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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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  #526  
Old 11-13-2012, 03:39 AM
tmm292012 tmm292012 is offline
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I'm new to this whole site and I'm not sure why I didn't find it before. I have a 7 yo beautiful daughter who just met her dad for the first time in Jan. He's been in and out of the prison system since I first met him 8 years ago. I found him last August locked up once again and wrote him and this time he was ready to be involved in my daughters life. He wrote her letters and called her until he got out in Dec, then I finally took her to meet him in Jan. They had an amazing time and she loves him so much then in Feb he was locked up and was looking at 5 years and I didn't know how I was going to tell her. Thankfully he only ended up getting 2 years but it's still so hard. One time he called and told her and she cried and it was one of the hardest things I ever had to see, but I have faith that this will be his last time as he is doing so many things he's never done before. I save every letter and drawing he sends for her and he even called on her birthday last month. My heart goes out to all the parents who have children whos other parents is locked out.
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  #527  
Old 11-26-2012, 06:40 PM
aandnv aandnv is offline
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Default Single Parent for 8 years

It has been 8 years since my ex-husband went to prison. We had a 2 year old and I was pregnant with my youngest.

He will be getting out in about 1 1/2 years.

This has been the most disgusting experience of my life as a parent. I am still not even close to being over it. Having to raise children and see them suffer emotionally for what their parent did is a shame.

I am glad to have found some who are going through the same thing.
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  #528  
Old 11-29-2012, 09:50 PM
lizabethwelch lizabethwelch is offline
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Over the thanksgiving holiday, while we were entertaining a house full of guests, my kindergartener looked back thoughfully at the orange shirt I was wearing and said "Your shirt is the same color as Tony's jumpsuit." Tony, by the way, is her father, whom she has never called by his first name. It got me wondering if someone in the family said that and she overheard it...Maybe not, but the fact that I had to wonder made me a little sad. The fact that her father is in Prison and missing out on her life made me a little sad. And wondering when she would bust out with an awkward comment like that again in public made me a little sad, too. But ultimately, I felt the worst because she delivered that sentence with great comic timing, and it made me laugh. I sometimes feel guilty laughing even though it is definately a coping mechanism for me.
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  #529  
Old 11-29-2012, 09:55 PM
lizabethwelch lizabethwelch is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MissTragedy View Post
hey! im totally new to this site, so my fiancee "baby daddy", Chris was locked up a month ago. His son is totally lost on things...Hes only a year & a half.. its soo sad!! he just got transfered from the jail to prison today! i have no idea when he'll be out! sad, he has intake for the next month & a half that means no way of phone contact from ethier parties
Intake is the hardest. I believe my daughter thought my husband was dead while he was at Intake. We heard NOTHING from him for two weeks. I was crying at the drop of a hat...in the car, in the bedroom at night, in the morning when I woke up and realized each day that no, it wasn't a nightmare but real life.

Now that he is in his permanent facility things are so much better.

Chin up! You will make it.
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  #530  
Old 01-13-2013, 03:21 AM
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Originally Posted by moxie View Post
Dear Deb,

My work is around children of incarcerated parents. I was one (long ago;
I'm 65 now) and my profession is Early Childhood Educator. Please keep me
informed as to what's happening with this forum... maybe send me an email?
I've just written a couple of things for childcare providers/teachers/parents/grandparents/whomever ... and hope to share them here as well.

Thanks,
Moxie
hi my name is cindy i am the mother of 3 children and there father is incarcerated he was picked up on a 9 year old warrant for a bad check for 150 dollars and a vop with that in that warrant hes at ruterford county work relese center anyway we have a 8 year old lil girl a 11 year old lil girl and a 15 year old son only time hes ever been in trouble is this and our son is ok
the 11 year old wont even let me talk about her dad and the 8 year old crys for him all the time let me tell u christmas and thanksgiveing was terrible anyway i dont no what to do anymore she wont talk to him wright to him anything and the youngest wrights him every hour on the hour until she gos to sleep and talks to him every chance she gets , what do i do about all this there grades both of them are bad and im hurting to i never been with out him i thought it was crazy for just what he got 11-29 at 70 percent on such a low charge it was a minstameaner so i just asumed he would be back on paper and be home , but he never come back and the kids are a wreck any adivce the lil one sleeps with me every night cause she cant sleep without me until he comes home SHE said its cause she knows i missing him to and we r speical daddy mssing buddys but i think its cause my other daughter yells at her and is mean to her if she talks about her daddy idk what to do thank u sorry so long so much on my mind i cant even sleep , tc and god bless u cindy
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  #531  
Old 01-13-2013, 12:19 PM
Lovelyqueenb91 Lovelyqueenb91 is offline
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It's hard emotionally looking in my daughters beautiful eyes and seeing her father. I'm 21, had my child 4 months ago. Her father got incarcerated the same day he found out we were expecting. He has 4 years. I'm a full time student and also work part time so I can provide a life of oppurtunitity and less struggle for my little one. However sometimes staying so strong is the hardest thing to do. Especially when I see my loved one, her father when I look at her. It hurts that he will miss so many of her special moments and it also annoys me to hear people bad mouth or look down on my hopes of a family when his time is done. I'm not making excuses for him, I just know his potential and have faith that our child will keep him on the right track. But it is indeed difficult, emotionally, raising my daughter with her father incarcerated. :-(

