When a parent is incarcerated, it is often the kids that are greatly affected. There are thousands of programs for adults who are incarcerated but there are only limited programs that are aimed to help the kids of parents who are incarcerated.
Because of the lack of support for kids of parents who are incarcerated, these kids are more likely to end up like their parents. This decision to emulate their parents isn’t usually conscious choices but they end up the same because parents are the role model of their children. It is important then to address this problem as soon as the parents are incarcerated to help the kids cope up with this situation so that they won’t end up like their parents.
But even though they don’t end up like their parents, the psychological damage on the kids who have incarcerated parents is still a concern. They should be able to live without emulating their parents but they will have some trouble dealing with the society.
The responsibility on taking care of the kids of parents in prison is on the caregivers who were assigned to these children. Although they are not the parents, they should be able to provide support to the kids and help live as normally as possible. But caregivers are not the same as parents and kids will easily notice that and they might end up rebellious to this system because their parents are not there.
It is important then that the caregivers should do more than the parents in terms of understanding their kids. More often than not, kids are frustrated and angry at the system and would often display them in different ways. Caregivers should encourage the kids to express these feeling.
Bottling emotions is very bad thing in every stage of human life and could greatly damage the emotional state of the kids if they do not express their frustration. When they express these feelings, caregivers should understand them and to the kids about it. The talk should never be in a condemning manner because the kids still love their parents.
Communication with parents in prison is also an important thing to deal with by the caregivers. Communication is highly encouraged and the easy part but the challenging part is on explaining to the kids that the communication to their parents is limited.
In this situation, it is the parents turn to explain to their kids why communication is limited. In a loving manner, parents should explain to their kids that even though communication is limited, their love is still there.
The society also has a big responsibility in helping kids to live as normal as possible. More than ever, kids of the incarcerated parents need understanding and support from the society. School activities should be encouraged to these kids and discrimination should be prevented at all times.
Caregivers, the society and the parents should work hand in hand so that the kids will develop to their full potential even when their parents are physically absent.