Having a loved one incarcerated is emotionally challenging for a whole family. It can be a real struggle to keep in touch. We are so used to instant texting and chatting that driving to the correctional facility and waiting in line can quickly become overwhelming. Children are particularly likely to become distant and disconnected with an incarcerated parent. They don’t have the patience or often the ability to even go to the correctional facility.
Consequences of Losing Touch
Separation due to incarceration is very difficult for children. They may wonder if their parent loves them and may struggle to process how to have a relationship with someone they never see. Often children in this situation struggle in school and other relationships. Separation from family can be demotivating to inmates as well. They may wish to be more involved in their children’s lives but not have the ability to communicate as much as they would like.
Communication is Key
A recent Securus Technologies video on Vimeo provides a solution to this problem. In the video, a father and daughter are video chatting. It is clear that he is incarnated and she is in her house. She shows him her math homework and they talk about it together. More than just a homework session, she tells him what she wants to be when she grows up and he encourages her. He asks what college she wants to go to and expresses his belief in her ability and potential. The daughter is smiling and engaged, clearly, she has a relationship with her father, partly because of this video connection. It is clear from the video that the father is motivated by talking about the future and all the things his daughter can do. She, in turn, tells him he could go to college too and he agrees. This video chat session has allowed both of them to share a moment encouraging each other.
Bringing Families Together
Video Visitation is a great way to build bonds between children and a parent who is incarcerated. It can allow both parties to connect in a natural way without the atmosphere of a correctional facility making a child nervous.