Children are often aware of much more than we give them credit for. Your child may be able to sense tension or a change of atmosphere at home. Your child may also be confused as to where their loved one is, and they may imagine things which can be far worse than reality, which will worry them more.

The parent or carer left behind may understandably feel very angry or let down by the person sent to prison. Children will pick up on a parent/carer's mood, but may think it's directed at them. 

There is no guaranteed way to protect children from finding out what has happened to their loved one by other means – from school friends, neighbours, the press and social media such as Facebook. It will be more hurtful to your child if they find out in this way, because you will not be there to support your child, explain the situation and help them come to terms with it.