the disease!

      • Launicaangelina says:

        Ol’ Miss, you bring up an important point – it is a family disease and family members can turn into enablers for the addict. In our family, my parents, especially mom, is a great enabler and she going to stay that way no matter what. I work for a drug treatment and prevention agency and am a Certified Prevention Specialist and try to educate mom. She’ll never change.

  5. lucy2 says:

    She didn’t say ALL drug addicts are the results of bad parenting, but I could see how someone in that situation would take issue.

    Addiction is such a widespread disease, there are so many varied reasons behind it. Certainly there are plenty of parents who did everything right and their kids still struggle with it, but there are also a lot of kids who’s bad parenting certainly contribute. Look at Lindsay Lohan, Tatum O’Neal, Macaulay Culkin (allegedly), etc.

    • Kim says:

      All those celebs have siblings who aren’t addicts yet had the same parents.All my siblings and parents are thin.I’m obese Is that because of bad parenting?

      • Mel says:

        In some sense yes it is. Did your parents do everything they possibly could for you or did they enable your weight issues. My friends kids who are really over weight are to blame for being to lazy to make sure their kids eat properly. of course you don’t want to blame your parents because then you are forced to deal with another whole set of issues. :(

      • lucy2 says:

        If you read my whole comment, I said there are many varied reasons behind addiction. I’m not saying it’s an automatic result, that if someone has a bad parent they MUST become an addict, or that all addictions are caused by bad parenting. Nothing is 100%.

        I’m saying that for SOME people, it’s a CONTRIBUTING factor. To deny that is to deny the effect that abuse, neglect, and other childhood trauma can have on a person, and how a person copes with that.

        I’d guess that all the Lohan and O’Neal children have their demons – some dealt with it through drugs/self-medicating, and others in different ways. But in the examples of Lindsay and Tatum, is seems fairly obvious that their upbringing played a part in the struggles they’ve had as adults.

  6. Turtle Dove says:

    I despise how a person can’t even make a statement without the PC police jumping on them.

    Guess what Facebook, Twitter-verse, and the world at large, people should be able to say what they want. WTF is the world coming to?

    Hate me if you want, but drug addiction is NOT a disease – it is a choice. I have two drug users in my family and it has been their CHOICES that led them down their paths.

    What’s next? Are we going to call speeding a disease? Then I guess I had an out when I got my first ticket in the spring. “I’m sorry officer, but you can’t give me a ticket, I have a speeding disease.”

    • Mike says:

      ITA. Sorry to all those parents but the truth is your kids are the sum of all your actions. It doesn’t mean 100% of the time a good parent will have good kids or the opposite bad parent raise bad kids. Personally I had neglicfull and abusive parents. My sister and I turned out fine. My brother is not an addict but just a loser in every sense of the word because of his choice.

      • Blue says:

        I’m having trouble with your argument (Mike) you say addicts make their own choices but kids are the sum of their parents actions. Yet you had bad parents and turned out fine, but your brother is a loser, then you and you sister should be losers as well. You can’t have it both ways. Either kids are a product of their parents or they’re not. Life and addictions are not black and white. MonicaN is also blaming the parents and then claiming addicts don’t take responsibility and blames others for their life. Taking drugs or drinking for the first time is definitely a choice but becoming addicted to it. How can you blame the parent for letting the child grow up and have free will. As a parent you can teach your kids right from wrong and tell your kids not to do something but in the end they will do what they want especially once they are out of your house. You can’t be the perfect parent everyday of your life. Unless you stay at home all day every day with your child until you die and then you come back and haunt them until they die there is no way to control your child at all times.

      • Marie Antoinette Jr. says:

        Blue, yes there is a way to control your children at all times–Kathy Lee did it! I mean, it’s funny cause it’s true, right?

    • MonicaN says:

      Amen to that! The biggest problem facing our society these days is that no one wants to take responsibility for anything. It’s always someone else’s fault or things are just out of their control. And far too many parents are raising entitled, spoiled children instead of teaching them how to be responsible adults. Not to mention the fact that the PC police jump all over anyone who dares to call attention to it.

    • whatthehell456 says:

      “Hate me if you want, but drug addiction is NOT a disease – it is a choice. I have two drug users in my family and it has been their CHOICES that led them down their paths”

      I have to agree with you on this one…. I have four older brothers, three of whom are married with children and holding down well paying jobs, while the third is a drug addict. There was no difference in how we were raised we were all treated the same. However, the third has always been a follower and had a compulsive need to fit it…cue the drugs. I believe it is definately a choice.

