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Explaining to kids when boyfriend goes to jail for meth?

Aims30 What do you tell the kids when boyfriend goes to jail for meth?
My boyfriend for the last 12 years went to jail the other day for meth. Well it was for not seeing his po for a meth charge. He has been addicted to meth for 10 years. In and out for treatment I would say like 5 times and this is only his 2nd time in jail. He is looking at 80 days to 8 months. Our kids are 8 and 1 and I'm not sure what to tell our 8 year old. She is very close to him and wondering where he is. What should I tell her, the truth?
Re: What do you tell the kids when boyfriend goes to jail for meth?
That's a tough one and I don't know what the 'professionals' would say.

My husband (then boyfriend) went to federal prison on meth charges in 2004. He was in for 15 months. My son (not his biological son, but still his son) was 5 when he was sent away. I told him the limited truth.

I told him that hubby had done drugs and was serving time in prison for it. But I was quick to say that, when hubby got home, he would do his best not to make the same mistake again. Thank goodness he didn't.

I hope your boyfriend wakes up while he's in and realizes he needs to make a change.

As for the kids...wouldn't you rather tell them, than some brat kid at school that makes fun of them for having a druggy dad? I do believe that you shouldn't spill everything. Just keep it simple and say that he made a mistake and he has to pay the penalty. That way they learn that everything comes with consequences.

However, it's very important that he stay clean when he's out. He can't let those kids down again.

Good luck!

Re: What do you tell the kids when boyfriend goes to jail for meth?
Yes, this is a tough one. My kids (6 and 3 ) just saw their dad for the first time in 2 1/2 years because of his meth use. We moved away to be safe. I would just tell them "daddy's sick" but never used the words or terms "drugs" or "meth" because they wouldn't understand anyway. He is now seeking treatment, so I told them "daddy is trying to get better so he can be with us again some day"
I guess I would tell your kids that he made a mistake and that he has to be gone for a while to try and work on his problem. I know how you feel. You don't want to lie, but you want to protect them at the same time. It is heartbreaking, to say the least. Good luck and hopefully somebody more experienced with this topic can answer better.

Re: What do you tell the kids when boyfriend goes to jail for meth?
Hello aims30, I'm sorry for your pain. I have found some wonderful information on the prison fellowship website-you might have to search it, also this one www.prisontalk.com/forums....php?f=202

There are many going through just what you are and you will find a lot of support on the message boards there. Welcome to kci if you are new here and please keep sharing.

I understand
I can relate to Aims30 story somewhat....husband busted 2 years ago...I had no clue he was using...probation, drug class, promises. I caught him using 6 months after the bust. Again, promises, etc. I have suspected use again for several months, but could not prove it. Over Christmas vacation took child out of town w/"friend"...got caught by friend of family...called and told me situation was not good. Now he is out of house & seeing this person whom shares the interest in "sex, drugs & rock n roll." All the little things that were out of place lately have added up. Very hateful when called out on it...PO makes appts for UA...not just call & come in now.(?) I am in the process of filing for divorce...moved all his things out in garage. His parents are in denial even though I have found evidence of "tools of the trade." Has not seen or asked to see kids in 3 weeks....my oldest in therapy because he slipped her name before the friend who showed up called me back after accidental disconnect. So angry that he would chose this stuff over rational thinking for the safety of his child.. left him alone to go on the property with her to use & you know the rest! I am heartbroken about what to tell kids...betrayal, hurt, and saddened that their father has finally shown his true colors after 11 years. What else to do?  I have used this board as source of strength for several weeks now...helps to know that I am not alone in my fight for my kids well being.

Re: What do you tell the kids when boyfriend goes to jail for meth?
I would just tell them "daddy's sick" but never used the words or terms "drugs" or "meth" because they wouldn't understand anyway.

I strongly disagree with that statement. Kids are a lot smarter than we give them credit for, and there is no better time to educate them about drugs, without the scare tactics that they are fed in school, without the BS they'll see on TV. They will understand drugs. They should hear from you the reality of drugs. Ain't so glamorous, is it?

All that aside, however, whatever you do to explain the absence, just make sure they know their daddy still loves them.

You don't have to tell them the whole truth, but make sure they know that no matter where daddy is, he loves his children, sometimes he just can't be there to show it.

Kids have to know that their parents never stop loving them, no matter how sick they get.

And I know that sometimes he will piss you off so ferociously that you feel you can't stand to say a good word, but remember that all the kids are worried about is if he still loves them.

So let them know that he does. He's just sick, addicted, away for work, whatever.

I personally think honesty is best for kids, cuz they're gonna know the truth eventually. But even if you go a different route: DADDY LOVES YOU!!!!

Re: What do you tell the kids when boyfriend goes to jail for meth?
What should I tell her, the truth?

So if you decided to tell her a lie then in 15 years she finds out that you lied to her about the real problem then what?

I told my children the truth about my husband using. They already knew that something was going on with their dad and when they knew that it was the drugs it seemed to put it all together for them.

There is no better drug education then the one that you can give them at home. When you are the one teaching them about it you can give concrete examples of things that they have witnessed in their lives from knowing an addict personally. Instead of the "norm" answer of "Don't do drugs because they are bad" you can give the example of when people use drugs they run the risk of going to jail and not being with their family.

