"This has been something I have dealt with for years," the actress, 40, laments during an appearance on ABC's "The View" Friday. "This is not a new situation."
That's not to say it's been easy explaining to daughters Sam, 6, and Lola, 5, what their dad is going through.
"There are times where his life is more colorful than others, more public than others, and as the kids get older it's a difficult thing," she admits. "I'm learning as I go too. I have never had to deal with this and this was a subject I had hoped to talk with my children about as they got older. But it's hard."
Her method: using books to teach her girls about addiction.
"One in particular, I'm blanking on the title, it explains addiction to children," says Richards. "There are images and pictures that a child can understand. I don't know what they fully comprehend from these conversations. They don't know what some of these things are. So I do the best I can and it's not easy."
Still, she's accepted that it's something she's going to have to deal with. "I mean, you know this is Charlie's lifestyle," she says. "He makes no bones about it. And it is what it is."
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