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Raising Children with Parents in Prison For the Parent left behind with children AND for the Children that have a parent inside. Discussion of unique challenges facing this group!

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  #101  
Old 11-06-2007, 01:36 AM
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my hubby calls everyday or every other day and talks with the kids. I also take my kids regularly to visit their dad. they write constantly. My husband also draws the kids pictures... whatever they want at the time... and dad draws it and sends it home. They both have their little scrapbooks of letters and pictures that Dad has done for them. My youngest is learning his letters, so my hubby is drawing a letter and an animal... kinda coloring book style.. so we can copy it and my son can color it and send it back. Maybe it's kinda cheesy, but it is great for my 4 year old! haha... i even have my own scrapbook!
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  #102  
Old 11-12-2007, 09:37 PM
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I have a 3 1/2 year old from a previous marriage and my fiance and I have a 5 1/2 month old together. He was just recently incarcerated and my son from the previous marriage was asking me where he went and why he didn't come home with us. I am very against lying to my kids (especially since my son's dad does it to him all the time) so I just explained to him that he had to go to time out for big people. That way it was something that he could kind of relate to. I also send my fiance pictures weekly of both kids and the things that my older son is doing in preschool like when he wrote his name by himself for the first time that is getting sent to my fiance. It is hard to do espcially when they are so little (like our daughter is) but I think with the letters and phone calls it helps them to feel closer to the family.
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  #103  
Old 11-21-2007, 03:15 PM
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Default Husband misses baby:(

My husband was recently incarcerated*about 3 weeks ago*We have a 2 year old son together,and this all happened right after his birthday.Its hard because he has grown so much in just these 3 weeks.I never knew how much he would change in such a little time and its breaking my husbands heart.Hes just learning to talk good and ride his bike(hes been too short)and my husband feels so bad because hes missing out.We dont have a lot of money so he cant call me.I can only go see him once a week,and not even that half the time(no car,no drivers license and no money).Hes an excellent father-so I wonder,how do i keep their great bond together when my son is so little and with little resources other than writing?
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  #104  
Old 11-26-2007, 10:06 AM
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what about having a 2 month old babie? what would you do to keep the bond?
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  #105  
Old 11-26-2007, 12:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by STAR&JEREMEY
what about having a 2 month old babie? what would you do to keep the bond?
My sister's in-laws live far away from she and her children. So that my nephew would remember them, they found a baby book (one of those flexible plastic ones that babies can chew on without causing damage) that had pockets for pictures. They filled the pockets with pictures of them. My sister would then sit down with her son and talk about grandma and grandpa, uncle, aunt, cousin, whoever, making comments on the pictures like it was a book she was reading to him.
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  #106  
Old 11-26-2007, 12:58 PM
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Has your son said why he doesn't want to visit any more? If you can get him to talk through his feelings and help him figure out a way to deal with them, he might be more comfortable in going. Letting him know how much his daddy loves him and looks forward to his visits would help too. Maybe come up with a treat (playground, movie, whatever he likes) that you do after the visit so that he'd begin to associate the visit with lots of fun for the whole day?

I haven't been in this situation, but have had something similar with children not wanting to attend family functions. I explained to them how important family is, and that we need to spend time with people we love and who love us. When they got to the pre-teen stage, I just said "you're going". They grumbled but went, and had fun once they were there.

The reason I was so adamant that they attend family functions was because my parents did not "make" me go, and I grew to regret the time missed.
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  #107  
Old 12-03-2007, 03:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by STAR&JEREMEY
what about having a 2 month old babie? what would you do to keep the bond?
My daughters father got locked up when I was about 5 months pregnant. She is now 14 months old. I have taken her to see her father 3 times since she has been born. He is another state so getting there is not to easy. Plus visits are behind glass so he doesn't even get to hold her. Now that she is walking and none stop its really hard to even take her on visits. We write and send pictures. And I hoped that his family would want to be apart of her life because they live 10 min. from me or less but they dont. So keeping the bond really depends on the situation you are in..
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  #108  
Old 12-09-2007, 10:39 AM
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I'm so glad to have found this thread. I took my granddaughter to see her daddy for the first time in 6 months yesterday. Alona is 20 months old. He talks to her every Thursday on the phone and Alona and I have a ritual where we light a candle by her daddy's picture and tell him we love him. She seems to really respond to this. Alona lives with a Aunt and they keep her daddy's memory alive in different ways as well. At the end of the visit yesterday, that went very well I could see the tears welling up in my son's eyes as Alona said, "Bye-ee" and was throwing kisses. My heart broke. When my son called a couple hours later as I knew he would he said, "Mom, it's like I don't know my baby anymore". Again, my heart broke. I told him that when he is out he will have a chance again to re-build the bond they once had and that if he had not been arrested, he would not be here now to be able to work toward recovery and getting his family back together. This is extra hard on him too because he lost his first baby at 3 months old to SID's, which was part of his spiral into drugs. I would like to hear or find more on the effects of this seperation on children. Thank you all for listening.
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  #109  
Old 12-13-2007, 06:05 PM
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Default Need some support!!

