Nine times out of ten it is the parent and families of prisoners who explain to children and teenagers why their Mum or Dad is in prison. For entirely personal reasons some prefer not to tell the truth in order to protect their children.
There is a saying which is known to most of us - the truth will out. For this reason, I told my 10 year old daughter her Dad was in prison and that he wasn't working away. The local newspaper in my area made sure she was bullied at school so I had little option anyway.
I think that, depending on age, any parent who goes to prison should be made accountable and should sit with their children and explain why they are in there. That is of course if the children request this.
I can see the do-gooders faces now, but what if this affects the child? Well the child/children have already been affected and shouldn't they have the right to an explanation off their parent in prison? Why do families of prisoners have to take full responsibility every time? The prisoner is locked up away from mess and is exempt from cleaning it up.
This might rattle some peoples cages but quite frankly I couldn't care less. Prisoners should take more responsibility and be put in the hot seat.
My daughter is now 14 and growing up fast. She made umpteen efforts to bond with her Dad and she still wants answers he won't give her. Then he phones me and asks why his daughter hasn't been to visit him. She doesn't want to, she can't be bothered she said and that's no poison coming from me because I still visit him. She's lost interest but let's face it, prison visiting is hardly a personal event so she would rather spend her Saturday's with her friends going to the cinema and shopping. He's losing precious contact with her and he cannot see why. He went to prison when she was 7 and he promised her he would never let her down again. Well 3 years later he did and he questions why she would rather be out enjoying herself with friends than visiting him in prison!
So you see, all this garbage about maintaining family ties reduces the risk of re offending goes deeper than simply visiting a prisoner and playing happy families with the forgiveness halo around your head. It's not that simple when children in particular reach a certain age because they want answers.
My daughter is now loving school and is enjoying her teenage years. She refers to her Dad has an 'idiot' and that is not through any influence from me whatsoever. What can I do?