“You can change your world by changing your words…Remember, death & life are in the power of the tongue “
Opal 2 Child
The first weeks inside for any Opal parent can be traumatising. To help an Opal parent through the first eight-weeks I’ve written a series of template letters. Each week has a different positive message and reaffirms the key messages that: I’m okay & I love you.
By encouraging an Opal Parent who may be struggling with worry, stress, depression, anxiety or addiction issues etc, to use this template will potentially help an Opal parent assimilate into the prison system with more ease.
The reasons or outcomes I want to assist the Opal parent meet are:
• A reduction in the transference of fear or stress that a parent is feeling onto their child.
• Through filling out the questions and reading my comments (written from myself directly to the parent) My hope is that the Opal Parent may find different and more positive ways to view their situation.
• The parent can share their journey with their child and as a result reduce the child’s anxieties over where their parent is and how safe they are.
If you are a: Prison Officer, Prison At-Risk Officer, Prison-staff, Prison-chaplains or family member of an Opal parent, I encourage you to help any Opal parent use these resources. You may find it easy to print off these letters & put them in a folder for ease of use.
Opal 2 Child Downloads
Child 2 Opal
Having a parent(s) go into prison will always have a huge impact on the well-being of the child. As many parents know first-hand, their children’s (including youth) letter writing skills aren’t always overly informative. This often makes it hard for a parent to get a real gauge on the well-being of their child.
To aid the child and reassure the Opal parent I’ve written a 10-week series of template letters to help them through this initial period.
By answering the questions included in the template letters the child will be able to give a clearer picture of how they’re doing at home and at school.
The other key reason I have created these template letters is to also encourage the child to be both:
• Empowered to take positive action for themselves.
• Empowered to become the best they can be during their Opal parent’s absence.
The final reason I’ve written these template letters is that it helps a parent, or any other adult identify any potential issues. This is because in my experience; unheard children = vulnerable children.
If you are a grand-parent, an older-sibling, foster-parent, school-teacher, religious teacher etc. then I encourage you to help any child you know of with an Opal parent, to either use or fill out these template letters. Once the template letter resources have been used – please explore the other FREE articles and stories available for both the Opal parent to send to their child and vice-versa.
Child 2 Opal Downloads
Letter Template: From an Opal Parent to their child’s: teacher or education provider
This is a Template Letter that an Opal Parent can fill out and send to their child’s teacher or school to request information.
I lost count of the times when I was in prison of conversations that went something like this:
Me: How’s your son/daughter going at school?
Other Parent: I haven’t got a clue – I haven’t had any contact in almost two-years & my-ex doesn’t let the kids write to me.
Me: Oh…why don’t you write to their school?
Other Parent: Am I allowed to do that?
Me: Do you have a protection order stopping you from making contact with your kids?
Other Parent: No!
Me: Sweet…lets get this happening my friend…
When I helped the other mum’s write to their child’s school or educator you could literally see a huge weight fall off their shoulders. So many parents feel as if they’ve forfeited any right to be able to inquire about the well-being of their child and this is a real lose / lose situation.
If you interact with Opal parents can I please ask that you circulate these template letters. Thank-you from my heart. Darly