I Think that is really great!! I am really ready to get this ball rolling. My husband has been in Wasco past 90 days and counting! It would really help if we could just hug him!! we have 3 boys and my husbands release date is not until 2016. I am sick with grief and I it is really important to me to keep my family together. My husband never missed a 1st day of school, a parent conference was our boys basketball coach, and now it is all gone and I am so lost....
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  #110  
Old 12-16-2007, 09:21 PM
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i have 3 kids for my fiiance (5,3,2). I am afraid that when he comes home in September they won't have a bond anymore. He was really close with our last child. She was the only one he saw born but she is a meany. The last time she saw him she didn't even want to get on the phone cause she was mad at him.All she kept saying was "mad, mad, mad". She went from being around him almost all the time to never at all. So it was especially hard on her. Still I hope that They have that connection when we go see him 12/23.We'll see.
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  #111  
Old 12-18-2007, 12:35 AM
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My husband isn't getting out until 12/2010. He's been in for a year already,and in this year, I have felt our daughter's (ages 9 & 7) bond with him growing a little more faint. It's just that with kids, you know sometimes it's "outta sight, outta mind" . They talk to him at least twice a week, for a few mnutes, because it is so expensive for him to call. They write a little less than they did before, although he writes every week. I am determined not to let this go on, so I am moving from Hawaii to Arizona, to be close to him. Three years is TOO long for them to go with out seeing their dad on a regular basis, and me too. We'd only be able to see him MAYBE once a year, if I scrimped and saved, if I stay here in Hawaii. SO, I am leaving, in april 2008, to make a new life for us over there in the desert, because my family is everything to me and they need to be close to their daddy, and feel like he is more than a "ghost' (thats what my 7 year old said to me.."mom it's like dad is casper the friendly ghost, we hear him, but can't see him!"~ that mortified me! )
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  #112  
Old 01-27-2008, 12:48 PM
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My Hubby was Sentenced on 1/15/08 and we are still waiting on his letter from the Marshalls. We have one daughter 7 and I have two sons 10 and 17. The 10 year olds dad passed away when he was 18 months and the 17 year olds dad is an inavtive father 900 miles away with the new and younger family. We have discussed the children somewhat. Our two youngest attend a charter motessori school, which the administration has stepped up to help with the emotional issues that are bound to arise. They are also keeping a little closer eye on the 7 year old. We talk daily. The 17 year old, who is a junor in HS is a little tougher emotionally. He understands fully all that has happened and will happen. his anxiety level is about the same as mine and my husbands. I have tried to convince him that his job is to get through school and get accepted to college. My job is to worry about the other stuff. I contacted all his teachers and guidance counsler, sentencing was the same week as his finals. everyone has been very supportive of us. We know that we will make it through this and that we will be a stronger family unit when we come out the other end. I plan on sending everything allowable through the mail. The kids are used to dad being a very active part of their lives. He drove a truck cross country the past 7 months waiting on this. So, we have become acustom to not having around 24/7. He and I talked about 20 times a day though, that will be tough for me. This is such a foreign situation for us. I am taking it one day at a time and one melt down at a time. This a thread I will check often for ideas. If anyone has any advice on how to handle a mother in law with dementia who doesn't seem to understand what her son is going through, please pass it along.
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  #113  
Old 01-28-2008, 11:42 PM
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my son is 14 months now.. he was 9 months when his daddy first got arrested. when his dad was at county i took our son to visit him a few times..
when he got to reception i told him i would take our son once he got mainlined so that he can get a chance to hold him, not to mention the fact that this lil boy wont sit still

now that hes transfered and only an hour away i plan on takin our lil boy to see his daddy as soon as we get approved... im extremely excited.. i show him a picture of his dad.. he says daddy and kisses him..
recently when he called, our lil one wouldnt stop talkin 2 him.. babblin his lil butt off...it was too cute for words
it made us all cry when it was time to hang up...
it was his first time talking like that.
i cant wait till we get the contact visits..
and im waitin for the day we can all be together again...
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  #114  
Old 02-16-2008, 09:24 PM
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Default What I do for a 18 month old and 6 month old...

The six month old doesn't really know what's going on and sadly doesn't know what she's missing becuase my husband/their dad was arrested only one week after she was born. But for the 18 month old (who woke up the next morning running from room to room looking for him even though she was only a year old back six months ago when he was arrested) I've made up a book for her of his pictures (I scanned them into the computer and printed them back out, then put those pages in plastic sleeves so she can't easily tear them but can turn them or walk on them without ruining the few pictures I have of them together) and then added in the notes he's written to her. From that book she's learned that hearts mean "love" and she calls it her "da, da, la, la" book and pulls it out every day to look at it. The just recently I uploaded a bunch of pictures to the Flickr web site and she loves it when I set it to "slide-show" and the pictures cycle through. I tell them every night that Daddy loves them, misses them and is doing everything possible to get home to them as soon as he can.

Talking on the phone is harder because she's used to using speaker phone and it'll hang up on us if I try that when he calls. And I've only been able to take her to visit him once in the past six months because we're so far away...we're really looking forward to a "real" visit as soon as he's in a permenant location (he's still in the County Jail awaiting transfer).

