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How To Tell Your Kids About Your Arrest

Getting arrested affects your entire family. Of all the family members who are impacted, your kids may have the most difficult time processing the news. Once you have secured bail, and you are home, you might want to come up with a plan to tell your kids.


It may be uncomfortable telling your children about your arrest. But you have to do it. If your children discover this information on their own, they may become angry and resentful towards you.

Honesty Is the Best Policy

The most important thing to do is approach the subject with honesty. Mental health professionals say children are able to process difficult situations when they are squarely presented with the facts.

Knowing the truth will enable your kids to ask questions about the incident. The truth will also relieve them of any fears about your arrest or your future.

As you share the news with your kids, you do not have to provide them with every minute detail. It may be too much information for them to handle. The only thing your kids want to know is that your family will be able to survive the incident.

Schedule a Meeting With Your Kids

When you discuss your arrest with your kids, the meeting should be intentional. Resist the urge to give your kids this kind of news without a full discussion. You should designate a scheduled time to discuss the situation with your kids.

Plan for the meeting by writing down your talking points. Include information such as type of arrest, consequences and the bail bonds process. You should also prepare the responses to a list of questions they might ask.

The meeting does not have to last for a long time. However, the meeting should last until your kids are finished talking about the incident. It is important not to rush the discussion.

Prepare for Follow-Up Questions
It is not unusual for kids to want to have a follow-up conversation. If your kids want to discuss the matter further at a later time, you should do so.

As your kids think about the incident, they may have additional questions. They might be need reassurance that everything is going to be okay.

How to Tell Young Children
If your child is young, you may have to approach the matter more delicately. Younger children are not able to understand the impact of your arrest.

You will have to use simpler terms with young children. After you have shared the news, listen carefully to their concerns.

Allow Your Kids to Tell Trusted Adults
Sometimes your children may not want to discuss the situation with you. They may not want to worry you. As you discuss the arrest with your kids, let them know that it is fine to talk to trusted adults if they feel concerned. Help your child make a list of trusted adults.

Telling your kids about your arrest can help them feel confident as you go through the legal process.

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