Support When Your Parents Separate
If your parents have taken the decision to separate and you don’t know who to turn to, stay on this page. Take a look at some of our tips and guidance which we hope will help you during this journey.
You might be experiencing a range of conflicting feelings. Every wave of emotion is possible, whether that is sadness, anger, neglect, confusion, isolation or feelings of loss or betrayal.
It’s important to voice your feelings. You are not alone in feeling the way you do and actually, it is completely ok to feel as you might do right now.
We are here to signpost you to the support and guidance which may just help, so that you feel supported and reassured.
Who Can I Talk To? →
Experiencing the separation of your family is difficult at any age. Children and young adults often deal with these emotions in different ways but help and support is all around.
- Speaking about your feelings and discussing your emotions is an extremely important aspect of coming to terms with this difficult time in your life. There are many different people who you can speak to. For example, if you are at school, you may have a teacher you feel able to confide in, a friend that you would like to share your feelings with or perhaps another family member such as a sibling or grandparent.
- If you would rather speak to someone who has no connection with your home life, there are trained specialists such as counsellors who you can speak to perhaps alongside your GP. The section below headed “external support” lists various support services.
Adapting To Change →
When your parents separate, it often comes with a need to adapt to some changes. Changes may impact your home-life. For example, you may live solely with one parent and spend some weekends with your other parent. You may move to a new house or experience a change of area or school. You may be introduced to new partners and their children.
Change can feel overwhelming. Any change that does take place will need to be carefully navigated by your parents with your best interests at the forefront of their minds.
Our Top Tips →
- Communicate with your parents. Let them know how you feel and don’t be afraid to seek help from others (see external support options below).
- Don’t panic. Sometimes the journey can be tough but a “new normal” will soon be in sight and things will settle down.
- If you are at school, reach out to a teacher and/or to your friends so they are aware of any difficulties you are experiencing at home.
- Try and go about your life in your usual way. Don’t give up your favourite hobby or avoid seeing your friends at the weekend. Keeping busy is a good distraction.
- Know that your parents still love you and even though they may be apart from one another, they will not be apart from you.
External Support →
Here are some organisations who might be able to help:
- Family Justice Young People’s Board – a group of children and young people who have an interest in children’s rights and the family courts. Find a helpful leaflet here.
- NHS services – children and young people’s mental health services (CYPMHS)
- Voices in the Middle – a collaboration between young people, the family law & mediation sector and The Family Initiative charity to provide a dedicated place for young people to find help and support when in the middle of divorce and separation.
- YoungMinds – a mental health charity for children, young people and their parents.
- Barnardo’s – care for vulnerable children.
- Childline – get help and advice about a wide range of issues, call on 0800 1111, talk to a counsellor online, send an email or post on the message boards.
- Mind – there to make sure no one has to face a mental health problem alone.
- The National Youth Advocacy Service – provides a range of services to support, safeguard and empower children, young people and vulnerable adults.
- The Parent Promise – a group of organisation, and individuals, who believe that all children deserve the most positive experience possible during parental divorce or separation.
- Rafan House – a clinically governed psychotherapeutic clinic based in London which support families (including children) who are going through important life events.
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