Ask Sam letter


To Sam


I'm 11 years old and my parents keep putting me down. Today I had a basketball game. I am on JV and I'm not that good but I enjoy myself. After the game, my mom says "Your getting worse, your the only player who has gotten worse.". It really hurts my feelings. Then my brother says more hurtful things then my dad says that I have to skip practice and thats not helping. This really hurts my feelings and I want to run away. I don't know what to do and I'm really upset. Thank you for reading. 
Ask Sam


Hi there,

Your family shouldn’t be treating in you in the way you’ve described. All families have opinions on how well a person is doing at activities like sports, but putting you down and saying hurtful things to you is never okay. What you’ve described could be called emotional abuse. Like all kinds of abuse it’s very wrong. You deserve to be treated with encouragement, support and care.

You’re right that playing sport should be about enjoyment. We all have different skills and abilities – some are good at sport and others are better at other things. It can take patience and practice to perfect the skill needed for a sport. Even if you don’t play well, continue to do the work and you can get better at it with time – or just play for fun.

It might be good to speak to your basketball coach or teacher about what your mum said. They are not just in charge of the team but also responsible for you whilst you’re a part of it. It might be that they’re able to give you some more advice about what to do next.

You say you want to run away. I’d be really worried about you doing this. Because this could put you in danger. Sometimes when things are tough at home, running away may seem like the way to solve your immediate problems, but it can create a whole new set of problems that are even worse. 

I’m unsure if you’re getting support for what's going on and how you’re feeling. I know that sometimes it can be really hard to talk about how we’re feeling, but you should think about talking to people that can help you. This could be a friend or someone like a teacher.

You can always speak to a ChildLine counsellor about this. They’ll always be there to listen.

Take care,

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