published: 25 February 2020
Earlier this week, the BBC released an article on their ‘newsbeat’ page (news aimed at young adults) in which they had spoken to Toni. Toni was 11 when her mum was sent to prison, she also had 2 sisters. The 23 year old sister had just had a baby, and had to then take care of Toni and her 9 year old sister.
As adults, we feel great sympathy for children going through the trauma of a parent being taken away from the home, however, can we really empathise?
We have all been children at some point, obviously, but unless we went through that specific trauma at that specific age, I think it’s really difficult to be able to fully understand.
In the article it explains how Toni felt she couldn’t be upset, as her little sister copied her, and she didn’t want her feeling sad. She then reflects on this stating “I don’t think I properly processed my emotions at the time”, which is almost certainly the case, and quite damaging.
There are several charities which have the sole aim to assist families at times like this, with trained professionals who can give useful advice to those who need it. I will pop some details at the bottom of this post.
However, currently schools are not informed when a parent goes to prison. Just making this small step a major priority can make a huge difference to the child involved.