The thing is, you may never know how your honesty is going to help them in life down the road. A lie is a lie is a lie is a lie. Lies hurt even when the person that has lied to you thinks that they are doing it for your own good.

RedHurt Re: What do you tell the kids when boyfriend goes to jail for meth?
I'm a firm believer in telling them the truth. My ex is now
in jail because of meth charges. Of course our kids are older they are 14 and 16. I have explained to them that YES their Dad is sick, he has an addiction. His mistake was the first time that he used, after that he was just an addict. They learn so much about drugs in school now that they actually accepted it so much better than I did.
Even though we are divorced I let him call the kids (collect, of course) at least once a week and I make sure that when they write their Dad I get in the mail as soon as possible. I think the more they see me treat their dad fairly (which he certainly did not to me when he was using) the healthier of a relationship that we all have. Which in turn is only better for the kids.
I sometimes question what is right and wrong, and it would be very easy for me to tell the kids, he screwed up he was wrong and all that, but does that really do anything but hurt the kids ????
I guess all of can only pray that we are doing the right thing.

Loraura Re: What do you tell the kids when boyfriend goes to jail for meth?
The truth, absolutely.
You don't have to go into a great deal of detail, but do tell the truth. Also, I suggest you ask if they have any questions for you. If they don't have any right now, let them know that if they think of any, to be sure to ask, that you'll do your best to answer them.

If they are allowed to write letters, you might want to mention that this is an option, and make some time each week to help with that.

So much
Re: What do you tell the kids when boyfriend goes to jail for meth?
I totally agree with Ignoramus.
Kids are smarter than you think.
It's hard to tell kids things. I have a 22 year old that took his life because of meth addiction, but I was always truthful with him. I also have a 10 year old and because Daniel wasn't sheltered from the truth about his brother's drug addiction and crime, it has made him a stronger person in dealing with Austin's death. I also am confident that it will persuade him away from even thinking about trying drugs. He will also respect me more, because I DIDN'T LIE TO HIM. If kids aren't told the truth about something so important, will they trust you when they find out the truth? They would feel hurt and deceived because you lied or weren't honest with them.
As much as it's going to hurt, you have to tell the children. After you tell them, be positive about what your hopes are for their dad and always tell them you're sorry.
FSOAB Re: What do you tell the kids when boyfriend goes to jail for meth?
Dear Ignoramus,
You don't seem so Ignorant to me..  In fact, I think your pretty darn smart.
I have five children and had the luxury of depicting through all the crap a meth life brings..

I try to look at every corner imaginable.. One of those corners is my childhood eyes.. I feel that I was a very sheltered child and don't want to shelter my children to that extent.. I remember many times that I asked my mother about something and she said, I will tell you when your old enough.. I know that she was simply trying to protect me. But, I feel in a round about way that it fed me to the wolves (The world). Its a big smack in the face when things are not dealt with over time and you get it all slammed in your face... It can really stun a person..

I don't want that for my children.. I want to point things out and stand next to them, be there for them and show them that they don't have to run to prescription drugs, alcohol, illegal drugs to fix it.. Life is a @#%$, drugs do nothing but take that @#%$ and magnify it 100%..

I am who I am and won't sugar coat something, lie, or manipulate the life of meth.. I choose what I want to be and won't change that honest part of me because meth is here..

I say, F-YOUUUUU Meth

Re: What do you tell the kids when boyfriend goes to jail for meth?
The only good I can think coming out of meth's destruction in me and my children's lives is that we all learn how powerful and evil it is.

Recovery or death or institutions-the end of the story with meth.

Kids have to go through all sorts of painful situations in our world today. We can only be the best parent we can be. I like to Love first, then do research (finding out what others do) like you aims30, pray about decisions and then have faith that I'm doing the right things. Really, the hardest part with meth madness in my life, is loving first and not letting the hateful yuck keep me down.
Re: What do you tell the kids when boyfriend goes to jail for meth?
There is a lot of good advice in this thread. I have not told my nieces about their Mom being on drugs. They are 7 and 9 years old. They are smart enough to know that there are some problems and that is why they are living with their Aunt (me).

After I go to court on Tuesday, I will decide what to tell them at that point. If I get permanent custody then I will tell them more about why they are with me. I have had them 7 months and they really don't know exactly why they are with me, but they understand that Mommy has some things she needs to do.

I never bad talk their mom. I figure that when they grow up they will see and find things out for themselves. They will understand more then. I don't want to hurt them and I don't want them to resent me.

Re: What do you tell the kids when boyfriend goes to jail for meth?
tell the truth.
Do NOT belittle or be mean or destructive. Show as much empathy as you can, your hurt and sadness.
but tell the truth. answer any questions you can as truthful as possible.

Kids are very smart and will put 2 + 2 together and get their own answer - whether it is right or wrong. and then wonder why they were not good enough for the truth - any version.

But as a co-dependent, the truth will set you free. You are still playing the game if you keep the secret and shame in the closet.

It is the c's that get me though the day.

I cannot CONTROL
I cannot CURE
I cannot CHANGE

I only complicate the problem.

Best of luck to you and yours.

Aims30 Re: What do you tell the kids when boyfriend goes to jail for meth?
I want to thank all of you. All of you are very sweet people and I will be back posting on this board. I've been dealing with this for years on my own and he says he is going to change this time. I never know if I should believe him or not....time will tell.

See also:

What do we do when our addict goes to jail?

Husband, first time in jail because of meth

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