Ask Sam letter


To Sam

ive got nothing i can keep personal from my mum

i am 14 and my mum and dad treat me like im 5. My mum is like the boss of our house and she is in control of my life. My mum is always screaming at me for the smallest of things. She is constantly, randomly taking my phone from me and going through my things and when she finds something on there that she is not happy with or does not like she will hit me. i just want to see what you think i should do? i dont want annyone to know but i just want to see what you would do. This is something small compared to other thing she does but im more concerned about her always going through my phone and deleting my personal information and pictures. She also reads ALL of my personal messages and then beats me up for finding something she thinks is wrong but it honestly isnt. I hope you can reply to this; if so Thank you
Ask Sam


Hi there,

Thank you for getting in touch and letting me know how difficult things are for you at home. You have been really brave and I can hear what a huge step this was for you, well done.

From what you have said, things at home sound very upsetting. Nobody should be beating you up. I believe that there’s never a valid reason for a parent to hit their child. You might find it helpful to read the Physical Abuse page in Explore.

It seems like the lack of privacy is the thing you find hardest at home. It may be that mum is checking your phone messages because she is concerned for your safety. Some people would argue that it’s right for parents to keep a close eye on what their children do on their phones and computers. Other people feel strongly that it’s not ok to read private conversations. But however you look at it, it’s not ok for your mum to hit you when she finds something on your phone that she doesn’t like.

You asked what I think you should do. It’s important that you are able to feel safe and secure at home. From what you’ve said, your mum can be very aggressive when she is upset. If you don’t think it would be safe to talk to her directly, what it would be like for you to talk to your dad? Could you try to talk in a safe and controlled environment about how you are feeling and explain that you would like more trust and privacy now you are 14. Maybe you can think of ideas to show your parents that you are safe and trustworthy on your phone (see the mobile safety page in Explore and the CEOP website for some great advice).

If it doesn’t feel realistic to talk to your parents, maybe you could consider talking to a teacher or another trusted adult about how life is really like for you. I can hear that you don’t want anyone to know about your mum at the moment, but you deserve a family relationship where you are safe from physical abuse and people communicate in a respectful way.

Maybe to explore you options and ideas in more detail you could talk to a ChildLine counsellor. The message boards could also provide some help and support from other young people on the issues that matter to them, like physical abuse and wanting more privacy.

You’ve been very brave to write down your experiences at home. It sounds like it’s time for things to change. Remember, your safety and happiness is important, because you’re important.

Take care,


Need help straight away?

You can talk privately to a counsellor online or call 0800 1111 for free.

Ask me a question

You can ask me about anything you want, there's nothing too big or small. I read every single letter but I can only answer a few each week. My replies are published here on my page.

Write me a letter