      • Thiajoka says:

        Boy, are we in the minority here, but I agree with you in spirit. Maybe it’s not so much a ‘choice’ however but a symptom–usually there are underlying issues that need to be resolved. In my opinion, calling addiction a disease is short-sighted and limiting in the treatment process.

        I do believe that in many cases, however, some people are either over-medicated by a doctor or sincerely needed narcotic meds for a condition but long-term use renders them addicts, which is the catch-22 of that type of addiction–needed the meds and/or trusted the doctor and now you have another problem.

    • Roma says:

      I completely disagree with you. Addiction is not a choice, it’s a disease. You have addicts in your family, have you ever went through addiction counseling?

      Addiction is at ones core and they have to work hard to overcome, and perhaps that’s where you think choice comes in, but they are hardwired to be addicts. This sounds a lot like “gays choose to be gay” as well.

      It is not about “being PC”. It’s about being informed.

      • Turtle Dove says:

        Being gay and being an addict are two different things Roma. I think you’re “Roma-ing” off the topic.

      • Cats says:

        The “choice” comes in with using in the first place. You can’t become addicted to something without taking it. You can’t become addicted to heroin without using heroin, you can’t become addicted to crack without using crack, you can’t become addicted to meth without using meth. The first time you use one of those drugs you make a choice. A dangerous, stupid, selfish and illegal choice.
        Alcoholism is different as alcohol is legal, socially accepted and much more readily available. I have a lot of sympathy for alcoholics, but a hell of a lot less for drug addicts.
        I don’t see how you can relate being gay to being an addict at all. To me that is very offensive.

      • lucy2 says:

        I will agree with you that some people are hard wired to be addicts, but there still is personal responsibility and choice in there too. All the hard wiring in the world won’t make you an addict if you don’t physically pick up a drink or a drug.
        I know a few people who, after seeing alcoholism run rampant in their family, never touch it because they know they have that addiction gene or whatever you want.
        There’s definitely some hard wiring for it in many people, but unlike other genetic diseases, there is the opportunity for control and prevention there.

      • Roma says:

        I have a family of addicts. I have been through years of addiction counseling, have taken course in university and have read everything I could get my hands on. I have watched my brother and a sister-in-law die (both last summer) and have a father who has been sober for 15 years.

        To say addiction is not a disease but a choice, to me, is ill informed. In the same way that being gay was a choice and considered a mental illness at the same time up until years ago. So yes, I draw a parallel and I stand beside it.

    • TheOriginalKitten says:

      I’ve thought about this so much and I honestly think the solution would be to create a word that doesn’t have the stigma that the word “addiction” has but not the word “disease” either. So many people look at “addiction” as the epitome of selfishness (which it is on some level) and have difficulty understanding how some people fall prey to it while they themselves never did. People forget that addicts often have a predisposition (that others don’t) that lets them get to that point. So that predisposition isn’t necessarily a choice-it could be genetics or it could be just a coping mechanism for them if life is unbearable. However, people who suffer from cancer or any chronic/incurable illness never asked to have that disease, never had a choice at all in the matter. I could see how a cancer patient would give the middle finger to an addict proclaiming they suffer from a “disease”.

      I think the main problem (for me) with calling it a disease is that it seperates the addict from their addiction and I think it disempowers them in a sense.
      If you emphasize the fact that this behavior stems from a choice (the choice to pick up a glass of booze, the choice to light up etc) then that allows the addict to take responsibility and recognize that willpower, self-control, and personal accountability are all tools they can use to manage their addiction. Versus just telling them they are a “victim” of their addiction, which almost gives them a free pass to shrug their shoulders and say “I couldn’t help it!” when they relapse.

      Keep in mind, I’m saying this as someone who dated an addict for many years-I have SO much love and sympathy for those that suffer from addiction.

      I guess I just see both sides of this argument.

      • Cats says:

        Very well said, I completely agree. I think genetic pre-disposition plays a huge part in addiction but the word “disease” does take out all personal responsibility and there is SOME level of personal responsibility involved. The word “choice” is dangerous too (even though I used it myself) because it implies that it is possible to just choose not to be an addict, and I know from my own family that it absolutely is not easy or straightforward to fight the way your brain is wired.

      • kadykat says:

        yes to everything you said. I know several addicts in varying stages of recovery/relapse. the biggest thing is to empower someone to help control their addiction.

        as a smoker I know everytime I light up I am harming myself and consequently my loved ones but until I decide no not today and say that continuously I will suffer.

        kl’s comment was partially correct in yes you should be proud they are “normal” but because you raised them to make proper choices not because you helicoptered every second. Also she is definitely correct that there are a lot of entitled perma-adolescents who dont take responsibility for actions due to a whole lot of enabling.

