Before you can explain an arrest to children, understand that it is a very delicate task. Additionally, how you approach this sensitive topic depends on the age of the child. There is no perfect way to tell bad news to children, and most parents want to protect their children from the grief of the world for as long as possible. However, accidents happen and there may come a time when you are forced to explain an arrest to children. Here are a few tips on how to explain an arrest to children.
Soothe Their Fears
Odds are that the child or children you have to explain an arrest to are worried or scared, especially if you are forced to explain this situation to children whose parents were arrested. The first thing you can do that will help you explain an arrest to children is to soothe their fears. Defuse the situation with reassurance that everything will be okay. Comfort the children first so you can help them not to feel frantic as you are explaining a difficult situation.
Use Age-Appropriate Language
When you have to explain an arrest to children, keep their age in mind and use age-appropriate language and concepts. At this time it is important to make sure the child is safe and feels safe. Use discretion to determine whether or not the child is ready to know the details or nature of the crime.
If you feel like telling them the details will jeopardize their feeling of safety, this may be a good opportunity to give a very basic explanation. If the parent will be out of jail soon, reassure them of their upcoming reunion. If the parent is not expected to have a speedy release, use your discretion on what details should and shouldn’t be revealed. Some things that adults get arrested for are not for little ears, so it is up to the adult responsible for the child in the event of their parent’s arrest to use their good judgment.
Be honest when you have to explain an arrest to children. We teach children to tell the truth, we should continue to hold ourselves to that same standard, especially when talking about hard things like an arrest. If there is information that you have decided the children do not need to know, don’t mention it at all, or extremely simplify it.
This type of discretion is especially important when there is a sexual nature to the crime. You can use this as an opportunity to explain to the children that when grown-ups hurt people or do bad things, they get in trouble, just like they get in trouble for doing something they aren’t supposed to in school. You can make the experience seem a little less scary by making it relatable in this way.
Be careful not to make them too comfortable with the idea of trouble, you don’t want them to think they can replicate bad behavior. Children’s minds are so delicate as they absorb information, which makes the task to explain an arrest a very important matter. It is a balance between helping them understand what has happened and that they and their parents will all be okay, and helping them understand that it is important to stay out of trouble.
Call A-EZ Out Bail Bonds
Call A-EZ Out Bail Bonds at (972) 422-1544 if you have been arrested. If you have children at home and you have been arrested, call us immediately for a speedy release. You know how you want to explain an arrest to children, get out on bail so that you can reassure them yourself. If you have found yourself needing to explain an arrest to children, do so in a way that will calm them, not make them feel unsafe. Contact A-EZ Out when you need to get back to your family.