Parental Incarceration: Reducing The Impact On Children

When parents go to prison, it's not only they who suffer but the whole family. Children take on the highest impact of such occurrence, which can lead to future problems. It is said that "we don't incarcerate a person, we incarcerate a family." This statement is extremely valid and many people have witnessed real life examples of it.

Different studies show that the impact of parental imprisonment is far greater on children than the impact of divorce or death. According to the Courier Express, this gives a very clear idea of how devastating such an event can be. It affects a child's education, health and relationships secluding the child to solitude, which can lead to his/her own imprisonment later in life.

Most of the time, such a situation is not addressed much because many grownups think that the constant speaking of this event might prove to be harmful to the child's emotional stability. However, the reality reclines to the opposite. If such an event is not spoken of, the child starts creating his/her own understanding of why it happened. This leads to self-blame, isolation and depression, which may further lead to future mental and physical health problems.

According to NCBI, parental incarceration is not to be ignored but certain steps should be taken, so that the severe influence of this happening can be reduced on children. Children should be taken for visits to prison and a contact should be maintained through phone calls or letters so that the child's fear decreases. This connection may help the child overcome the devastating situation in a better way.

Moreover, children should be given explanation of the whole situation - not in a very explicit manner but in a manner that is acceptable. They should be made aware that whatever happened was not their fault. Also, assurance should be provided that it'll get better, so that the negativity can be put aside and they can recover.

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