Should i let him see him..In prison

Ronesha - posted on 12/16/2009 ( 28 moms have responded )

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My sons father in incarcerated and wants me to bring our two year old son to visit him but i'm not sure what to do...Me and him have been separated for 1yr and 4mts..and i myself would not like to see him but should my feelings affect my son's right to know his father..for he will be there for the next 5 to 10 years..I just don't want to subject my son to the searches or other rules of the jail..Am i being selfish??

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Renae - posted on 12/19/2009

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Ronesha, I think that when people are in jail they do have a sober view of things and have a lot of time on their hands to think and the intentions can be good, but when they get out it can go the other way. Some things to think about are -does he really want to get to know his son, is he trying to make things work again, are you willing to be with him again? If your answer to the questions are all clear than you have a choice, allow him to see his son for the sake of the father-son relationship,or if not willing to be with again then tell him this is a visit for you to spend time with your son, if your not willing to be with him again then tell him that you do not want to have a relationship again with him, if you need too have someone that you trust, a family member, bring your child to see him or ask them to go with you and your child either way I think that a father-son relationship should not be disregarded. I divorced my childrens dad and had to pratically beg him to see them that was a sad case. This dad wants to see his son and who really cares if he is just bored its not like your son wont benefit from the love and kindness his father will give him, that is what will make that little man a better man when he is fully grown. I don't think that your son will remember what occurred all the first five years terribly too much when he is older about the place he had to visit his dad at in the first place well, at least I don't remember much when I was 5 years old. I think that your son will probably remember my dad was cool growing up and gave me alot of wisdom, he couldn't do much with me in the beginning because he couldn't leave where he was, I know that I don't want to end up like that. When a son can have a father figure to confide in there is a difference in a son growing up, my son is 21 years old now and he is not very close to his dad like he was before we divorced when he was 8 years old it hurts me to see them this way and theres nothing I can do about it because his dad made the choice of how much he wanted to be in his life or not. Ronesha if anything try it and if it doesn't appear to be comfortable situation for the baby then tell him that for a while you would rather just communicate other ways. If he's rude to you, doesn't really show interest in his son, or just appears to communicate more with you then the baby then those would be good reasons to express that this stuff might not work the way he wanted and put boundaries up, like communicating only about baby stuff, no personal life stuff about yourself, make it official that this visit is about him and the baby only. Good luck with whatever you chose and I wish you well if you want you can write me back. Renae

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I think I would do letters, pictures, and video (if it's allowed) for now. If he took no effort in getting to know his child before he was in jail... it could be a ploy or he could be starting to realize that he screwed up by not maintaining a relationship w/ his child earlier. In any case, your son has a right to know his father, but exactly what that looks like in your situation would depend on a lot of different variables.

Clo - posted on 12/19/2009

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what level security prision is it? i totally agree with janeice that no matter how much you try to cover up the other parent, your kids are going to know the truth eventually. if you're honest with them early i feel like it teaches them to be honest with you and their friends. thats important. also, even very little babies know good people from bad people. they just know. so you dont have to do a ton of explaining until he starts asking 'why is daddy being punished' or something like that, and you'll be ready for it. he might not even ask. i would say take him every 3 or 4 months. if he's not going to be around as a parent theres really no reason to establish anything more than a face to name association, but at least your son will know he exists.

Janeice - posted on 12/19/2009

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ultimately iit is your choice. i know some may not agree with me, but i always like to think of things the other way around. if you were in prision would you want someone to bring your kids to see you? I was in a similiar situation. i took my daughter to see her father while he was in prison. she was a little younger. it just helped her to remember her dad when he did come home so that they could have a relationship. i think it could be ok. I would just set rules and follow them. if u decide once a month or everyother month stick to it. also let him know that he is to know way think that by you bringing the baby are the two of you getting back together. i think that your son will atleast appreciate you for doing so when he gets older, and if he dont do his part when he gets out thats on him and your son will know that too. you never want your kid to think that you tried to keep them from the other parent. they do know the truth know matter how much we try to cover it up

Kanesha - posted on 12/18/2009

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See me if i was you i wouldnt let him see him..i wouldnt want my son to see his father in that kind of state you kno how some kids think i jus wanna be like daddy or etc...but give him both time send him pictures n you show ur son pics of his father maybe later you will come to the conclusion to take him to the jailhouse to see his father..yea n i do believe if ya havent been together that long n wants to be together while he in jail he is lookin for someone to support him n have some type of feeling that he has something to come back to...

