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incarcerated dad

I am at a loss as to what to do. My dh was arrested 1 wk ago & will be gone a few yrs. Regardless, he's not coming back here. My kids notice he's gone, but don't appear to be heartbroken, although atst we've been so unstable for so long that he being absent isn't abnormal anymore. For my kids, I like the idea of maintaining a father/dd relationship, but I'm not convinced he'll continue to be a dad once he gets out. My question is: should I encourage their relationship during the time he's in prison & hope he continues to be a dad after he's released, or should I refuse them their right to their dad in preparation for the future? I am not one to generally believe in denying a parental relationship. My kids are 3 & 5.

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Asked by Anonymous at 8:31 PM on Mar. 6, 2009 in General Parenting

Answers (3)
  • make a list of the things that would be good that would come from 1. trying to keep him in their lives and 2. keeping him away from them... then make a list of the possible bad that would come from each situation, you have to compare and chose. the tone of you ?? is negative so i woudl assume he would be better out of their lives but i dont really know.

    Answer by AmaliaD at 8:44 PM on Mar. 6, 2009

  • I say let them see him. People can be changed by prison and the experiance. Seeing his children from behind plexi-glass may make him realize his mistakes as a father and husband. It might also be the only good thing he has to look forward to every week/month.

    That being said, the children are still young. If he gets out and doesn't get involved with their lives, then at least you have done your part as their mother to give them the oppurtunity to know their dad. What he does with that will affect the kids. It may be painful for them to go through, they may not know why he won't be there (after the release). Do your best to help them understand that its his choice and has nothing to do with them. When they are older they will realize that they aren't missing out on any good experiances with him. And theres always a possibility that a new dad figure could come into all your lives and then they really won't care.

    Good luck

    Answer by ozarkgirl3 at 8:54 PM on Mar. 6, 2009

  • I don't think it's a good idea to allow people that don't know your situation to decide that for you. You know your relationship with your children and their father. Don't condemn a person for making a mistake just yet. Ask your children how they feel, if they want to go, work it out. If they don't that's okay too. Even if you decided to try it, if it didn't work you could stop the contact. Someone very close to me was incarcerated and continued a relationship with their children, it actually brought them closer than when they were out in society. When released he was actually a more responsible parent because of it. But not everyones like that. Consider this, if the kids have no contact with him, what happens when BOOM...Dad's out and wants to see them. What's more confusing? It's a really hard decision that you are going to have to make and I feel for you. Only you can make it.

    Answer by Steff107 at 9:31 PM on Mar. 6, 2009

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