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  #532  
Old 05-29-2013, 07:49 AM
linsreveles linsreveles is offline
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Hi all! I haven't been on this site for a long time, I don't even know why I never thought of looking for a thread about this subject! All these posts have been very helpful and now I don't feel so alone. My daughters dad has been incarcerated since she was 3, he was never really around when she was that age because he was too busy being daddy my ex friends kids who by the way was suppose to be my daughters godmother! Well he got sentenced to 150+ years to Life, ridiculous sentence. But even while he is in prison he isn't trying to have a relationship with my daughter, he comes in and out of her life once every few months. I don't know if I should cut all contact with him and not let him talk to her at all or should I just let him speak with her when he gets an hedge to call? I don't want to keep her from knowing her dad but I also don't want him playing with her feelings. She already expresses how she doesn't want to talk to him and she's only 12 years old. Any advice is more than welcome!! Thank you all!
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  #533  
Old 06-04-2013, 06:07 PM
jakeandcaila jakeandcaila is offline
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Unhappy New to this...depressed

The moment I dread....my fiance violated his parole (he had a special sentence and served no time but still got parole)...Took us both by surprise. We are still going through the trial process and he is currently in our local county jail. We just recieved word that since he violated his parole a good chance he would have to serve 2 years (but his 8 months already served will be credit) depending charges. I don't know exactly how this works. We have two kids ( one is his biological son and the other is his step son). Our youngest was 15 months when he was arrested. I guess some advice to prepare us for the worst. Thank you
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  #534  
Old 06-06-2013, 06:35 PM
rachelpemberton rachelpemberton is offline
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Default My sons father is in prison till 5/15/16

Thanks for posting this as I am struggling and no one in my family understands because my sons father and I haven't been together for 1.5 years. But my heart goes out to my almost four year old. I don't know how to deal with it. To tell my son? How do I explain it? Let my son visit with me ect.

Rachel, MN
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  #535  
Old 06-09-2013, 07:31 PM
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This post and all the comments have really helped me learn how to deal with this better and help my daughter.
My daughter is 5 and her father has been in & out of jail/prison for her whole life. We lost contact up until 7 months ago when I got a letter from him asking for forgiveness and apologizing for all he's done. We started talking again and after a few months of him writing to us I explained to my daughter that he was her father. They started working on their father/daughter relationship through letters & phone calls. We decided to get back together and be a family. We have all kinds of dreams and plans. He had court on May 29 and we were all shocked when the judge gave him 4 yrs with 850 days time served, which means he's still got 18 months to go. It was really tough for me to tell her Daddy isn't coming home soon but we are hoping to visit him once he gets moved. I didn't want the first time they meet to be inside but I do feel she needs to see him and hug him and feel the love they have for each other and she will know Daddy is closer than she thinks.
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  #536  
Old 06-09-2013, 11:28 PM
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Reading all the different messages in this post has given me so much strength and makes me realize I shouldn't really complain. I have a 8 year old and four year old girls and I'm currently 7 months pregnant with boy/girl twins. My husband was sentenced to a year last month but with the 85% in AZ should do 10 months hopefully less. My husband and I have been very honest with our children and have told them that Dad did something he shouldn't have done and has to pay the consequences. (We have kind of used it as a learning tool) My children have taken it all very well. My four year old will sometimes ask for him and I just tell her we have to be patient and wait. When I told my 8 year old how long he has she said "oh we can handle that" I have very strong girls. Right now he is in intake and I haven't talked to him in a week which has been so hard for all of us. When he was in county we spoke everyday and we saw him two to three times a week. So this has been an adjustment for the girls but they are still very happy and act as they did before he went. I'm just hoping they get him moved and I get approved for calls and visits before I have the twins I would at least like to be able to talk to him over the phone when I have the babies. I'm a little down he won't be there for the births but at least he will be home while they are still very young. I know he will never do anything again to be taken away from us. This incident occurred many years ago and he was able to be home and fight the case and during that time has become a better man. This is just a bump our family has to get over then we can move on with our lives.

