When a child sees someone they love in cuffs, it can be pretty traumatic for a child– especially if that loved one is their parent. The thing is, losing a parent is a hard thing for young children to comprehend. It’s also hard for convicted parents to explain why they’ll be gone. How do you explain to your child that you voluntarily made a bad decision (albeit, a mistake), and now you have to leave them? Well today, we’ll discuss how to handle this unfortunate scenario. Ultimately, it’s important to help your child understand and make sure they know they’re loved. A Houston arrest and jail sentence will be hard regardless. But it’ll be easier on you and your family if you discuss it right away.

Take Responsibility

When something like this happens, children oftentimes jump to conclusions. They don’t understand the concept of arrest and start thinking about it obsessively. Unfortunately, that can lead them to think that they are somehow responsible for the situation or that they could have prevented it. That’s why you must take responsibility and explain these are the consequences of your actions. It’s imperative to make them understand there’s nothing they could’ve done to change the outcome of your situation.

Children may also feel curious and scared about what will happen in jail. Part of this comes from their understandable lack of knowledge about law enforcement and the criminal justice system. So, it’s essential to tell them that there’s nothing to worry about. Being in custody shouldn’t make them think their mother or father is on death row. They’re just in to talk to the police. Try to be as open as possible, but keep the conversation age-appropriate. Also, make sure you alleviate more fears than you instill. 

It’s All About Being Honest

It’s easy to assume that children are not as smart as adults. However, they see more than we realize. That means that you need to be honest, especially in situations like these. Of course, you don’t need to go through every little detail about what’s going on to help them understand why their parent is in custody. 

Allowing them in on the short story will help clear the air. Sometimes, the basics of what’s happened are better than the full thing. You can stray away from nasty details that can affect their mental health and further development. But still, be honest that their parent did something wrong. It will help them understand that mistakes have consequences.

Use It to Their Advantage

As weird as it might seem, there is a silver lining here. Essentially, you can use it to help your child learn what not to do in later life. Their age shouldn’t keep them from understanding that we are responsible for our actions. 

The pain and sorrow they might feel will allow them to form a critical opinion and make better decisions. Both children and families of incarcerated fathers and mothers tend to be more responsible. Their understanding allows them to avoid incarceration themselves, and ensure that their loved ones don’t suffer the same experience.

A Houston Arrest Sucks, But ABC Bail Bonds Can Help!

If you or someone you care for is in custody, you can always get a bond at ABC Bail Bonds in the Huston area. This way, you’ll be able to prepare your defense from the outside while surrounded by friends and family. We’re available for contact by phone or e-mail any day of the week, and we’re more than willing to lend you a helping hand and answer all questions about parental incarceration.