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My 5 yr old & Prison?

My daughters father is going to prisopn in january. Probably for a few years. I am very concerned for my daughter. He is an active part of her life. I have already explained to her what is going to happen & why but I don't really know how much she can understand at such a young age. I don't think she realizes the time frame. I am worried about how to help her cope once he is gone. I have her in counseling already. But there is only so much they can do. I am worried about the crying at bed time. The constant asking about him. Any advice as to what I should do to help her?


                        To make things a little more spacific. He is my ex. I am currently with someone else. My daughter is close to my b/f but still he can't replace her dad. I am not sure what to do about the visiting situation b/c i won't be going to see him so I am not sure she will get much of a chance to see him either while he is way.

Answer Question

Asked by khyleighsmama at 6:28 PM on Dec. 3, 2010 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Level 6 (116 Credits)
Answers (11)
  • I think you need to speak to a joint councelor. You both need help on understanding this situation. By that I mean you telling her and her understanding of course. Also find a local support group in your area for familys with family/friends in prison. Good luck...Also talk to her school counselor. It may help

    Answer by Steph319 at 6:30 PM on Dec. 3, 2010

  • You can't flash forward, all you can do is take it one day at a time. Im all for being honest with a child: however, I don't think I would tell a five year old why her dad is being locked up. I might just say he's going away to a time out spot for a while. Take her to visit every time. Have her write letters, draw pictures, etc. She will adjust. Im sorry for what your family is going through right now. :(

    Answer by lowencope at 6:31 PM on Dec. 3, 2010

  • The fact that you talk openly (age appropriate I hope) and have her in counseling is an awesome start! I don't have a correct answer for you but keep those things going and go one day at a time...

    Answer by monshine2 at 6:36 PM on Dec. 3, 2010

  • Definitley put her in counseling so she is able to sort out her feelings in an appropriate manner. Maybe when she is a little older it would be okay for her to see him if it's her choice. Maybe sending dad pictures, and having her do some artwork and letters to send him might help. And most important be honest with her in small doses, she needs the truth, but not all the dirt.

    Answer by Musicmom80 at 6:49 PM on Dec. 3, 2010

  • That is good you have her in counseling already. I would spend some serious time with the counselor to help figure out hte best ways to manage and explain things, and also to help her be confident in you and that you are always there and will take care of her and support her.

    Answer by KTMOM at 9:04 AM on Dec. 4, 2010

  • Sounds like you already got some pretty good advice - Good Luck to you and your daughter!

    Answer by MomIWant at 8:08 PM on Dec. 4, 2010

  • I agree that counseling is a great start, and it would be good to ask what they suggest that you do to supplement what they are already doing.

    Answer by ethans_momma06 at 11:03 PM on Dec. 4, 2010

  • my son has delt with his father being in and out of prison and jails 90% of his 11 years. Counseling is a very good thing and I think it has helped him cope with things much better then if he wouldnt have been. ALWAYS be honest, and there is a thing called where you depending on what prison they are in have voice/video communication not just mail that you read (assuming you will write and he writes back)

    I made my son a picture book when he was young and it helped a great deal. I dont take him anymore to see him because its his own damn fault for being in there and my son is at the age where he just said I dont want to anymore because it dont matter to his dad. (he feels his father dont care about him because he keeps going back for new charges)

    I hope that helps and good luck.

    Answer by Luckybear05 at 11:20 PM on Dec. 4, 2010

  • That is a REAL tough one. I am not sure to what degree to tell her why he is there. Regardless, he will not be around & will be very sad for a while. Explain that he DOES love her & he wishes this didn't happen. You could help her write to him weekly!!!

    Answer by NicolesMommy at 3:18 AM on Dec. 5, 2010

  • Just tell her he had to go away for a while. Don't tell her where or why. That's what we do for my 5 yr old niece when ever my brother goes to jail. We just say he had to go out of state for a while to work. Have him continue to send letters to her regularly and maybe have him call once a week or every other week and talk to her

    Answer by mommy_of_two388 at 4:20 PM on Dec. 5, 2010

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