    • Ol'Miss says:

      Oh dear Turtle Dove,
      Dig a little deeper into your understanding of the disease, because you sound angry and wanting to blame someone. Addicts make bad choices but they are not addicts by choice. Talk to one who is in a good recovery and gain some understanding. I wonder if you’ve done your work regarding co-dependency?

    • Ol'Miss says:

      One more thing…addiction is not about the drug/alcohol abuse itself. At the core of addiction is the thoughts behind the disease…do your homework!!

    • Turtle Dove says:

      I just want everyone to know that I overate at lunch. I do this a lot, but I’m not responsible because it’s a disease. I also was speeding again going to an appointment, but even though I made the conscious decision to do so, I can’t be held accountable because it’s a disease. I do it all the time, therefore, I can’t be held responsible.

      “Oh dear Turtle Dove,
      Dig a little deeper into your understanding of the disease, because you sound angry and wanting to blame someone. Addicts make bad choices but they are not addicts by choice. Talk to one who is in a good recovery and gain some understanding. I wonder if you’ve done your work regarding co-dependency?”

      WTH are you talking about? Anger and co-dependence? LOL. Just because someone says something that you don’t agree with doesn’t make her angry. Why would I be co-dependent? Apparently you’re able to look into my home via your PC to ascertain this? These people were family… relatives, but not brothers, sisters, parent, etc. They’re just two drug lovin’ relatives that like to get high…. all. the. time. and of course blame everyone but themselves for their lives. Hmmm…. sounds an awful lot like someone else….. {eyes Ol’Miss(creant)}

  7. I rather give birth to an addict than ask a widower how his deceased wife is doing. Moron.

  8. I.want.shoes says:

    If Kathie Lee is an alcoholic, uneducated dumba$$, then it must be her parents’ fault. See how that work?

    • Fritzi Schnitzer says:

      That’s awesome! She should be very careful with her comments because those words could bite her on the ass. Her kids could still become everything she boasts they’re not, but I just hope they write a tell all. As far as her children’s book; probably ghost written and mass produced in a sweatshop. She’a a jackass.

  9. Mel says:

    Of course you are doing something right if your kids stay out of trouble growing up. So many people love to attack parents when it’s obvious their lack of parenting that has allowed kids to screw up. But when kids turn out so far so good then it’s not ok to say it’s because of good parenting? WTF??

    • Me2 says:

      Exactly Mel. I don’t see a connection in the two comments she made at all. If my kids turn out great (so far so good), then hell yeah I’m going to say I did something right. And if they deal with addictions, I would feel at least somewhat (if not completely) responsible for that. Do I believe parenting is the only reason for bad adults? No. But she can be proud of herself and her kids. I don’t know where the other comment came in context of the article, but I agree with her completely there too. It’s a different world now — our parents wouldn’t stand for half of the crap parents do now. (And I can say that cause I’m a parent and have seen the behavior she describes a million times over. Parents are afraid of their own kids anymore.)

    • Choupette says:

      When I read her comment what came to mind was all these celebrity children who ARE getting kicked out of school, on drugs, in rehab, have a sex tape, etc. Hers are out of the spotlight.

    • Emily says:

      I’ve known plenty of kids of absolutely atrocious, abusive parents who turned out quite well. So no, you’re not necessarily doing something right if your kids turn out fine. Kids are not robots, they cannot be programmed, they have genetics and minds of their own and tons of life experiences the parents cannot control, for both good and ill.

      • TheOriginalKitten says:

        What do her kids do? Do we know anything about her kids at all?
        Maybe they’re shitty people, maybe they were bullies in high school but because they’re not addicts or in rehab or in jail that automatically means they’re all stellar people?

        I mean, yeah we’re taking her word for it but forgive me when I say that moms can be a bit biased when it comes to their offspring.

        Also, this means we should automatically condemn any child (even if they’re an amazingly loving person) who becomes an addict as a bad person/child?

        I applaud people who raise healthy, happy kids that become honest, caring adults but I don’t automatically condemn a parent because their child ends up an addict nor do I see them as a failure as parent.

        Being a parent to an addict can be SO painful, adding guilt to that equation is not only counterproductive, but it doesn’t help the addict take responsibility for the actions that lead to their present life.

