The actress admits the couple's girls, six-year-old Sam and five-year-old Lola, are beginning to ask questions about the actor's ongoing problems after encountering teasing at school - and she is using expert books to explain daddy's an addict.
Sheen is currently rehabbing at his Hollywood home after a wild party ended with emergency workers taking him to hospital with a hernia.
And Richards admits the news about the incident and Sheen's ongoing troubles has prompted her to seek help for difficult conversations she feels she has to have with her kids.
Appearing as a co-host on U.S. TV show The View on Friday (18Feb11), the actress said, "It's easy to control what is on television in my house, but at school it does get difficult; this has been a difficult situation... I had to have a couple of conversations with them.
"There's books out there for any other parent going through something similar to help a child learn about different things going on.
"This has been something I have dealt with for years... There are times where his (Sheen) life is more colourful than others, more public than others.
"This was a subject I had hoped to talk to my children about as they got older. It's hard.
"There's one (book) in particular... that explains addiction to children; there's images and pictures that a child can understand. I don't know what they fully comprehend from these conversations... I do the best I can... They love their dad and it is what it is."