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To Sam

dad......

I my mum and my dad divorced when I was little and I don't like my dad I don't know what to tell him next time I see him and I don't actually know when i see him, what can I do, I am just afraid that you are just going to tell me to calm down I want something that could actually help me.
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Sam

Hi there,

When parents get divorced or decide to separate, it can be very difficult to go through. Children can sometimes feel torn or pressured into spending time with both parents. This can be really hard if you don’t have a good relationship with one particular parent.

It can feel unsettling not to know exactly what is happening or what your options are. Your feelings do matter and you deserve to be listened to. It's important that you are able to be confident about how you feel. It's also important that you know it’s okay to have those emotions. Coming to understand your own feelings can be a good first step.

Sometimes writing a letter that you won’t send can be a good idea. Write it as if it’s a real letter to your dad and say whatever you like in it. It’s okay to just say what you think because when you’re finished you’re not actually going to send it. At the end you might want to put it away somewhere, or you might want to rip it up. It’s up to you.

If it feels safe enough, it might be a good idea to share with your mum how you feel about your dad and what you would like to happen. If you don’t want to see your dad, it’s important to make sure your mum knows this.

If both parents can’t reach an agreement about what happens next, extra support might be needed. This might involve some form of mediation. A mediator is someone who would talk with both parents and also talk with the children involved about what they want. Any decision which is made should always be one which means you are kept physically and emotionally safe.

Remember this isn’t something you have to go through on your own. You might want to talk through your worries directly with a ChildLine counsellor. This would be a space you could talk safely about how you feel and what support you would find helpful. Well done for being brave and writing in.

Take care,
Sam

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