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I want to see my dad over xmas

Dear Sam, over xmas. Would like t see my dad but my mum says I can't.They have been separated since I was 4 and now I'm 12 we see eachother a bit around every 4months but he lives up north and I live south.My mum says he's mean but he's not.

what should I do.

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Sam

Hi there,

It can be hard not to be caught up in everyone's feelings towards each other when parents split up. But even if your parents have a difficult relationship with each other, that shouldn’t affect your relationship with either of them.

The decision to see a parent can depend on how their separation happened in the beginning. Sometimes a court might say that you're not allowed to see a parent, or say how often you can see them. Often it can be just an agreement between your parents. Either way, you'd need to know that information first.

If you're allowed to have a relationship with your dad, and it’s safe, you deserve to make your own choice about seeing him. It might be that things happened in the past, but it's really important for you to have the chance to understand your mum’s concerns about you seeing him. That way you can be sure that you’re making a decision based on all the facts.

If you wanted to talk with your Mum, then preparing what to say in advance can help you to feel more in control. If the thought of talking face to face is difficult, then you could write this down in a letter instead and give this to her. You could try explaining to your Mum how you've been feeling about this, and what it means for you to be able to see your Dad.

Sometimes if we have to have difficult conversations it can help to have support from another adult or someone else in the family who might be able to mediate. They might also be able to help you decide the best thing to say to your mum. You could even ask if another adult or family member could talk to her about it for you.

For more support you could look at CAFCASS, who can help families when they can’t agree on difficult decisions involving their children.

Remember you can always speak to a Childline counsellor - they would talk to you about your feelings and help you to work things out.

Take care,

Sam

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