I have to say I'm glad this is happening when they are this young and aren't asking the hard questions and hopefully aren't too terribly damaged by all of this.
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  #115  
Old 02-17-2008, 08:37 PM
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we have two little girls together and he was locked up both times i was pregnant it was easy for our oldest daughter because i took her on visits and keep pictures and told her storied about him so she adjusted to him very quickly the sad part was she was in love with her daddy and when he got locked back up it was hard on her she wouldn't sleep and every truck she saw on the road was his but i just take them to see him as much as i can and i tell them that daddy is on his way home and that he loves them very much
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  #116  
Old 02-27-2008, 09:14 AM
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I am kind of scared since our daughter is only 5 months old and he has been sentenced to four years does anyone have any suggestions on how i help make their bond strong as she is growing up?
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  #117  
Old 02-28-2008, 09:32 AM
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I would suggest, let her accompany you to visitations. Pictures, phone calls as her vocabulary increases. As much positive interaction between them as possible is what I would strive for. Have lots of pictures around the house of them together. Tell lots of stories. It will not be easy, but we have to do our best with our children in this situation.
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  #118  
Old 03-01-2008, 10:00 AM
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Thank you Leeann. =]
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  #119  
Old 03-25-2008, 12:02 PM
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My oldest daughter writes her father and draws him cards, I also send him copies of papers she has done in school and her report card. She doesn't want to see him (and we agreed that I would bring her when she wants but not force her, what happened was all over the news and she had some trouble in school so she is angry). Our youngest, hasn't been born yet (wished she'd hurry) but I'm going to send him pics and updates of her constantly let him talk to her on the phone and take her to visit. Not sure how long he will be in county, depends on how long it takes to get sentenced but its so sad he won't even get to hold his daughter when she is little.
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  #120  
Old 03-25-2008, 03:27 PM
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I am happy that I found this thread because my boyfirend got arrested 2 days after I found out I was pregnany (May 2007), now our son is 3 months old and he wont be home until December ( 1 day before the baby's b-day). He is locked up in another state which is 2 hours away ut its hard hard because I have not worked since I was 5 months pregnant
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  #121  
Old 03-31-2008, 10:00 AM
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I send pictures. He really loves it. Plus, I am a fanatic about taking pictures. I drive everyone crazy with my camera. But that's okay. I get lots of memories that way.
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  #122  
Old 06-13-2008, 08:53 AM
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This is great, he's been in going on 5 years - our kids are now 19, 14, 12 and we now have 3 grandchildren 3, 2 and new born. Pictures, letters, visits all keep us connected. I send him report cards, we discuss issues at visitation to keep him as involved as he can - to be honest, he's much more patient with them. Prison (for us) has had the effect of making us much more appreicative of what we had together and what we will have once this is all over. Just keep on with anything that reminds them of "dad" or "mom", things will work themselves out.
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  #123  
Old 06-16-2008, 01:58 PM
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my husband has been gone 1 year and we have 5 more to go. we have a 5 yr old son and 3yr old boy/girl twins. he was moved recently but we have been almost religious with visitation. his newest move has put him 5 hours away from us which is going to be a strain on visitation. i write alot and the kids color pictures to send. i send cards and we talk on the phone. we have pics around the house and i am a nut with the camera too. i bought a video camera 2 months after he was gone so i could make him movies. i have filmed everything. even down to the kids just dancing to music and jumping on the trampoline. i send report cards and papers he does in school too. he is still their father even though he isnt at home. he is still an authority figure and it will continue to be that way. i think he has learned to be more patient with them since his time with them is limited.
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  #124  
Old 06-20-2008, 11:37 AM
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My kids and I are in the beginning stages. Our daughter is 12 and our son is 16. He has only been in since April 15. We send pics, cards, and report cards. We take turns with the phone calls. My kids were extremely close to their dad and still are. The problem with visiting is that he is in Mass. and we are in Tenn. We are looking into a trip up there in the next few weeks. Seeing him will be hard to do with the distance and the cost. I am determined that he be as much a part of their life as possible. Sometimes, I stil can't believe all of this, but this is our life for now. He has to serve 5 years!

We refuse to give up on him.

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  #125  
Old 06-24-2008, 05:08 PM
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I took our three kids to visit for their first visit fathers day. I had been once before just so I would know the routine and be sure of my self. they needed that. We talked about if Daddy starts to cry that it's ok, it was tears of joy, getting to see them. It was also ok for them to cry. We had a lot of tears, hugs, and laughs. We went all three days. We met two other familys from PTO there, we had 8 kids all together. They were all going through the same emotions and made new friends. It was good for the mom's too. We are 5 hours away so we won't be going back till September. They all email every night at bedtime. The smaller ones draw pictures and letters which they mail in a large envelope every Saturday. If they want to ask permission to spend the night or go off with friends for a day they still have to get dad's permission too through email or a phone call. I have noticed that my attitude about this is reflected in them. If I am ok so are they.
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