School Work Suffering Because Of Parental Imprisonment - By Anonymous

( email received Saturday)

My son used to be a bright, intelligent little soul. He still is. But his father was sent to prison during the Christmas period, which couldn't have been any worse! There never is a right time, don't get me wrong, but Christmas time was especially difficult for all of us. Since his fathers imprisonment, my son has begun to wet his bed, and complains of illnesses to avoid going to school. I have had many a word with his teacher and she insists that he is not being bullied and that he does actually have some very supportive friends who know his father is in prison. Her main concern was my son's school work. Before his dad was imprisoned, he was hitting all his target grades. However, now, he has lost all concentration and has slipped back a few grades. His teacher also told me that he has been drawing what she said looked like a castle, which was obviously the prison we visit. I am now mulling over whether taking him to prison to see his dad is not the right thing to do. If I don't take him, the bond between father and son will deteriorate. If I do take him, then his school work will suffer, which is what is happening at the moment. Naturally I have to decide what is the best for my son. He comes first. It just seems like the prison visits aren't doing him any good. I have no one to talk to about this and I can't seem to find a balance that would benefit my son. I think it is outrageous that the UK do not have any professional help when it comes to children of prisoners. Some children sail through parental imprisonment, I am not disputing that. But the fact is, some don't and those that are affected, should get the support. Thanks for listening.