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Doctor Blake
Doctor Blake, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 146
Experience:  Ph.D., Ed.S., NCSP Clinical Psychologist; 15+ years of experience; dual licensure
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Is there a positive effect on children, that were close to

Resolved Question:

Is there a positive effect on children, that were close to their fathers, to keep in touch with them while incarcerated?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Doctor Blake replied 7 years ago.

Good morning.


What ages, please, are the children? What is the nature of the father's crime? Is he incarcerated in jail or prison?


(Please understand that answering these questions does not involve a charge... it just helps us to better focus our response.)



Customer: replied 7 years ago.
There is one child, a 4 1/2 year old boy. The crime drug dealing. He has not been convicted as yet. He is still in a detention center. The mother told the boy that his father went to work. (Father & son were very close, the boy was his dad's shadow.) That was last December and he still thinks his father is at work. She allowed the father to talk to his son for the first couple of weeks and then decided that it was harmful to the boy to talk to his father. I am trying to find info for the custody hearing to show that it is not harmful for the boy to talk to his dad. Can you help?
Expert:  Doctor Blake replied 7 years ago.

Thanks for your reply.


Please understand that I only have the facts presented to me via your posts. There may be other determining factors that should be considered surrounding this subject.


I have reason to believe that there may be some dispute(s) between your grandson's father and mother than extend beyond the issues of dad's detention in jail. I suspect that dad's detention might be used as an excuse to "alienate affection" from dad. (A divorce lawyer would probably be more familiar with this term.)


If there has been no abuse or neglect by dad, if the child witnessed no crimes committed by father, and if there was solid bonding between father and son prior to dad's incarceration, I see no reason why contact should be discontinued now. This does mean that I advocate taking a child to a detention center for visiting hours - as this could be traumatic and confusing - but certainly phone calls and letters should be permitted.


I believe you have grounds to request some counseling for the family to allow contact to be resumed in some fashion. Mom and Dad's conflict (outside of the detention) should not be borne on the shoulder's of a little boy who developmentally has no understanding of the big goings-on of adults. Given the presumed nature of mom and dad's relationship, they would likely benefit from a third party helping to mediate and guide your grandson about (a) what and how he should be told about daddy and (b) delineate what medium (phone, letter, visits) and how contact should be re-established. This will keep all parties honest and involved in the best interests of the child. Provided there has been no abuse/neglect, witnessing of criminal behavior, and a solid bond existed between father and son - I believe supervised contact should be resumed in some fashion.


I hope this helps.

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