All of you are an inspiration and I'm glad to have found this site.
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  #537  
Old 06-11-2013, 02:43 AM
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Hi my name is Mike and my wife and I are raising are 8 month old grand daughter while her mother is doing prison time 2 years and 8 month. It breaks my heart everyday she is gone but my beautiful grand daughter is a blessing to us and keeps us both going on everyday we both would have never thought we would be raising kids again at over 50 years old. Its just real hard for me and makes me really sad when I look at my grand daughter everyday that her mother is missing out on such a beautiful little life right now like missing her first birthday, her crawling for the first time, and walking because of her poor choices that she has made in her life but then I have to put myself in my daughters mind that she knows this all and how bad she must feel deep inside and the saddness she must feel. I don't know where I'm going with all this but this is what we are going through. Thanks for listening
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  #538  
Old 08-20-2013, 09:45 AM
sieg75 sieg75 is offline
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Default Mother of 2...

Hi all. My husband just got sentenced to federal prison on August 16th for 98 months (a little over 8 years). He and I have two children, ages 6 and 2. The youngest had just turned 2 when her dad was arrested and jailed so she doesn't remember day to day life with her dad. Although she still remembers him because she gets to go visit him on occasion and talks to him on the phone. It is harder with my oldest, because she remembers doing things with her dad before he was arrested. I find this site helpful, simply because it reminds me that my children and I are not alone. There are many spouses and children missing their loved ones due to incarceration. I am hoping to keep the bond with their dad strong by sending them their school things, letters, pictures, etc. But we all know it is not easy. We miss him a lot. We will all get through this though. Day by day...
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  #539  
Old 08-20-2013, 02:08 PM
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My kids father is in state prison. he made a few mistakes, and hes doing 7-12 years in MA. my oldest son was 3 when his father left, and my youngest son was just a two months old. I have brought them to see him many times, almost every weekend. He has had non contact visits for over a year now, and just this past weekend they allowed him to hold his children, for just about 2 minutes of contact before putting him behind the glass. When he came around the corner, both of my kids ran. one ran to him, while the other ran from him. its the saddest thing, he knows his father as a man behind the glass, the voice on the other side of the phone. he eventually stopped cryin and hugged his father and even kissed him, later in the visit he kicked and screamed i want daddy.
i dont think people realize how heart breaking it is. yes he did something wrong, hes owned up to it and he has taken responsibility for his actions. unfortunately i live in a town where robbery and theft are common and people seem to look past it, and when you say that you have a loved one in jail, as soon as we say where we are from its almost understood, of course he would do something like that, its expected.
i have seen my kids father (ex fiance), his two brothers, his three nephews and two close family friends succomb, and when we go for visits they often times allow us to sit near eachother so we can all visit together. People forget, they think about the crime and how horrible it can be, they think about the person that has committed the crime but it seems like everyone forgets about the people left behind, the broken families and the scared and lonely children that have been left behind. or, as in my case, my kids have been judged due to what their father did, and their babies. i was told that it didnt matter what my children did, that it was in their blood and nothing i did, no matter how well i raised them, they were going to be convicted felons and my kids would be in jail at some point in their life.
people disgust me...
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  #540  
Old 03-30-2015, 09:34 AM
S00KIE S00KIE is offline
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I am a grandparent as well. My grandson just turn 7 and he still cries that his daddy isn't home. Mother abandoned him when he was 3 yrs old. It's really hard to explain to him to why his parents can't be here. He just misses his daddy. Counceling hasn't helped much. Now they say the child may have aspburgers disease which makes it double hard. I struggle just trying to understand how it affects the child..
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  #541  
Old 03-30-2015, 09:42 AM
S00KIE S00KIE is offline
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Default im sorry im in the same situation

