So many times we as a society watch as children blindly follow in the footsteps of their fathers, mothers and siblings; recreating a life filled with heartache and regret. Children mimic what they perceive as “normal” and sadly often make the same unwise choices as the generations before. Mentoring a child whose parent is in prison is a priceless gift that one can give not only to that child but to society as a whole by showing them that only they are responsible for their thoughts that can turn into actions later on.
Unfortunately, I write from experience. I am a married mother of two sons whose father is in prison serving a 15 year DUI Manslaughter sentence. Even at such a young age, without positive figures and activities in my children’s lives, I am almost certain that even the most proactive parenting on my part alone would not be sufficient in today’s tempting social culture. Across our country, sometimes children as young as 6 and 7 years old are facing tough decisions involving drugs, sex, sexual abuse, peer violence and self protection. Having an adult that they can trust to believe in them, to guide them and encourage them in life’s decisions empowers a child and builds self worth and esteem.
Like the old adage says “it takes a village to raise a child” is a very powerful statement.
A child’s life is touched by many minds, souls, and hearts by the time they reach adulthood – every one of those should be positive. My husband was a productive member of society who made a mistake that anyone leaving a football game on a Sunday could make. He is a very intelligent man and has used his own incarceration as an inspiration he has mentored in a faith based program and teaches fellow prisoners to read, write and pass the GED program, allowing many the chances to now become the productive citizen that they may never have had in their own childhood. Therefore, we realize the importance firsthand of mentoring children who may possibly stray down the same road. This is an issue that does not belong to any one ethnic or economic status. Every child no matter race, religion, culture, or economic background deserves influences in their life to promote what building and maintaining a productive life is all about.