Phone calls can be one of the most important ways to stay connected with your loved one in prison. From catching up with daily goings on and important news of the day, to keeping your relationship alive, there are few things that mean more to your loved one who is incarcerated. So, how can you stay connected in a 15-minute conversation, and maximize it to its fullest value?
Avoid Drama – As you work to keep your relationship vibrant, you will need to create a plan for your phone call. If left unguarded, these phone calls can quickly turn to drama and conflict. It can be a very natural reaction to turn a casual conversation into a heated argument. Phone calls are your opportunity to connect together, it would be a shame to waste it talking about others and not each other.
Avoid negative talk – Negative talk, hurtful words or gossiping can create an unhealthy pattern. While it can be helpful to vent and share your frustrations, it can be toxic to spend the precious time you have each week in negative talk. The next time your phone call becomes negative, turn it to more positive things.
Make an outline – It can be very common for your loved one in prison to have specific things they want to talk about. From legal needs, to funds, planning visits, and other wants, having a plan for your conversation can help avoid using up all your time without covering the most important topics. Planning a set time every week can help keep a routine and create trust.
Ask about their needs – With your limited time on the phone, it can be difficult to cover everything you need to. One of the most important things to cover is to ask about their needs. Asking what they need up front will give them validation and build mutual trust. From legal counsel and support to financial and other needs, making time in the conversation creates renewed support.
Make a connection – In order to build and maintain a healthy relationship with an inmate, it’s important to make a connection. It can be tempting to spend the entire phone conversation talking about news, and business talk. When we are intentional, we will leave the call feeling most satisfied and have a deeper connection. How are you investing in their lives through your 15-minute phone call.
Listening to your loved one is one of the best ways to grow this connection over the phone. These special moments can be your lifeline. As you learn to listen, asking thoughtful questions, from one call to the next, your trust will grow each week. ‘
Remember, you are with your loved one on their journey in prison. It can be easy to resent the situation you are in. But this 15-minute moment in your day can be a special opportunity to draw close to your loved one. It could be the most important moment in your week for your relationship. Taking time to be intentional on your phone call can make all the difference in your day and theirs. Take time to appreciate this moment and value your time together on the phone. When you approach phone calls with hope, it creates an expectation for future calls, building trust that will grow your relationship.