DEAR HARRIETTE: My husband got arrested last week while we were at home. He stole money from his company. Now it’s all over the news, and I’m worried about how my son and daughter are dealing with their dad being locked up. So far, the sentencing offer is for 10 years, but our lawyer is trying to bring that down. If he can’t, my kids won’t have their dad around. How will I be able to raise my kids alone? -- Distraught Mom, Wilmington, Delaware
DEAR DISTRAUGHT MOM: Having your husband stripped away from the family is devastating. The reason makes it all the worse -- because of his illegal actions. Your children will have a tough time managing, especially in the beginning, given that your husband is suddenly not in the household. They will likely be ridiculed by their peers because of the public nature of his arrest.
In the midst of it all, your job is to keep them grounded and focused on being responsible citizens and students. It will be helpful for them to get psychological support -- you, too -- to help manage their lives through this period. Check with your children’s pediatrician for referrals. Your house of worship may provide support as well. In addition, the United States government has a wealth of resources to help children of incarcerated parents, from literature to support groups. To learn more, visit youth.gov/youth-topics/children-of-incarcerated-parents.