      • itstrue says:

        It’s a crazy circle because no one wants to take responsibility for anything anymore…not the parents, not the addicted kids. It goes round and round in such a way that no one has to accept what’s been done. I guarantee you that if my kids end up addicted to drugs I will place the blame squarely on myself. The guilt will probably drive me to drink. (kidding kinda)

  10. the original bellaluna says:

    She really needs to put down the Pinot long enough to install that brain/mouth filter she’s missing.

    Parenting and genetics are a mixed bag of tricks, and a highly explosive one at that. Way to offend…EVERYONE.

    My MIL was a life-long addict until just recently. It has had the OPPOSITE effect on her children. NONE of them (the surviving 3) drink more than a beer or two, tops; use drugs; and ALL of them strive to be better parents than she. (Unfortunately, the oldest two are also closet misogynists who have anger issues toward women – nothing violent, just disrespectful.)

  11. Bren says:

    So addicts are the product of bad parenting……so I guess men cheat on bad wives…..oh wait Kathie Lee would have to own up to that …………

  12. L says:

    If it was anyone but KLG I’d be willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.

    But common, parenting is only one of many factors of why people become drug addicts. But it’s not the magic bullet cause of addiction. Otherwise we wouldn’t have all these stories of kids from ‘good’ families becoming addicts.

    So many other factors come into play, geography, friends, socio-economic factors, life events, education, mental stability, and yes personal choice. It’s a complex issue that isn’t down to just parenting and anyone that says otherwise is kidding themselves.

    Also, her kids are still young, and she’s totally going to jinx herself now. It’s not like you hit 22 and then you are set for the rest of your life. My friend was raised by amazing parents,never got into any trouble growing up, had a amazing education, great job, loving wife-and then had a horrible back injury. And then began self-medicating. He’s 45 and his addiction comes down to so much more than mommy issues.

  13. Toot says:

    I understand what Kathy was getting at and agree to an extent.

    I’m not a parent, but have be involved in raising my niece since she was born. She’s 16 now and we always talk to her about the perils of drug use and show her examples. She”s afraid of drugs now and hopefully it’ll last.

  14. Green_Eyes says:

    So w/ all her rude & careless comments flying out her mouth..and all the alcohol she consumes (on the job..lord knows how much off)..is it safe to assume she is saying HER parents are guilty of bad parenting?????

  15. Jcamp11 says:

    Well the comments board is going to light up on this one, right. I cannot begin to address the numerous ignorant comments already posted about addiction and parenting (although there is a direct correlation between abuse and addiction). I am a recovering alcoholic (11+years) who is a great mommy–and I’ve got breakfast to cook. I will address Kathie Lee Gifford’s comments since she is the subject of CB’s post. KLG is a gaffe machine. The woman shouldn’t be on live television. It’s as if she cannot help spewing idiotic or offensive comments. She is not a mean-spirited person, I think. But, Jesus! Grow a filter, lady! Based on what I know about her personal life, I think she is a committed, loving mother. And I hope she never faces the horror my family faced as I battled my addiction.

    • Chatcat says:

      J…good for you and congrats on 11+ years!

      KLG is a buffoon amongst buffoons. But she obviously gets ratings or NBC would have canned her ass (well maybe, NBC is the crapper of all networks right now).

      I won’t comment on what type of parent KLG is, because there are no perfect parents, just like there isn’t any perfect kids or perfect ways to raise them. We are all products of our upbringing sure, but as individuals we make choices from a very young age right on up to the grave.

  16. lw says:

    I have known more than a few addicts in my time, and many of them were sexually abused as children/yound adults. Yes, I believe in genetic pre-disposition, and yes I believe that bad/neglectful parenting can come into play. But childhood sexual abuse is still one of the biggest factors that gets swept under the proverbial rug.

    • anon33 says:


      I work in disability law and review medical records all day long. I have been doing this job for three years now, and it is STAGGERING just how many people who have addiction issues, personality problems, can’t hold jobs later in life, etc, were sexually abused. STAGGERING. At least 75-85% of my claimants who have mental disorders admit to being sexually abused as children.

      Some days I go home from work and cry because these people’s lives are just so…broken.

  17. mln76 says:

    I think people are overreacting. There is obviously a genetic component in addiction but there is also very obviously an environmental one also.
    There may be outliers on both ends of the spectrum but in general people who have good parents have better lives and overcome their problems in a healthier way. I’d bet that those who overcame their genetic predisposition to addiction had an easier time if they had healthy families then those who grew up in abusive situations or with parents who enabled them.
    Many people addicts or not go to therapy in order to gain the things that they felt they were lacking in their childhoods which carried over to their adulthood.
    And don’t get me started about the people out there who don’t know the meaning of ‘thank you’ or ‘excuse me’. Manners are something by you have to be taught same with lack of manners.
    I think people just dislike Kathy Lee so they want to see something negative where there really isn’t anything that wrong with what she said.