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Nikki - posted on 01/12/2013

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As a child who had a father in and out of jails and prisons I would strongly suggest you to NOT take him. When I think of my dad even at my current 30 years old I still picture him behind a little glass window at the county jail. Or pictures at the state pen. My kids dad went to jail for awhile and he knew better than to ask because I was always very clear that they would never go see him there. Good luck.

Michelle - posted on 01/07/2013

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I can honestly say I've been in this situation. My son's dad was in prison for 2 years. I agreed to bring my son until it affected him. I stopped taking him to the prison when my son was bored and didn't enjoy the visits anymore. I did it for my son and his dad's relationship at the time and I don't regret it. I think it brought them closer at the time and most visitation rooms are not as horrible as people may think. It won't be traumatic to him. But, like I said, when it becomes unenjoyable for the child, or hard for the child to want to leave, that's when I would stop taking him. So, I guess I would take him once and see how he does, if he reacts well keep taking him, but if he's not then explain to his dad that it's not the right decision for your child.

Sandra - posted on 12/08/2012

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I work in the correctional field but I am a mother and I say "No". A correctional facility is no place for a child, and you are not being selfish, you are doing right by your child. Nothing is more heart breaking to explain to a child then an absent parent. I have written Above the Trees (www.abovethetrees.ca) to promote dialogue between a child and parent , but to promote the message that while their family may be different- that it is the perfect family for them. This story grows with a child, in terms of the level of a childs understanding. It is about a baby giraffe who's daddy gets "lost" in the jungle and never returns. While the baby giraffe is growing up, she see's other familes and longs for what they have. It is only when she is tall enough to see Above the Trees that she understands that there has always been different kinds of families in the jungle, she just couldn't see them, and that her family is perfect for her. The book is perfect for this situation because a parent can explain to their child that even though "daddy is a grown up- he has made a mistake- and in a sense he has lost his way" but that doesn't mean he doesn't love you from where he is, he is just lost. The most important gift we can give a child in this situation, is the compassion that lets them know that they are Loved by the parent that is lost. They need to know that we all make mistakes and sometimes we do "lose our way". It reiterates the message through out the story: " I will always love you and protect you, and as you grow you'll see, that I was chosen for you, and you were chosen for me, and even though your daddy is lost, we are still a family". As this little giraffe grows up, when she does see all the different jungle families, she get's it and she reiterates this message to her mother: "Sometimes I know it was hard to see the jungle for the trees, but now that I am old enough, this you can believe, that I was chosen for you, and you were chosen for me, and even though we are only two, we are the perfect family". A parent can explain it in a way that deomonstrates even though you love someone, when you are lost, you are lost, and it is not about love that determines if you find your way back. You can say that I know your daddy loves you very much. I wrote this for my daughter because I wanted her to know that sometimes parents do lose their way and it has nothing to do with them. This story in that sense has healed me as well, because I am looking at it from the "most compassionate part of me". I don't respect my ex for the choices that he has made, leaving his daughter and choosing not to be in her life, but in my opinion he must be lost...and he will continue to lose out, on this most precious gift. As long as we keep confirming for these children that it is not about them, then they may have a chance, and not grow up thinking that "they were not enough" to make their parent stay. I use the words "chosen" in this book, because I believe that perhaps before we come to earth, maybe we are pre-destined for some of the lessons we here to learn. What a beautiful way to say to a child "that god hand picked you for me, or the universe sent you to me, you were chosen-you are that special". If we foster in our children that there are easter bunnies, tooth fairies and Santa, why not foster- that they are that special they were hand picked espically for us. You can look at my story on my website at www.abovethetrees.ca but know this Ronesha, you too were handpicked, and you are up for the job, and even by putting this question out there, you are trying to look at this situation from all angles and how wonderful is that. The road you walk is yours alone, but I have no doubt you will make the right decision.

Love & Light

Sandra

Laura - posted on 12/06/2012

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Hi, I work for a radio program and we are doing a show on this topic- we'd especially like to talk with someone who is/has struggled with whether and when to tell their child about the crimes committed by the other parent. If anyone here would be willing to chat, please contact me at llee@npr.org. Thanks so much, Laura

Amanda - posted on 10/24/2012

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My 7 year old daughter wants to see her father who is on jail for 24-40 years. That being said ypu can only imagine he did the worst which he did. He was always a decent father amd loved her very much but i find myself battling with the idea of should i bring her or shouldnt i?! Im at a loss because he is doing so much time that she may never see him again and it tears me apart. At the same time i feel a jail is no place for a child.. What to do?! She knows hes in jail thanks to the grand parents and she knows hes doing some serious time. I see how it could hurt her for a short time of sadness but ive never been one to hide anything from my daughter and she wise beyond her years but... I just dont know. Needed some actual healthy mom advice.

