How to Cope When Your Child Is In a Juvenile Detention Centerby Attorney Carlos Gamino on 05/20/14
As a parent, any separation from your kids is tough. It’s especially tough if one of your kids is in a juvenile detention center; you can’t talk to them whenever you want to, joke about small things or even complain about dirty socks left on the bedroom floor. When your child is incarcerated, you have to come up with creative coping strategies – but where do you even start?
Develop a Support Network
Many people rely on family and friends to help them through difficult times, but sometimes it’s helpful to let your feelings out with an impartial third party. Ask your child’s juvenile defense attorney for a referral to a local counselor or therapist who has experience dealing with these types of situations; most people really benefit from talking to a professional.
Write Everything Down
Moms and dads often report that journaling their experiences is incredibly helpful – and it’s even something you can share with your child once they’re back home again. If you’re caring for your grandchildren because your teen or young adult is incarcerated, it’s especially important to write things down; you can use the experiences you’ve had to lay a foundation for your child’s relationship with his or her own children.
Encourage Your Child
It’s almost always helpful to encourage your child and provide him or her with guidance; it’s part of our job description as parents, and it’s something that’s extremely rewarding. Most juvenile detention facilities in Wisconsin offer educational programs that kids are welcome to take advantage of, including preparation for GEDs and HSEDs.
Take Time for Yourself
It’s okay to let yourself feel whatever you’re feeling; that’s part of parenting too, and if you’re anything like the rest of us, worry is a big part of what you do. That’s perfectly normal – so acknowledge that. Take a little time to indulge yourself in your feelings, because if you don’t, you’ll be putting yourself under pressure that you don’t deserve.
Take care of yourself,