    • Marie Antoinette Jr. says:

      Exactly. A happy, stable, safe, secure childhood does wonders for a person throughout life. If your experience is that life is wonderful sober because your parents modeled that for you, you are less likely to turn to a drug for entertainment, comfort or escape as a child or an adult.

  18. Nev says:

    she has her opinion just like everyone else…she can only talk from her experience…just like everyone else…she could try and be more open and be more informed but most people arent so it sucks but it her opinion.

  19. Roma says:

    I made this comment above but to me, saying that bad parenting makes children become addicts is the same argument as parents contribute to turning their children gay.

    • Marie Antoinette Jr. says:

      OK, I’ll bite. Do you really believe that? Or are you just looking for an argument?

      • Roma says:

        I’m being sincere. There were years that peopled blamed parents for turning their kids gay. I find it as offensive as saying addicts are due to bad parenting.

      • Marie Antoinette Jr. says:

        Well, then how do you explain addicted mothers who give birth to addicted babies? Isn’t that the very definition of “bad parenting?”
        Addiction doesn’t happen in a vacuum. There are many contributing factors. Isn’t it possible that bad parents could be one of them?
        At the end of the day though, equating homosexuality with drug addiction does nothing to advance your argument. It’s just plain wrong.

      • Roma says:

        I think crack addicted babies are a far cry from people who struggle with addiction when they are older. I think the addict has a lot of personal choice but I firmly believe it is a disease, and that has been my basic point. You can be the “best” parent and still have a child who is an addict.

      • Marie Antoinette Jr. says:

        Yes. But we’re not talking about people who are older. We are talking about children; specifically Kathy Lee Giffords children who are 22 and (I think) 19. And her point is that she must have done something right as a parent because neither of them are in rehab. And I agree. As a parent, you are 100% responsible for your children until they are 18. If by 19 years of age they have gone so far off track as to need professional medical attention for drug addiction, then as a parent you have done something horribly wrong. Because you should know your kids, you should educate yourself about drugs, you should have searched their rooms, you should have known their friends and their whereabouts every minute of every day. That’s your job as a parent.
        It’s not impossible. Because I know parents who do it. I know parents that have shipped their kids off to military academies and drug treatment programs at the FIRST SIGN of problems. And I know parents who didn’t and their kids are dead.
        It’s a serious issue and it needs to be treated seriously. Parents need to do everything it takes BEFORE the kid is 18 and able to do what s/he wants.

  20. Holl says:

    most addicts I know came from families that were either dysfunctional or very lenient. I feel like a lot of families of addicts are enablers and have a hard time with the tough love aspect and accepting that you are not responsible for an addict’s well-being when they are a full grown adult. For example, my cousin James is an oxycontin AND meth addict. We all know this. We don’t have proof other than he has 8 cars outside his dingy house every weekend that belong to known town dealers and methheads so its unlikely these people are simply over there for a soda pop.
    Yet he still has joint custody of his kids because his parents don’t want the community (as if they already don’t!) to know he has addiction problems and they don’t want to miss out on their grandchildren because the mom wants to move out of state. So his kids (2 daughters and a son) are put at risk every weekend they are at their fathers because of the lack of coherent care and the company he keeps. Also have a friend whose family took out a second mortgage to send him to Betty Ford Clinic twice (about $100k) and he’s on heroin now instead of meth.

    I thoroughly believe drug dealers/manufacturers deserve life in prison for all the havoc their product creates in life.

    Thats just my experience with addiction. I know very well that there are self destructive people who come out of the most peaceful and loving homes as well.

    But as a public figure, Katie Lee you can’t offend people if you want to keep your job.

  21. Lucy says:

    Eh, I really don’t think this is so bad (as much as I loathe this hag). Is it ignorant as Launicaangelina said? YES! But I really think it’s coming more from a proud mom and her living in a bubble place than being a snoot.

    And having that crackpot for mom, those kids EASILY could have become an addict so maybe the dipsh!t act is all for us!

  22. Celebasshat says:

    Hey pple addiction is nw a disease then y are u all giving dinah lohan crap for lindsay been an addict. Jeez! evrytin in dis goddamn country is nw a disease and not by choice, guess if im a serial cheater,overspeeding,using fake id,underage drinking,bigoted misogynist then i ave a disease too and it is not by my choice. When will pple learn 2 take responsibility for their actions other than blaming it on disease *smh*

  23. Happymom says:

    Her children are still young adults-time will tell what kind of choices they’ll make in their lives. I hope I’m raising my kids to be responsible, kind and moral people. But I don’t know with certainty that they’re going to always make the best choices. There are also mental illnesses that could lead people to experiment-and you certainly can’t parent mental illness away.

