Kids visiting parents in jail.

Old 06-20-2007, 06:16 PM
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Question Kids visiting parents in jail.

Alot of you know I will be doing about 4 months in jail for my driving offenses. I know alot of the families here have members of your family in jail. I am curious as to what you think on kids visiting parents in jail.

I have 3 kids that are the age of 13, 10, and almost 3yo. The kids are so very attached to me. Ive beeen trying to figure out if it would be benificial or detrimental to have my kids come see me on the weekends. It wouldnt be behind a plate glass window. Its an womens facility and the visits are where you have contact. There is even a place for the kids to play. But how hard would it be for my kids to go home with out me? How hard would it be for them to only see me for an hour or two and have to leave? How hard would it be on them for them to not see me for 4 months? Will my baby forget me? How will I be able to let them go? I have been running my mind through this over and over and come up with any possitive reasons. I could use some input from you all.

I know its only 4 months but 4 months is an eterninty when it comes to your kids.
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Old 06-20-2007, 06:30 PM
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Well, my immediate response is if you have a play area for them, an area where you can embrace, I see no real problem. Your older children may have an adjustment period to go thru, if they understand that you will be home in a short time and "that"
part of your life will be over,forever, I think they will accept the situation. As for your 3 year old, I am sure there will be some emotional issues, at 3 there will be no real understanding of what is going on, and no, your baby won't forget you.

Have you discussed the entire matter with your older children? If not, it might be a good idea, see what they have to say.

Don't know if I am on the right tract, but, this is what I feel.
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Old 06-20-2007, 06:32 PM
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I think it better that they get to see you than feel as if they have been completely abandoned.
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Old 06-20-2007, 06:38 PM
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I would think it would be harder on your kids if they didn't get to see you at all. But.....the one thing I can promise you is there is no way on God's Earth your baby will ever forget you, so please don't even give that a second thought.
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Old 06-20-2007, 06:52 PM
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My two oldest girls know where Im going and why. I think the oldest would be ok coming to see me, but I think it would cause more damaging effects on my middle. She struggled when I was doing weekends and she wears her emotions on the outside of her body. The baby, well, I cant even think about right now.
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Old 06-20-2007, 08:07 PM
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In my opinion and experiences here in Florida, actual facilities as opposed to county holding places are more family friendly. So of the facility is like that, they can hug you a minute ect I see nothing wrong and think it would be beneficial, especially since they know you are doing good now. It could be a beneficial learning lesson. In addition I think with all, taht all of you as a afamily have been through, not having them visit could only lead to abandonment feelings even though not the case
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Old 06-20-2007, 08:17 PM
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here's a website that might be helpful..

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Old 06-20-2007, 08:41 PM
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If it were me, I'd have my kids visit. Being incarcerated is part of your truth.
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Old 06-20-2007, 09:33 PM
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Where my son was staying we had visitation similar to what you will have but there was no playground. The little ones there did not seem to notice that it's a jail...they were just happy to be there. There will be some stress for your kids no matter what you do. I agree with the others that it's best to have them come see you. It will help them have this contact, and to realize that although it's not the best place to be- they will see for themselves that you are okay. Plus, you _know_ how much it will mean to you to spend some time with them. I treasured the visits with my (grown) son and although I cried everytime after I left him.... those visits were pure gold. You are very fortunate to have such good visitation priviledges. I think it helps make the 'time' go faster. jmho
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Old 06-21-2007, 07:06 AM
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My sister is serving 6mos right now in county jail. Her kids are 14,13,10 the first visit they were very scared as we all were. They didnt know what to expect and it was hard to see their mom crying when they walked in to see her. The 10yr old was a real mommas girl and did go through a period of talking back and crankyness that went away. She is the one who cant wait to go see her mom every saturday. She says "time to go see mom in the slammer". It was explained to them why she was there, how long, and that she loved them. She still calls home a few times a week communication is there. I did put the 13yr old in counseling cause she seemed the most resentful. Its an adjustment but all of her kids have adjusted well to it. They just tell their friends moms on vacation. She has been in since feb and should get out in aug. the kids are getting excited already there have been alot of changes, but what I promised them is I would do my best to make sure their lifes didnt change a bit while there mom was gone. Its been a struggle but the kids seem to have adjusted.
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Old 06-21-2007, 09:19 AM
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It's an adjustment, but I think the visits are important and will help keep you close.
My AH (I guess RAH now) has been in prison for 15 months now. We visit once a month because of the drive. My oldest is 16, has been once, is resentful of her father for being there and refuses to go back. My son who's 14, will go every once in a while. My youngest who's 10 and daddys girl goes every visit. I won't force them to go and sometimes it upsets RAH because they don't all come, but I figure that will work it self out since he is doing the 12-steps and will be working on amends etc soon. Sounds like your kids will be ok with the visits and the 4 months should go by quickly. Just keep the kids informed and let them know its only 4 months and how much you love and miss them.
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Old 06-21-2007, 09:28 AM
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No No NO

I don't think they should see you like that and that you should tell them that.

