Every child is different and how they will respond to the news will also vary from child to child.

Your children may ask you a lot of questions about prison – being able to answer these can help reassure your child and stop them being concerned about how their loved one is. Some children imagine prisons as being a lot worse than reality, and they may be curious as to what their loved one does all day. It can reassure your child if they are able to imagine what their loved on is doing and where they are living. You may find’s Pact’s resources “My Visit” and “Visiting Mum” useful tools here.

On the other hand, your child may just accept the information and not want to talk about it further.

Some children may feel sorry for their loved one in prison, or they may feel angry and let down that their loved one has had to go away and leave them. Some children may feel that they are to blame for the imprisonment as well – it is important to reassure them they are not. Some children may be embarrassed or ashamed, or some may be proud. Some children might feel a whole range of emotions depending on the day. Some will be very upset and you may see some changes in their behaviour – this may happen as they learn to adjust and come to terms with the information and their loved one’s absence from home.