  24. Sonia says:

    Why is this woman still on tv?

  25. Jaded says:

    Why that stupid woman is allowed to make overarching comments like that on TV is beyond me. My sister and I grew up in a loving, stable family. At some point in her teens she started drinking and that was it. She battled alcoholism all her life, ended up becoming anorexic and bulimic, which all combined led to her death. Why is it that I turned out OK and she didn’t? Because addiction is a disease Kathy.

    I have friends who were brought up in broken homes, under horrible circumstances, who are functioning wonderfully and have no addiction issues. So put that in your wine glass and drink it. Twat.

  26. RobN says:

    Why does it seem like the same people here who are so outraged over this comment are the very same people who gladly blame Dina Lohan for all the failings of her children? So it’s fine to blame one set of parents, but another set of parents doesn’t get to take any credit for parenting well and raising good kids?

    Me thinks that people just love to feel outraged and insulted regardless of whether the comment was directed at them.

  27. Isa says:

    I think it’s too early to be patting herself on the back. I also think people are being too hard on her. They’re only focusing on the rehab part. And you can go to rehab for anything these days!

  28. Val says:

    She might be a better parent than I am (cough, cough, ha, ha) but I can buy, apply, brush out and reapply my MASCARA better than she can!!

  29. Cindy says:

    I can’t stand Kathie Lee, but I really can’t get all worked up about this. People are internalizing this comment way too much.

  30. anon says:

    I wonder how she explains her husbands infidelity to her children. What message does she give them about being raised in that circumstance? Bet she has no comment on KIrstin & ROB.. THis is one woman I have no use for.

    Bag it & tag the mouth Kathy

  31. DesertRose says:

    KathyLee is an idiot. Frank and her are my ex-step-father’s aunt and uncle, and in the late 80′s/early 90′s, when Frank was caught cheating, and Kathy got caught using child labor, she was drunk as a skunk most days. She showed up to the family reunion WASTED in ’93. By the looks of it, she still drinks daily. Her kids are probably good despite what they encountered growing up.

  32. TheOriginalMaxi says:

    She’s such an idiot, anyone remember when she made that Autistic boy cry on her show? A popular boy sat with him at lunch and they became friends, so Kathie Lee wrote a song about how horrible it is to sit along and be a freak. You guy needs to watch it on youtube, and also watch Howard Stern’s reaction on it, so funny

  33. Bobby the K says:

    So alcohol is a drug right? Just like tobacco which is harder to quit than heroin.

    People who smoke and need ‘a glass or two’ often, would never think of themselves as drug addicts.

    What is socially acceptable is referring to culturally approved drugs as being something that aren’t drugs.

    There’s a psychological and emotional connection between words that we use to manipulate our take on society and culture.

    Compassion for ciggie smokers, alkies and pill poppers but contempt for ‘drug’ users?

    Whoever buys into crap like this can be secure in the knowledge that efforts to have their brains washed have been successful.

  34. holly hobby says:

    She sounds like my folks and a lot of their friends. I am not offended by this. A lot of parents think so: “My kids aren’t in jail and they are not addicts so I must be doing something right.”

    This who have family members who have addictions have my sympathy but really whatever Kathie Lee said is what our parents and their friends would say privately. She just chose to say it publicly. First amendment here.

    It’s not like she said, and my kids aren’t gay yada yada. She’s just saying she must have raised ok kids.

  35. skuddles says:

    Honestly, does this woman ever NOT put her foot in her mouth?? Just one dumbass faux pas after another.

    She’s looking mighty botoxy these days….

  36. rumbleseat says:

    Another ignorant and self-congratulatory remark from an ignorant and self-congratulatory woman. What a surprise.

    Kathy has all the smugness that her nutty Christian evangelical beliefs could possibly afford her. She has raised her children in lockstep with the chastity movement, a movement which has been proven to have a failure rate of over 80%. (Youtube Key Pin It Real if you want a laugh.) What a shame she couldn’t successfully raise her husband in the movement as well.

    I turned on her once and for all when I saw her do a segment on prom dresses and she kept referring to the girls in the shorter styles as “full-on slut” with a big shit-eating grin on her face. Apparently the potential lack of self-awareness of fifteen year old girls makes good fodder for the obvious lack of self-awareness of a pitiful middle aged woman.

