Talking to Your Kids about Your Long Beach DUI Arrest
You just got arrested for DUI in Long Beach. You're not happy about it. But you're brave enough to acknowledge the difficulty of your reality.
Although you fear going to jail, losing your license, paying thousands of dollars in court costs and fees, and having to attend alcohol classes for weeks and months, what you fear most of all is talking to your children about what happened to you and why.
How do you broach the subject in an intelligent way that doesn’t make your kids too uncomfortable?
The answer obviously depends on the state of your relationship with your kids, their ages, and your own feelings of comfort about disclosing personal information. There is no one size fits all recipe here.
In some sense, you're caught between a rock and a hard place:
“The rock” = you're embarrassed.
Your children may be embarrassed. Your wife/partner/co-parent may be embarrassed. In an ideal world, no one would say anything, and you'd just clear the Long Beach DUI off your record and move on with your lives, as if nothing ever happened.
“The hard place” = lessons must be learned.
On the other hand, you need address reality. Your family needs to plan. If you lose your license or go to jail, your spouse or co-parent will need to pick up responsibilities. Your kids may need to fend for themselves a little more. You might need to call in friends and relatives to help with child care and other household business.
Before you engage in any momentous conversations with your kids, sit down and think through – and even write out – how you'd like the conversation to go. It might seem unnatural to "prescript" an emotional conversation like this. But just like you'd prepare to have an intense business conversation with a prospective client or boss; so, too, can you benefit from preparing to have an intense personal conversation.
Begin with purpose. WHY are you disclosing this information? What is the point in talking about your Long Beach DUI.
For instance, you might need to have this conversation just because the kids’ lives will be radically altered if/when you go to jail. Or you just might want to have the conversation because you fundamentally believe in being honest and open with your kids.
Next, derive the principles that you use to have the conversation. Here is an easy “hack” to derive these. Think about all the ways the conversation could “go wrong.” The opposite elements would make up your principles. For instance, if everyone started yelling and screaming, that would be unpleasant and would violate your principles. So one rule for the conversation would be “keep as calm and emotionally balanced as possible.” You might have 6 to 10 principles that you derive during this exercise.
Finally, imagine the conversation from a place of “best outcome.” In other words, if this conversation went as well as it could go, what would that look like? What would you feel like? What would you do afterwards? Really try to be positive (yes, it’s hard considering your Long Beach DUI arrest!) and imagine a wildly successful result. For instance, maybe your kids would give you a hug, and they would step up in the wake of your trial or license suspension to help out around the house, and you would all grow from the experience.
Of course, you also want to give serious consideration to the next steps in your case. A Long Beach DUI defense attorney with the Kraut Law Group can help you appreciate the charges and challenges ahead and guide you resourcefully and compassionately.
If you have been arrested for a DUI in Long Beach or you are under investigation for driving under the influence in Southern California, please contact Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Michael Kraut for 24/7 assistance by phone at (323) 464-6453 or toll free at (888) 334-6344 or online.