Almost all families enjoy spending time together during the holiday season. This time of the year can be very hard and sad for both the inmates and their families. We at Prisonpath.com have prepared a list of tips and suggestions that will hopefully ease some of the sadness and angst of separation.
First – The holidays can be extremely difficult for the children of incarcerated parents.
The children are not only upset, but are angry why Daddy or Mommy is not at home with
the family to celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas. It is important to encourage each
child to send letters and drawings to their parent. You should take your child to the
post office to personally mail the letter in order to further the family connection.
It is very important for the parent in prison to do whatever is possible to maintain
the ties with the children and family. All of this is applicable to the brothers
and sisters of inmates. Sibling connections are very important to every family.
Second – If you can, the family should visit their family member in prison. Most facilities
encourage family visits because they can be beneficial to all. Visitation is even more
important during the holidays. It is a time to reaffirm that the family stills exists
despite the terrible circumstances. It is a time for the three year old to sit on
daddy’s lap. It is the time for a brief moment when the husband and wife can hold
each other despite the brevity of the moment.
Third – Even if you cannot visit, then the family and the inmate can share a phone
call. It is important to encourage the husband and father who is locked up to
call home. The family can hear his voice and all can participate in the holiday.
Fourth – At home during the holiday, the family can add a special ornament to the
decorations or lighting a special scented candle to acknowledge the missing member
of the family. These simple acts may help to ease the pain of separation.
Finally, there are various social resources available to you. For example, Angel Tree
is a national ministry that reaches out to children of inmates. Please remember that
you are not alone and we wish peace and hope to all during this holiday season.