    If her children are as marvelous as she claims, I would easily attribute the bulk of it to their socioeconomic status and their upbringing in a part of the country that maintains far more normative values than those of their mother.

  37. blondie10101 says:

    Not always the parents fault, I think genetics, environment and personality play into it.

  38. nancy xl says:

    how do you explain children who are raised by drug addicted or abusive parents, turning out to be wonderful. ?? bad parenting can be a good thing too.. it’s all a crap shoot and we can argue forever.

  39. testintg says:

    Well I grew up with a dad who was a family psychologist and a mother who was a director of a chemical dependency center and I gotta say I agree mostly agree with Kathy Lee on this. She didn’t say all people who go to rehab or get arrested had bad parents, she said the fact that her kids have never been arrested or in rehab shows that she is a good parent and I agree.

  40. Swan Jaco says:

    KLG is a drool cup, but that rebuttal was stupid too. Addiction is not a “disease”. Cancer, TB, smallpox, herpes…diseases. Not being able to stop yourself from using drugs and alcohol…not a disease, but a mental problem. Referring to addictions as “diseases” implies that the abuser cannot do anything to prevent it, which is sadly not true. That line of thinking is a crutch for family members and loved ones to use in place of blaming the addict for their bad choices.

    • MrsNix says:

      I completely agree. Thank you for being brave enough to say this in public. I am physically and emotionally addicted to cigarettes. It didn’t just “happen” to me, and I don’t continue to use because I have no choice. I made a bad choice as a teenager, and I continue to use cigarettes as a crutch because I am weak and unready to do the work necessary to stop using them.

      I have more sympathy for alcohol and drug addicts than I really know how to quantify. That said, addiction is not a disease.

      Cancer is a disease. It just happens to people…some of them who have done all the right things and been completely healthy and responsible in their living. Once they have the disease, they have very little control over whether or not they can get rid of it.

      With addiction, the choice to “get” the disease was entirely in the hands of the user, and the choice to put down the addiction is also entirely in the hands of the user. It is an insult to the people fighting disease all over the world to equate the two…in my opinion.

      I am not diminishing the struggle. I am not condemning addicts or saying I’m any better than they are. Like I said, I’m one of them (although fortunate enough to have chosen a legal substance that only hurts ME because I use responsibly away from other people). All I’m saying is…addiction and disease are NOT the same thing.

  41. bELLA says:


  42. hairball says:

    Why Kathie Lee Gifford is on tv is ridiculous. Check out this horrific video of where she highlights ‘heros’. A popular high school kid took time out of his busy day to talk to a kid with autism. She wrote a song on it and is delusional. I have never seen such a disgusting joke of performance. Shame on all the adults.


  43. MrsBPitt says:

    It must have been so hard for KLG to raise such perfect children with all her money and all the privledges that money can buy…she should try walking in the shoes of full time working parents or better yet, full time working single parents who are so busy just trying to put food on the table and pay the heating bill that you don’t get to spend as much time as you want with your children…this bitch has no clue what it is like to be a parent in the real world…and she need to STFU!

  44. Celt Lady says:

    KLG is out of control with her own drinking, so any stones that she throws at other people’s glass houses don’t really mean much.

    The hypocrisy of being so “Christian” yet judging others so harshly leaves me cold.

  45. Christine says:

    Kathie Lee is a middle child. She seems to enjoy something called negative attention seeking.
    She’s almost 60 and still at it.

  46. Sunny says:

    Wow, I didn’t interpret her words anything like most people. It seemed a flippant comment that I’ve heard lots of parents make – “well, I must have done something right if they’re all functional adults” – Not a real thoughtful comment, but not one I would jump all over. Here’s the thing (from someone who works with addicts and those with severe mental illness): there is no definitive research that concludes parents are solely to blame, genetics are solely to blame, or it’s absolutely a combination. There are countless different theories on why some people become addicts just like why some people become depressed, develop anti-social personality disorder, grow up in poverty to earn a PhD, etc. Most rehab facilities and agencies subscribe to a bio-psycho-social model which, like it sounds, takes into account biological, psychological and social factors that contribute to addiction. The age old nature v. nurture will always be a debate because neither can be proven. Parents who think they did nothing wrong might have, and parents who are perceived as failures might have done one very right thing, physical conditions might foster a drug dependence, there might very well be an “addiction gene” or it could be a very influential friend who came at just the wrong time. The exact cause of addiction isn’t the primary focus of recovery because it might never be known, and if a person can’t (or doesn’t want to) acknowledge how their life is being presently affected by addiction pinpointing the exact cause (if that were 100% possible) wouldn’t circumvent the recovery process to being “recovered”.