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Originally Posted by Mrs_Roberts013 View Post
My kids father is in state prison. he made a few mistakes, and hes doing 7-12 years in MA. my oldest son was 3 when his father left, and my youngest son was just a two months old. I have brought them to see him many times, almost every weekend. He has had non contact visits for over a year now, and just this past weekend they allowed him to hold his children, for just about 2 minutes of contact before putting him behind the glass. When he came around the corner, both of my kids ran. one ran to him, while the other ran from him. its the saddest thing, he knows his father as a man behind the glass, the voice on the other side of the phone. he eventually stopped cryin and hugged his father and even kissed him, later in the visit he kicked and screamed i want daddy.
i dont think people realize how heart breaking it is. yes he did something wrong, hes owned up to it and he has taken responsibility for his actions. unfortunately i live in a town where robbery and theft are common and people seem to look past it, and when you say that you have a loved one in jail, as soon as we say where we are from its almost understood, of course he would do something like that, its expected.
i have seen my kids father (ex fiance), his two brothers, his three nephews and two close family friends succomb, and when we go for visits they often times allow us to sit near eachother so we can all visit together. People forget, they think about the crime and how horrible it can be, they think about the person that has committed the crime but it seems like everyone forgets about the people left behind, the broken families and the scared and lonely children that have been left behind. or, as in my case, my kids have been judged due to what their father did, and their babies. i was told that it didnt matter what my children did, that it was in their blood and nothing i did, no matter how well i raised them, they were going to be convicted felons and my kids would be in jail at some point in their life.
people disgust me...
yes it's disgusting how people label our families. Once they get in trouble just once they can never break free from it.
Escpecially in my state of MS they used my sons past againgst him to put him away five yrs. My sons wife was a user and fought until his was in prison and took everything he owned including all his money. It's horrify the same week he got married she put him prison. I can't find it in my heart to forgive her. His children lost thier only parent to the prison system.
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  #542  
Old 04-21-2015, 10:08 AM
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Hello friends. I'm a grandmother raising boy/girl twins. My son is 32 and has been incarcerated almost all of his children's lives and their mom has never been a part if their lives. It's been so hard emotionally and financially. Unless they are like your families and mine, people just don't understand the pain, worry, and frustration we endure on a daily basis. As far as I know nobody has treated my grandchildren bad because of where my son/their father is. I am not violent, but am very outspoken when I see my loved ones, especially my children being mistreated. Of course not being able to do or say anything to take the pain of being in prison away for my son has been hurtful. Also I only do what my son asks me to do because if I get it wrong he is the one to have to deal with the outcome of me trying to help. I am so hoping he will come home in a year or so. The twins have been with me since birth, they are 10 now. My son is 32. I will be broken inside until he is home with us. He writes the kids and they him. He puts them on the Angel Tree so they will have gifts under the tree for "Daddy's Angels". He does the best he can with the hand he's been dealt. He got on drugs before he went in and he said and done awful things to me, but I have high hopes that we can put all of that where it belongs, in the past. He has apologized many times, and I've told him that he cannot plan a future spending so much energy feeling guilty about the past. I'm just trying to get through one day at a time. Please keep the children, my son, and I in your prayers that he will be home safe and sound soon. Thank you for listening. I pray for you all also.
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  #543  
Old 04-21-2015, 04:18 PM
S00KIE S00KIE is offline
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Default i understand

I understand. Completely. My son is trying to recover from a guard beating him so bad he needed stitches. All there are doing is padding thier reports to make my son look guilty. I just now got the guards name so I can sue him for assault for what he did to my son. Offender captain Everest, no I'm not afraid to say it. He beat my son which is very small and only 5 foot tall. Sounded like he had some racial issues, which my son is white. From what I gathered from my son. He was beaten was other officers watched, which I find appallin. But I'm confident god will punish the guilty.
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  #544  
Old 09-29-2015, 08:51 PM
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Hello all,

I am the mother of an almost 11 year old girl whose father in currently incarcerated. He has been incarcerated a little over 3 years. He was also previously incarcerated when she was 2 until she was 5 when he was released. He was rearrested when she was 7. He lives 2200 miles away from us so the relationship between them has not been easy to say the least. When he was out of prison, he was very inconsistent in his communication with her. I have tried really hard not to paint him in a bad light for years. I have walked a very thin line between keeping her safe and trying not to interfere in their relationship. This past year she has started asking a lot of questions about him and his incarcerations. I don't want to tell her why he is in prison but I also don't want to lie to her either. At this stage in their relationship, she has flat out refused to talk to him even though he could call and it wouldn't cost me any money. She could also write him but says she hates writing. I don't know what else to do. I don't particularly like her father but I have tried hard to shield that from her because I don't want her to base her relationship with her father on how I feel about him. Any advice? Should I take her to see a therapist?
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  #545  
Old 10-15-2015, 03:52 PM
BaggageClaims BaggageClaims is offline
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Hello purplelady16! You're asking the right questions, and it sounds like you're handling the situation as intelligently and sensitively as possible.