"I do not want you children to have a memory of me in a jail jumpsuit behind bars. We can write and call, but I will see you when I get home."

I feel very strongly about it. They didn't do anything wrong. They should not have to bear that painful memory. It's also not good for their respect for you to see you under the control of COs, etc., when they are going into their teen years.

It's only four months, it's not like they won't see you for a year.
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Old 06-21-2007, 10:07 AM
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let it grow!
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i saw this thing on tv awhile back, it was a program being used in some prisons. the parent recorded on cassette - favorite children's books. and the kids got the books and read along with the recording from home. might not be doable with your older kids, but i bet the baby would like it?

blessings, k
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Old 06-21-2007, 10:22 AM
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i think by all means your children should come see you that is if they want to.two of them are older enough to be ask & the 3 yr.old is not old enough where i can see it makes any real difference. as many time as my son has been away his would not know him if they had not have gone.he is close to all his children.i think it is important for children to know there parents no matter how good or bad they are.they grow up setting their own opinions of them & it is not hear is tough on kids to have to leave them but it is tough on adults also.saying a prayer fpr you & your family.
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Old 06-21-2007, 10:41 AM
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I've heard pro/cons both ways. I know how much you love your kids and I know you will do what your heart tells you!
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Old 06-21-2007, 11:14 AM
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My gut feeling is to let the older ones choose for themselves.

This may be a perfect opportunity to let them know that regardless of what they choose, this is your "thing", not any fault of theirs, and that there are no expectations of what they want to do while you are away.

What better way to teach them that they have choices?

I wish you the best
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Old 06-21-2007, 12:23 PM
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I agree with letting your older ones choose. I have a three year old boy and we visit his Dad every Sunday at rehab. No, it's not jail, but honestly my son doesn't know the difference. He sometimes plays with other children there visiting their dads. He enjoys himself and likes to see his Dad. Plus it is a good thing for my AH to see his son.

Your older kids are old enough to understand right from wrong and also the lesson of taking responsibility for your actions. I don't think that seeing you there,especially because it's NOT behind bars, will scar them. You can talk about, and I'm sure have talked about already, why you must do this and that can be a positive thing in your lives. Gwen, you have taken back your life. It's been hard but you've made the best decisions for yourself/your kids along the way. You need to hold onto that.

You are setting a good example to your kids by following thru, not using, and being a responsible adult. I can't see them turning out anything but as really good kids.

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Old 06-21-2007, 09:03 PM
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gwen, i agree that it would be beneficial and a learning lesson for your kids to visit you. especially your older two. the first time my rah was in jail it was for four months too and i did not allow my then 5yr and 8yr old to visit. they were devasted the entire time and i even know have issues with my younger one when his father leaves for work, etc. he always worries about where his dad is and when hes coming home, to the point of sitting and watching the clock. the baby will obviously have a hard time leaving you after the visit but at that age within an hour or so of being distracted they will be ok. and no, the baby will not forget you. my now 2 yr did not see her dad for 3 months while we were separted and she remembered him right away.
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Old 06-22-2007, 07:56 AM
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Thank you for the replies here. I have talked to my sponsor, my mom, and I even talked to my therapist from when I was in rehab. All have agreed that they believe it would be benificial for the kids to come see me, Not every weekend, maybe just once a month. I also have set up that my kids can go talk to my theripist if they need too. I did talk to my girls, and they want to come. I will wait till after Ive been there a few weeks to make sure its a place for them to come. I will also call the place where I will be going to talk with someone to see how to go about having them come and what kind of setting it will be. Now I just have to set my mind toward what is coming, so I can handle this with some dignity and respect.
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Old 06-22-2007, 08:03 AM
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I am just so proud of you. You have handled a bad situation with nothing but grace and dignity. You are shining star of what we all hope our loved ones can/will become.
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