Ask Sam letter


To Sam


I am the eldest child in my family. My mum and dad are divorced and my mum has a new boyfriend that I don't get on with. He shouts at everyone even when you haven't really done any thing. I hate it when he is mean to us. What shall I do? It also doesn't help when I shout back does it?
Ask Sam


Hi there,

Thank you for your letter. It sounds like there have been a lot of changes at home for you, not only with your parent's divorce but with your mum having this new boyfriend as well. I can imagine it being a lot for anyone to have to deal with on their own and it’s great that you are talking about it.

It’s important to remember that it’s not okay for someone to be shouting at you all the time like your mum’s new boyfriend has been doing. I can imagine it being really scary having him not only shouting at you, but at everyone else as well. It’s good that you’re able to see that it may not help if you do shout back, as sometimes when everyone is shouting like that it can make things even worse as people do get angrier and angrier.

Whilst shouting back might not be helpful, it can be good to think about the kinds of things you can do when your mum’s boyfriend starts shouting like that. Sometimes having a plan of what you can do, whether it’s having someone that you know that you can call; or even somewhere you can go that feels safe to get away from it can help you feel more in control and less unsure of what you might like to happen at the moment it starts.

When you talk about being the eldest child in the family, I can imagine it feeling like a lot of responsibility to try and make sure that things are okay. At the same time, it’s important to remember that nobody deserves to go through something like this on their own. It can help to think a little about what might happen if you spoke to your mum about how difficult things have been for you, even what it might be like to talk to someone outside of the family, like a teacher you feel might be able to help.

Talking to people can be really difficult sometimes, but it’s important to remember that you’ve done nothing wrong. Sometimes it can help to think about what you’d most like to happen with the family, and what it would be like if you did carry on without ever talking to anyone.

I can see how difficult things have been for you. After you’ve read this, it might be good to take some time to think and whenever you feel ready, to come on and talk to a ChildLine counsellor. ChildLine is here to support any child or young person with anything that might be happening. They’re not there to tell you what to do but they can give you a chance to think about what you would like to happen and how you feel it would be best to get support.

Take care,


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