“Be an Encourager: When you encourage others, you boost their self-esteem, enhance their self-confidence, make them work harder, lift their spirits and make them successful in their endeavors. Encouragement goes straight to the heart and is always available. Be an encourager. Always.”
― Roy T. Bennett,
With more than 2 million Americans in prison, you’re not alone if someone you love is in prison. It is estimated that 1.7 million American children are dealing with having a parent in jail. This is the hardest, but you might also have a grandparent, aunt, uncle, brother, sister, or other loved one who is serving time. This can be very challenging, especially if they are far away and you don’t get to see them much. Hopefully, you have a good relationship and you can at least write letters back and forth. This helps them, too.
Remember, this isn’t your fault, either, and you have to take care of yourself. If you stay focused on your goals and do well in school, it will be a great comfort to the person who’s in prison, but it’s you we are mainly worried about. Schools and social services often have no idea that kids are dealing with this. You may decide to confide in a teacher or someone else who might offer encouragement and understanding.
Visit if you can, but at least try to write regularly.
Some helpful websites:
- Children of Inmates – Even though it’s based in Florida, the website does provides helpful information.
- Children of Incarcerated Parents – This site focuses on all of the challenges children face when they have a parent in prison and includes tips for youth written by kids like you.