7 Things To Do - To Make An Imprisoned Loved One Happy
Knowing a loved one is going to prison is not going to be easy on you or your loved one. It is now an unavoidable situation you and your family must learn to cope with. Life in prison is tough. Prison time is distressing and can trigger acute anxiety and depression in some convicts. There is no escape, for the law must be respected and abided. It is true jail term will be traumatizing for your loved one especially if it’s his/her first time. How can you keep your loved one happy through this?
A list of common advice and experiences shared from inmates will give you an insight into what you can do to make them happy.
Plans for your first visit
If your spouse is imprisoned, meet him/her alone the first time. Keep him posted about the family. Come up with a viable schedule. Discuss with your loved one about how frequently you can visit and keep your promise no matter what. It’s you who are in control of the situation here. You can get more information about the security levels, survival guide and visiting hours from PrisonFinder.
Share messages and seek their opinion
Have close friends and confidants write a line or two about how they miss them or a few inspiring lines that can uplift their spirits. Prison can be a lonely place. Sharing motivating messages from close friends and family is like being in their company.
Some inmates in low-security prison are also allowed to receive gifts. Gift them books, cards, stimulating games, handmadebookmarks etc. Try to keep them in the loop. Do not exclude them from family gathering plans and arrangements. Keep them informed about the process and the arrangements involved. Seek their input on the arrangements.
Loneliness can numb the brains. Involving them in creating ideas will keep them challenged and happy.
Visit And Cheer Them Up
Share pictures of family gatherings, celebrations, and achievements. It will make them proud of their near and dear. Seeing the pictures of the loved ones is sure to put a smile on their faces and they would be delighted to be a part of it.
Is it ok to share your problems?
The worst thing you could be doing is hiding your problems from them. Share everything with them. Keep them informed. Ask for their advice and seek advice during difficult times. Yes! They can give you useful advice or tell you how or whom to go to resolve the issue. It will make them feel important. It will also give them a sense of reassurance of being loved and wanted in the family. Hiding secrets will make them feel alienated and lonely. Share every little joy in your life. Seeing your smile and happiness will cheer them up. They live vicariously through your happiness.
How can you be supportive?
Never make them feel guilty. Avoid confronting or reminding them the reason oftheir current situation. Your sermon is only going to make them feel worse. Stay calm when your loved one lashes out. Prison can be a treacherous place. It is not easy to cope with hanging out with all kinds of criminal minds on a day-to-day basis.
Having to deal with altercations and disputes on a regular basis can take a toll on their mental balance. They can lose their temper more often than usual. Be understanding. Stay calm through the entire meeting no matter how many times they seem to lash. Talk to them about their time since your last visit. Allow them to pour their feelings out. Your ears can help in alleviating their distress.
Dos and Dontsof planning a prison leave
Most prisoners in low-security prison can avail leave based on good behavior. If your loved one is granted prison leave, make sure you make the necessary arrangements for their welcome. It is a good idea to arrange the house exactly the way they left behind. That would be the best welcome present. It will bring them back to the memories of the good old days. Big changes will make them feel left out, disoriented and unwelcome.
Prepare the children in advance
It is best to share about a parent’s incarceration with the children. This way they are aware of the truth. Hiding the fact from children could make them feel deceived and angry. Talk to them about the importance of their support. Prepare the children and help them rehearse in advance what they should be talking to the parent and what not. Allow them to share stories of their success and achievements. It will make your loved one proud and happy.
Plan ahead and set aside money. Jail term can be expensive for the family of the inmate. Set aside money for regular visits and necessary expenses. If you fail to do so, your visits could become rare which is going to have disturbing emotional repercussions on your loved one. Find a second job if you have to. It’s your silent support and presence that can reassure them of your love and help them cope with their despair.