Yes, I have some advice, and yes, you should take her to a therapist - if she is open to the idea of talking about her father. You should both go.

I'm raising three teenaged daughters; their father/my husband has been incarcerated for the past 3 years. Previously, though, he'd been a central figure in their everyday lives, so it's a little different from your daughter's situation.

Telling a child why her dad is in prison is a bit like having the 'sex' talk - it's awkward, unavoidable, and must be customized to match their level of curiosity and cognitive maturity. And it's a challenge to communicate the healthy values and ethics we want our child to embrace, without being overly biased by our personal feelings on the subject one way or another.

In retrospect, I've been TOO cautious about expressing any negative opinions or emotions about their father. Because I was so determined to remain NICE and neutral and unconditionally supportive of him as a family member, my daughters ended up repressing their quite appropriate anger and negative feelings. So go ahead and be honest about your feelings - but carefully frame them as exactly that, your feelings. Your daughter is old enough to understand that Mom's perspective may be different from hers and that she's being encouraged to form her own opinions. She deserves to know - without all the gory details or prolonged venting about it - what you really think and feel.

I've encouraged - but not pressured - my daughters to keep in touch with their father. Sometimes I've had to reassure them that it's okay to ignore his phone calls if they're just not feeling up to talking to him at the moment. They know he's okay, they know he cares about them, and that's about as good as it gets.

And we've managed to find humor in the situation. You'd be surprised what you can laugh about. :-)

- BC
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  #546  
Old 10-12-2016, 05:04 PM
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I wanted to revive this thread. My LO was arrested when I was about 7 months pregnant. Giving birth to our son without him was incredibly heartbreaking.

Raising my son has had some difficulties too. I'm thankful that I turned to family for help instead of trying to do things on my own. My son (Little E) is now 15 months old. He won't meet his father officially until he's 6 years old.

Sometimes I think it's better that my son is too young to begin missing his father. I try to do the things to slowly acquaint him with his dad so that they won't be complete strangers. I send his dad pictures of him. I let his dad listen to his baby babble on the phone.

My LO and I are still deliberating whether or not I should take him to the prison for a visit. There's a lot of mixed feelings about it. I hope that maybe we'll be able to do video visits-- which I'd be much more comfortable doing with a young child.

Being a parent comes with it's joys and sorrows. Being a "single" mom adds another layer to it. Being a "single" mom with dad in prison makes me an onion, bih.
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Old 10-13-2016, 10:21 PM
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Default Grandson acting out in School Dad is in Federal prison

My grandson is going through it in school, his behavior is off the charts. His mom is having a real hard time, he's running us crazy. It's really rough
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Old 10-14-2016, 06:25 PM
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You know children don't have the same psychological maturity as adults. Your grandson is having a really hard time adjusting to his dad's absence. I'm sorry. I know you're doing what you can to make him feel loved and secure.

Does he have any interaction with his dad at all?
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Old 11-09-2016, 09:10 PM
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Trying to find a forum or conversation about divorce and parental rights while incarcerated. Daughter in law, filed for divorce and somehow terminated my sons parental rights without him being there or knowing it was happening, he knew she filed for divorce but that was it.
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Old 11-09-2016, 09:20 PM
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Default Beaten badly

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Originally Posted by S00KIE View Post
I understand. Completely. My son is trying to recover from a guard beating him so bad he needed stitches. All there are doing is padding thier reports to make my son look guilty. I just now got the guards name so I can sue him for assault for what he did to my son. Offender captain Everest, no I'm not afraid to say it. He beat my son which is very small and only 5 foot tall. Sounded like he had some racial issues, which my son is white. From what I gathered from my son. He was beaten was other officers watched, which I find appallin. But I'm confident god will punish the guilty.
My son took a terrible beating by inmates and spent months in hospital. He now continues to have seizures which when he falls, cause additional injuries. They literally said they were not going to waste their money on the brain MRI he needed. He has not regained all strength, still loses balance, has problems with memory, etc. and they just blew it off. He now got a ticket for having a seizure and not making roll call in time. This will keep him from being able to work in there. Very frustrating to see how they are treated.
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