Ask Sam letter


To Sam

Moving Country

Ever since I started secondary school, my father had the sudden urge to move back to Pakistan. He has been taking us there in the holidays and stared to look around at schools and jobs. Last time we went their he told my mum to go to an interview for a new job and she got it. I know that's a good thing, but that's more of a reason to move there. My mum also got a job back in England, a consultant job that my dad forced her to quit from. For now we are moving from home in February.

I tried to tell him that its a bad its a bad idea to move, due to many reasons. I'm in my second year in secondary school and I have worked so hard to get admission in the school. I go to a grammar school and I spent a whole year preparing for the 11+.I have joined a football team that I have become attached to and my friends at my Islamic Saturday school I am so close with.

No one from my family wants to go there, but my dad hasn't given any of us a choice. He won't give us a reason why he wants to go back there, neither does my mum know. He expects me covert to the Matrix system when we go there, but that includes me to learn Urdu, and I don't want to. It will be difficult for my brother and 6 yr old sister to learn and adjust their too.

I don't want to leave my club. I don't want to leave my friends and my school. I don't want to leave my home.

Ask Sam


Hi there,

Moving house can be hard, especially if you’re moving to live in another country. It can feel like a part of our identity is being left behind as well. There are some decisions that your parents will make that you don't have much choice in. This might be difficult to accept but it's OK to share your views with them and be honest about how you’re feeling.

Parents can decide where they want to live with their children and you don't get to have much of a say in this unfortunately. If you’re over 16 you could leave home and live on your own-but this isn’t easy to do and you’d need a lot of support. If you were being taken abroad to be forced into marriage or for female circumcision (also called female genital mutilation) you can get help to stop yourself being taken by telling the police or an adult you trust. But if it's just that your parents want to live and work in a different country, that's a decision they’re allowed to make.

If you were born in the UK or if you have a British passport then you’ll still be a UK citizen even when you move to Pakistan. This means when you’re older you can choose to come back and live here again . It might help to think about going to live in another country as only for a while. Lots of positive experiences can come from living in other cultures and learning about how different countries work. Try to think of it as an experience that might have benefits – like learning a new language. Leaving behind people we care about might be one of the hardest parts about moving abroad. There are lots of ways to stay in touch online but it’ll be different from seeing each other every day. Just because something is changing though doesn't mean it’s ending. There are ways You could start sending your friends real letters in the post, becoming pen-friends for a while. Writing and receiving a physical letter from someone can make a more personal connection and is something to look forward to when it is due to arrive in the post. Remember friendships don’t have to be in person all of the time.

You won't be able to talk to Childline counsellors in Pakistan but you can still use our website, send and read letters to me, talk to other young people on the message boards and update your mood journal. Childline has lots of advice on their website about starting at a new school, making friends and family problems. If you need to talk to someone you can find a helpline through Child Helpline International.

While you’re in the UK, you can talk to a Childline counsellor online or on the phone whenever you need to.

Thanks for your letter, take care.


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