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<p>I would only tell your children what they're ready to ask about. My XH isn't in jail, but he does have a criminal past. I'm assuming I'll have to answer some questions as well at some point. Perhaps you can formulate the answer in a way that doesn't "damn" your XH but simply states what happened (i.e. he made some bad choices and now he has to face the consequences).</p>
 

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<p>Tough situation. My XH was in jail for about 18 months back when my now 8 yr old ds was 4 and got out when he was almost 6. I kept the truth from him then and now it has come back to haunt me. I would just tell the truth, matter of factly. I'm sorry you have to go through this. I ended up getting a part time job (in addition to my full time job) to help with living expenses. I was very fortunate to have family that could watch my ds at my house while I worked.</p>
 

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<p>I agree...being honest, outright, seems to be the best thing in this situation.</p>
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<p>I'm sorry you're going through this.<br>
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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>nola79</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1280004/would-you-tell-your-child-the-truth-about-a-parent-in-jail#post_16052915"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>Tough situation. My XH was in jail for about 18 months back when my now 8 yr old ds was 4 and got out when he was almost 6. I kept the truth from him then and now it has come back to haunt me. I would just tell the truth, matter of factly. I'm sorry you have to go through this. I ended up getting a part time job (in addition to my full time job) to help with living expenses. I was very fortunate to have family that could watch my ds at my house while I worked.</p>
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<p>Yeah, I would tell them the truth. They're going to wonder why their dad doesn't EVER see them anymore. I'd personally rather have my children know their dad broke the law and is now in jail rather than have them wonder if it's something they did that caused his absence.</p>
 

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<p>do you plan to visit him in jail? at least with your 7 year old?</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Annie Mac</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1280004/would-you-tell-your-child-the-truth-about-a-parent-in-jail#post_16052934"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>I'd personally rather have my children know their dad broke the law and is now in jail rather than have them wonder if it's something they did that caused his absence.</p>
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<br><br><p>Absolutely, this!</p>
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<p>I think keeping it short and sweet - but honest - is the right way to go.  He's made some poor choices, totally unrelated to being a Dad and now he has consequences that will keep him coming to visit.  When you're a child consequences are ____________ (fill in according to your family's discipline style) but that adults face consequences ranging from speeding tickets that cost money to going to jail.  You can do it quite matter of factly.  This does not have to be he's a bad person, just made bad choices.  You could always throw in a time when you got a ticket.  (Assuming you've had something like that.)  That way it can be clear that getting involved with the police does mean he's bad, just has to face the music.</p>
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<p>I'm really sorry you're in this position.  But it's going to be so important for her to understand this is not her fault and her Dad isn't choosing to stay away from her.</p>
 

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<p>If his father is still local, I think that the 7yo should be prepared in case he hears about it from someone else.  If there's anything about the situation in the newspaper, for example, it only takes one parent to say something nasty in front of their kid, and that kid to repeat it in school and suddenly he's being teased for something he didn't even know about.  So I would talk to him about it carefully, and also give him some coping tools just in case he starts hearing about it from people outside of your family.</p>
 

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<p>I vote for honesty too.  The truth ALWAYS comes out and then the child can feel hurt and deceived by the parent they trusted the most.</p>
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<p>Keep it simple, truthful and allow your children to ask whatever questions they need and answer only what they ask.  You may also want to consult a professional or have your child see a counselor to help if it is difficult.</p>
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<p>I'm wishing you all well</p>
 

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<p>I <em>did</em> tell the truth about my son's father being in jail. He went in for a while (can't honestly remember exactly how long) when ds1 was in grade three. I told ds1 as soon as I found out about it.I can't see any reason not to tell a child about something like that.</p>
 

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<p>My son's father was in jail when ds was 4.  I told him right away.  It wasn't even a question of hiding the fact, as dad wrote him letters from jail and the envelopes were stamped "from xxxx jail,"  and ds could read!</p>
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<p>I didnt see any reason not to be honest.  I told him the situation as much as I thought he could handle it.  Ds knew why (drugs), and for how long.  I wanted him to be clear about the poor choices his father was making ina  matter-of-fact way, and also to make it clear it had nothing to do with him.</p>
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<p>I never got child support back then, so I wasn't thinking about those issues.</p>
 

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<p>I'm dealing with this too.Exh may be going to jail for nonpayment of cs.Dd knows.She's 12,and has heard us talking about it.She knows why.I just told her daddy is refusing to get and keep a job(almost had one at Target,failed the drug test) like the judge has ordered him to.It's been 3 years,there has got to be something out there for him.I'm going to tell ds the truth as well.He's blaming me completely for this.It's out of my hands,because he refused to help support his children I had to go on state aid.We're still on state medical and food stamps so the state is after him,not just me.We'll see what happens tomorrow.</p>
 
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