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How to Explain an Arrest to a Child

An arrest is a stressful situation for anyone. However, this experience can become even more stressful if you have a little one at home depending on you. Whether you’re a child’s parent or legal guardian when you get picked up, your first thought will likely be about the wellbeing of your family. You’ll need to ensure someone is caring for them, all of their needs are met, and you’ll also have to find a way to tell them you’re in jail. This can be a difficult conversation. Most children are highly attached to their parents and may struggle to understand why you aren’t home with them. A-EZ Out can quickly bond you out of jail, and help prevent the conversation for a while. However, you will likely need to have this conversation over the course of your trial. This is especially true if you’re found guilty and sentenced to jail time. Below are some tips to help your child understand your arrest and what to expect. 

Be honest

Now, we’re not saying you should share graphic particulars about the alleged crime you committed. However, this complex situation is already difficult for young minds to grasp. Explain what happened without beating around the bush. Keep it simple. At the end of the conversation, your child should understand that you made a mistake and this is the consequence. Then, let them know that after you fix the mistake that you get to come back home to them. 

Listen actively

Your child will likely have a million questions. Children are inherently curious and this process of arrest can greatly impact them. Practice active listening and make sure you answer all of their questions so they aren’t left thinking you are leaving because of them or that you’re in danger. 

You should also adjust your discussion based on the child’s age because they have different mental capacities. A kid between the ages of 1 and 4 may experience severe separation anxiety or fear that you will be harmed. Preschool-aged kids may believe their behavior caused the arrest and be unable to separate harm done to you vs. to them. Kids up to the age of 12 might consider their parent’s arrest unjust and fear the loss of protection their parents offer. A teenager may be scared of losing their parent’s protection and may express anger to protect you, which could also land them in legal trouble if they do so in an aggressive manner. Check out this chart to help guide the conversation with your child.  

Set an example

As a parent, you don’t want your child to know you make mistakes. But when you do make them it’s important to explain what you would’ve done differently and that there are consequences to your actions. By having this conversation and being open about your mistakes you may prevent your child from making the same ones later in life. 

Get back to your child fast with an A-EZ Out bail bond

After your initial arrest contact the expert bail bondsmen at A-EZ Out Bail Bonds. We are fast, dependable, and family-oriented. We’ll do what it takes to get you out of jail, and back to your family in no time. Fill out a form on our website or call one of our Texas bail bond locations to request more information!

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