Visiting a Parent in Prison

Preparing a child for what to expect when visiting a family member can make all the difference. Help parents to encourage their child to connect with a family member in prison.

Together with kids, watch the video once through. Then watch a second time, pointing out how your visit will be similar to, or different from, the girl’s visit. As much as possible, try to address:

  • What the incarcerated parent might look like (he or she may be wearing a special uniform or have a new haircut).
  • Transportation to jail or prison and certain things children might have to do (like wait in line).
  • Any rules that might apply to the visit (like no touching).
  • The fact that kids will have to say goodbye at the end of the visit.

Help kids to think of things that they might like to tell their incarcerated parent, and even practice saying them to you first, in case they get shy. They might share news about something that happened at school, a story from the weekend, or something new that they tried. Reassure them that it’s okay to share their feelings.