Your children can motivate you to succeed upon release. They can be a source of hope and encouragement. They also need you to make it.

Your children are also your responsibility. No matter what the relationship is with the mother or father of the children, you’re responsible for meeting the physical and emotional needs of your children. When it comes to your kids, it’s not about you. It’s about them.

If the relationship with the mother or father is in tatters, you may need to build the relationship back up to the point where you can co-parent. Try looking through the lens of the other parent. Did she or he take care of all of the parenting responsibilities while you were incarcerated? If so, there’s probably a lot of frustration and hurt that manifests itself as anger. You may be dealing with your own issues of shame and guilt. That also may manifest itself as anger.

If you need to build a relationship back to your children after you’re released from incarceration, just remember two things. One, it’s never too late to reconnect, and two, you have what it takes. See the Parenting Resources section for places to get help in person and online.  

The Child Support section will help you navigate an enforcement order. Child Care explains the Colorado Child Care Assistance Program. Finally, Custody Matters helps you understand your rights as a parent.