Blossom - posted on 07/12/2012

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You're not selfish. You're concerned about your son. Prison, in my opinion is NO PLACE for a child. The penalty for commiting crimes is you go to jail locked away from your family ...they suffer and you suffer too. It's sad but I would prefer my son suffer outside of the jail and NEVER sees what it looks like inside, even if its for a visit.

Christine - posted on 03/09/2012

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Hi Ronesha,

I am not sure you are still reading these...but I am in a similar situation. My son is now 8 and my SOON to be ex will be in for about 7 more years. Basically he put his hands on me. We were together for 18 years and long story short he lost it after we seperated for the 10th time and I was moving on. So now I am in a bind...do I continue to let this man be part of my sons life...or shut him out. It is so very hard.....I am going to continue to research this and pray you are well.

Vanessa - posted on 02/28/2012

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My husband is also gone for 10ys and i wont allow my 3 yr old to go especially its noncontact visits..I know what you mean on what u say on being selfish & how it can affect your son..Just do what you think is the right way until your son is old enough to understand.good luck

Katy - posted on 02/27/2012

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@Betty

My son was 3 when his father got locked up. I did not take him to see his dad while he was in county (behind glass visiting) and now his dad has been moved to a whole other state to serve his time. I don't regret my decision at all. For my son I felt the memory of seeing his dad in jail would out weigh a memory of his dad being away for a while. For now I simlpy told my son his dad had to go away but will be home as soon as he can. I know there will be a time I have to explain to him whats going on, my son is 4 now and his dad still has 2 more years. His dad writes him letters and draws him pictures that he keeps in his "Daddy Box" and my son writes his dad letters (through me of course) and sends him pictures all the time. It's hard but you gotta decide whats best for your child. If the jail isn't too bad, like with barbed wire and armed gaurds all over the place, you might take your son to do the computer screen visit and just play up the idea thats it's some cool new special phone that lets him see his dad while they talk. Do what you can to make it a positive experience for your son and thats what he'll remember :0)

Betty - posted on 02/07/2012

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im having the same proplem. his father just got 2 years and he might be moved. so im ? if i should take him up there to see him on a computer screen! he called the other day an asked if he could go in the phone to see his father, and he is 3yrs old! sad sad sad. what do i do?

Adrienne - posted on 02/05/2012

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OOPS! I just read your other post below. Ok. Changes everything!! lol. He originally walked away?? Sucks for him now doesn't it. When your son is older and asks why didn't you take me to see him you tell him the truth: Your daddy left us, long before he went to jail. We didn't leave him.



Hopefully that will be enough for him. Not sure what he is in for but you should have no problem getting full custody of your son with NO VISITATION because you can argue that jail is no place for visitation rights and he lost his right when he ended up there. If you can get free legal help they can fight really well for you.

Adrienne - posted on 02/05/2012

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I can argue both sides of this. I took my daughter to see her father but she was 10 at the time and she asked questions and I asked her if she wanted to go see him and explained what kind of place he was in. It helped her see what happens when you go down the wrong path and where you'll end up. But from looking at the pic above he looks like a baby still? There were no searches when my daughter went. We couldn't bring in anything including cell phones and we only had to go through a metal detector which is the same when we go to amusement parks.



BUT if he plans on being a part of you and your sons life then maybe not seeing him or limiting the visits will get the father to straighten himself out. Being away from both of you for that long hopefully will push him enough to change his life path. Maybe see him once tell him to 'straighten his ass out' while in there and maybe tell him you'll come back in a month or two and see if he's changing. If he's in that long he should be able to get some kind of school or learn a trade.



You are not being selfish though. It was his responsibility to be a good father and that included making the right decisions and staying out of jail.

Cheryl - posted on 02/04/2012

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I say it depends on what he's in there for and how your childs temperment is...Only you know what's good for your baby and if he gets mad in the future at you for not taking him to see him well so be it...We are mothers not friends to these children...These men have made there choices and did not think about these babies before they got sent there...Mine is in for Murder...Where was his thoughts about our son and his future...Didn't he think of the ridicule our son would face..He's three years old ,how would people look at him if they knew the truth about his Daddy...Three years on this earth and the child has had a drug addicted father who's next fix was more important...Then he had to kill a man and really mess up his role as a father and break my boys heart by dissappearing once again only for mama to have to pick up the pieces and glue him back together again while getting kicked and slapped and told they hate you...I'm not taking my son to see his father...Let them deal with tht..It was there choice to go in there in the first place...Our babies won't miss what they don't have after time...They have us and we ar4e toteach them that things could be worse and they not have us too...No dad is better then a bad dad...Does he have good morals and values he can teach your boy? Is there any thing he can be good for ? If not then just walk girl.And if you hear you both should be together for the child tell them to shuv it...You're taking care of your responsibilities and your happiness is one...Take care of you and BABY BOY GIRL....gOOD LUCK