  47. MrsNix says:

    Honestly…a lot of people say things like, “My kids turned out okay, so I guess we did alright.” That’s all she was saying here, and the people who make a living out of being offended all the time are the only types who would try to make this an offensive statement. She wasn’t saying parents of addicts were bad parents or that they were at fault. She just wasn’t. I’m all for piling on celebrities who say genuinely ignorant or hurtful things, but turning this into a “thing?” You have to get up pretty early in the morning to turn such an innocent and off-hand comment into something controversial.

  48. Nina W says:

    She’s always been an ill-informed twit with a big mouth. How can she say anything about addiction when she guzzles wine like her life depends on it? Addiction is a human problem it can strike anyone, any family. To say it is a failing of character or upbringing or morality is just a way of marginalizing people and failing to address a very serious problem. Addicts need help not judgement from people who have no idea what they’re talking about.

  49. Janny Murphy says:

    a little self righteous don’t you think? So many good decent parents are grappling with how this could have happened, when they raised their child
    with love and respect, some have money,, some don’t.. the disease does not discriminate.. You shouldn’t open your mouth, if you don’t know what you’re talking about. Try spending the night in the hospital with you’re straight A class president who
    went to a party and didn’t use good judgement by trying something all his buddies are trying. it only takes one time in personalities who are prone to addiction of any sort.. Get off your high horse.
    You’ve got no business judging anyone.. I’m sure
    you probably had great parents and look how you turned out in spite of them.
    and trying these feel good drugs just once. that’s all it takes in so e cases drugs realize how insulated you really are and don’t know how this
    World really works.. GET OVER YOURSELF..

  50. kct says:

    Kathie Lee seems to put her foot in her mouth more often than not but some people like the drama of being a loose cannon…and obviously NBC likes it, too.

    I believe parenting and environment have a lot to do with shaping a child but some kids are going to be more prone to problems such as addiction just because of personality.

    Her children are still relatively young and may be walking the line now, but she’ll have some words to eat should they encounter problems in the future.

  51. Dirty Martini says:

    If you have a child under the age of 18 involved in drugs–then you bet, as a parent, you own responsibility. You are responsible for that child morally and ethically and you are responsible for that child legally. There is no way around it, and yes–drug abuse in teenagers is the parents responsibility.

    The lines blur somewhewre between 18-21 and its less clear cut. My kids in college, half the USA away, but you better belive i do my best to stay informed and watch for signs. And if needed I’d do the tough love thing within the boundaries of the law (and maybe a little bit past the law if I believe my child to be in danger.)

    Over 21–adults make their own decisions and choices and no one is to blame but the 21+ adult.

    I have to admit, while I do believe there is a genetic propensity, I believe that a lot more comes into play and the claiming of “ism” as a disease doesnt set particularly well with me. It absolves indivdual choice and responsibility. Alcoholism, drug addiction, etc isn’t MS, lukemia, etc.

  52. addict's Mom says:

    As the Mother of an Addict, I do find the comment offensive. My 24 yr old son has been struggling with addiction for the last 3-4 years. As a Mom who divorced his addicted father in order to give him a better life, I was hyper-vigilant, aware of what he was doing and who he was with. I did everyting I could to raise him with love and discipline and this still happened to our family. The 3 things taught in addiction counseling is “you didn’t cause it, cou cannot cure it and you cannot control it”. I get her being proud of her kids not being in rehab but I am thinking this is not something she would have EVER said if this horrible disease had touched her life as it has mine. This is a parent’s worst nightmare and I pray she never has to deal with it.

  53. dr. mom says:

    why does anyone listen to ms. annoying /ms perfect. why do we still have her on a talk show. she was annoying with regis and she is ghastly with this hoda person. she looks like a drunk on tv. get her off and instruct her to keep an eye on her aging cheater husband. grandpa/ husband is probably still looking at chicks his daughter’s age which by the way should be his granddaughter.

  54. Earl says:

    Have u heard the saying that preacher’s
    kids are some of the meanest kids there
    is? well they have tried to live right
    and raise there children right and some
    of there kids stray away from God, and the-
    Church! When children do bad things you
    have people like Kathy Lee, and others
    blaming the parents,that its the parents
    fault, well if her and hoda keep boozing it up-
    day after day on there show they could
    be setting a bad example for children
    as well! So i believe the Holy Bible
    says get the (beam out of your own eye)
    before judging others! There are great
    parents in this world who truly love
    there children and there children still
    have gone astray.Kathy Lee your husband
    needs you, enjoy your life with him