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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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  #1  
Old 09-21-2012, 05:49 PM
missing_my_hub missing_my_hub is offline
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Default It has only been 4 days. Did you tell the kids?

My husband had to surrender on Monday. I already miss him so much! I am so glad that I found this site. It seems to be very supportive. As of right now my kids, ages 9 and 3 think my husband is overseas. My husband was sentence to 63 months, but good time drops him to 54 months and the judge recommended the drug program so that puts him at serving about 3 years then 6 months in the halfway house. He was suppose to be at a camp, but he was sent to a Low facility. He said that he does not want the kids to see him in there. Any thoughts????
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Old 09-21-2012, 06:24 PM
HisNDNgirl HisNDNgirl is offline
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I dunno. I have always been very honest with my kids. This has built a relationship where my kids tell me things other kids don't tell their parents. They know about my struggles, failures and triumphs in life. Now that my oldest three are 16, 14 and 12, I am very thankful that I made that choice cuz they are at an age where they face hard choices in life and are not afraid to talk to me about it. They know where my boyfriend is, they write him and send him pics. Now he is not their father but he is the only one who has ever been a dad to the the 14 and 12 year old. In the end it is a call the two of you need to make together but I would suggest talking about the benefits of being honest with them
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Old 09-21-2012, 06:36 PM
missing_my_hub missing_my_hub is offline
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Thank you so much for your response. I know I will tell them eventually, I just dont know when....
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Old 09-21-2012, 06:42 PM
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I have 4 kids, but My 2 kids that are ages 4 and 5 now still don't know that their dad is in prison for the past 3 years. Their dad and I broke up when I was pregnant before he went to prison which is probably why I never told them where he really is. They just think he's working far away right now, but they get to talk to him once in awhile. Plus of their age is another reason why I never told them, my son wasn't even 1 years old yet when his dad went inside.
I guess it depends on how comfortable you are with telling your kids where their dad is. Maybe ask your husband if he wants the kids to actually know where he is.
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Old 09-24-2012, 03:19 PM
niecey niecey is offline
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I think it really depends on you and how comfortable you feel with telling your children. Also, how many people around you know where he is. My husband is only serving 8 months, although we were faced with possibly 15 years at min. I wondered myself how I would explain to my children when they got older where daddy is. Right now they are 2 and 1 and don't really have a clue, they just know daddy isn't home right now. I can completely see your husbands side. For me taking my 1 yr old son last year to see his daddy in jail was hard, and then taking our newborn daughter was even tougher (she was born while he was spending a month in jail). Even now if we lived in the same state I don't think I could bare to take my children because daddy couldn't come home. But with them being older it might be best to explain where he is.
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Old 09-24-2012, 06:24 PM
MomInMI MomInMI is offline
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We didn't have much of a choice with my granddaughter, since her father had primary custody of her before incarceration. Once he was sent to prison, we did tell his 4 1/2 year old daughter that he wasn't going to be around home any more. Due to her age, we explained it as a "time out", a place where grown-ups go when they've broken the rules. We've been taking her to visit him at least twice a month for the 5 years since then, they communicate by letter and email (now that MDOC has JPay), and have maintained a close relationship.

It'll be tougher to see him now that he's been moved 6 hours away. She started to cry when we told her we couldn't see daddy every other week any more. But, she loves to go to hotels and swim in the pool, so we told her about the plans we have to visit him every couple of months and stay for a few days in a hotel and see him every day while we're there.

We copy my son on all of his daughter's report cards, send him special assignments, and her mother has been wonderful about letting him contact both herself and their daughter at her house.

It's a tough choice to make, and every family handles it in their own way. If you and your husband are up for it and you think the kids can handle it, I'd say to maintain the parental relationship any way you can. In my opinion, it's good for the child and the parent, so they don't feel like a big piece of their life just got chopped off.

All the best to you and your family.
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