Chantel - posted on 12/24/2009

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No dont do it. Your child does not need to be subjected to that enviorment. He is a baby your right those searches and everything else is not good for him. Maybe when he is much older

Jennifer - posted on 12/23/2009

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It is it totally your chioce, i agree with alot of the people on here a fathers love runs deep, he may of not known what he had until he was put in there but in the same aspect just be careful to watch for signs of him actually interacting with your son and not with you if that is what you choose, but him being only two, he will start asking for daddy sooner or later, my husband and i were split up for a year and 5 months and 7 days before my daughter turned two he was killed in a car accident, its been very tough on her, as she was used to seeing him every other two weeks if not every other week, she at this time dont understand why daddy cant come play, they need that male interaction weather it would be a lil boy or lil girl, but just go with your heart and do what you feel is for the best interest of the baby boy,
Hope this helps,
~*~Some Don't Understand What Was There Till They Are Gone~*~

Carolyn - posted on 12/22/2009

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It depends on what prison you are going to if they search you. They never searched my daughter when I took her to see her father in Federal prison. They got to play with each and color and it made a difference. Research the facility before going if you choose to go. I do concur with Renae below on her advise. to add,You will shuld be able to see his intentions if you go visit him.

Jackie - posted on 12/21/2009

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i dont think its a good idea...dats not a good environment 4 ur son...u can send him pics of ur son mayb but not take him der...wen he comes out of prison den he should have da rite 2 c his son...i think it can affect ur sonif he goes into dat type of environment...wen ur son gets older u can explain 2 him ur reasons 4 not takin him n den he can decide wat 2 do...good luck

Angel - posted on 12/20/2009

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I think that if he will be able to see your son in person and not through glass that you should go ahead and take him, you can always tell him that this is for our son and not for us to see each other. It is your choice what you should do but this is just my opinion.

Bobbie - posted on 12/19/2009

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my daughter father is also incarcerated, she has never seen him. But only because i dont have a car. We are not together but i am willing to let him be in her life. it a hard thing to think about. Its all about whats in ur heart and how u feel about it. That is his dad. Even though u to had a bad break up doesn't mean that ur son should be in the middle of the problem. Just ask ur self this does he love his son? Ur son should at least know who he is. my daughter is asking were her daddy is and it breaks my heart every time. So do what is in ur heart.

Ronesha - posted on 12/19/2009

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Thank you all for your opinons..i am really struggling with what is the best choice from my son..years from now i don't want him to blame me for a lack of a relationship between the two because my sons father is the type to put all the blame on me..I'm thinking about waiting till my son starts asking me about him being that hes only 2 and hasn't picked up on the fact that some children have a mom and a dad is whats keeping me afloat..I'm just trying to prepare myself with the best knowledge so when that happens i'll be ready..I think i will send pictures for now..

Jennifer - posted on 12/16/2009

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i agree with kim on the will he be around when he gets out... 5 to 10 years is a long time... and are you willing to let him see his children? my childs father belongs in jail.. isnt in their yet but should be.. i do not allow my childs father to see her what so ever, and i plan on keeping it that way because i do not want his type of person around my child... esp. knowing someday he probably will be in jail and i would not want my child to visit her father in jail... do you want your child to see that... esp having boys... i would think keeping them away might just be better

Ronesha - posted on 12/16/2009

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Thank you Kim for your advice..but my sons father and i will not be getting back together a will be filling for divorce really soon and he knows that so i think he is trying to use my son to get me within reach of him for his own reasons...this is a man who walked away from his wife and child a year and months ago..now that he is in his current situation i feel he is trying to build this family so he wont be alone..but its more than a little to late for that..I know i can't keep him from him forever but i just feel like in some way he will hurt my child and as his mother i feel its my duty to prtect him from that..i will have to do some explaining to my son to be honest i am not willing to do...I just don't want my son to blame me

Kim - posted on 12/16/2009

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I wouldn't take him now, due to the flu and all that, but will the father will be coming back into the picture when he get's out? Because if he is, he should see him, just to help make it easier for your son when he get's out. That will make it a little easier for you too, I would think, in the long run. Be strong, I'm sure you already are, but even though it would be extremely hard to take your child to a jail/prison, but also maybe your child will remember going to prison ( a lil bit) and down the road he uses that to stay out of prison and become a better person. Hope it helped a little bit. I'm sorry you and your son have to go through this.

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