My daughter watched me get arrested for an unpaid speeding ticket. How should I talk to her about this? (Revised)?

Every day, after I get off work, I go pick up my 8 year old daughter from school. Recently, on a Friday after picking her up, I was pulled over. Turns out, I had forgotten to pay a speeding ticket and had a warrant issued for my arrest. I remembered at that point the ticket hadn't been paid and was sitting on... show more Every day, after I get off work, I go pick up my 8 year old daughter from school. Recently, on a Friday after picking her up, I was pulled over. Turns out, I had forgotten to pay a speeding ticket and had a warrant issued for my arrest. I remembered at that point the ticket hadn't been paid and was sitting on my desk at work. I've never had any trouble with the law previously, and I see myself as a great role model for my daughter, who shows her that women who work hard get rewarded. Regardless, the police were 100 percent justified in arresting me, and I complied fully.

My daughter, who was in the car with me, watched as the police handcuffed me behind my back. We sat on the sidewalk together for about 30 minutes with me in handcuffs before my husband could pick her up and they took me to jail. I couldn't post bail until Monday, so I ended up being in jail for 3 nights. She seemed fine at the time of the arrest. We sat and talked and I explained what the handcuffs were and why I had to wear them. However, since I was released she's been very quiet and distant.

I've tried to explain the situation to her multiple times. I told her that I made a mistake and had to pay the consequences for it, and that the police were good guys who had to do their jobs to arrest me. I think she was especially bothered by the handcuffs and I'm worried she is traumatized from seeing her mom like that. What can I tell her to ease her mind? How should I be approaching these conversations?
10 answers 10