Kelly, 39

Meet Kelly…

I learned that I can’t be the hands on, disciplinarian father, so I adopted more of a big brother- dynamic. This creates a more comfortable atmosphere for him to come to me for advice, with his issues and growing pains.

Incarcerated: 12

Housed: Patuxent Institute, Jessup, Missouri

The best thing I did in life was have a son. He was two when I fell and I was a very active and loving father. Fast forward to his middle school days, his mom said I need to talk to him because he was fighting a lot. I ain’t really thinking too much of it, I figured boys will be boys, but when I asked him why he was fighting, he said people in his class googled him. We have the same name, his classmate’s internet search yielded my history. History of a terrible crime. Learning he was fighting for my ‘honor’ broke my heart. I remember crying a river from the embarrassment and hurt he experienced because of me. I changed the way I communicated with him. More honesty and transparency because I don’t want my son to learn from foreign and tainted sources of information. I learned that I can’t be the hands on, disciplinarian father, so I adopted more of a big brother- dynamic. This creates a more comfortable atmosphere for him to come to me for advice, with his issues and growing pains. By the grace of God, we have a strong relationship. The ironic thing is his mom hates that my son loves me…? Everytime he messes up she blames me/my influence and wont allow me to contact him. I guess it is easier to look through glasses than a mirror. I tell my son I love him often and I’m proud of him. I always stress the importance of teaching him how to think instead of what to think, the importance of evaluating situations before he acts and making good decisions. I remind my son to never allow his love for me to keep him from being better than me, or his loyalty to me keep him from surpassing me in life.

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