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My mother thinks I don't love her.

My mother thinks I don't love her.
I am 12 years old. My parents are deaf but my sister and myself are not. My sister is 16. We are the only children they have. My mom thinks that we don't love her but we do. My sister and I live at our grandmother's house. We do not live with our parents because they can't provide all the things we need and they live in a very bad area. My mom also thinks that my grandmother doesn't love her because of how she used to treat her when she was a little girl. As a result of her not thinking that we love her, she stops sleeping over my grandmother's house, and stop combing our hair as she usually does. I want her to know that we love her. So, my question to you is how or what should I do to let her know that we love her?
Thank you, Sam.
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Sam

Hi there,

I’m very glad you thought of writing to me because you’re worried your mother thinks you don’t love her. It sounds like all of the adults in your life thought living away from your parents would be for the best, since you could be looked after better. However it sounds like this has made things difficult.

You said your mother used to come and sleep over at your grandmother’s house - now she’s stopped doing that. It sounds like some really important rituals for you – such as your mum brushing your hair – aren’t happening now. I can tell you feel that loss. As well as missing those things, you know your mother’s relationship with your grandmother isn’t an easy one. That might be keeping your mum away too. 

All of this has left you wondering how you can let your mother know you and your sister love her. Someone reading your letter might think “well, it’s obvious - just tell her!” But I know it’s not that simple. First of all, your mother can’t hear you and perhaps the little things other people might do, like making a quick phone call and ending it with the phrase “love you”, aren’t possible for you.

One way to let your mother know you love her and miss seeing her is to do it in writing. Maybe there is a card you could find at a shop that she might like – or you could make one yourself if you’d prefer. You could then write something about how you love her and miss her on the inside of the card and then post it to her. If your mother has an email account, you could do the same kind of thing by email, since there are online cards you can personalise and send for free. These are just ideas to encourage and support you, but it’s possible you may come up with a better idea on your own.

I also wonder if you were only seeing your mum at your grandmother’s house or if you have other ways to see her. As an idea, could you arrange to meet your mum somewhere nearby on weekends or come up with another idea which might give the three of you (you, your sister and your mum) to see each other? This could give you a little bit of a break from the complicated relationship that exists between your mum and your grandmother? I realise meeting up away from home still doesn’t give you the comfort of having her in the house with you or doing things like brushing your hair, but I’m hoping you can let your mum know those are things you miss.

Your letter explains so well how much you care about your mum. We’d like to keep supporting you with this and anything else on your mind. You can talk to one of our counsellors any time, either by calling free on 0800 1111, logging on for a 1-2-1 chat online or by sending an email. Our message boards have a section for Home and family, where young people post messages to support each other with family issues. That might be another way for you to get help.

Take care,
Sam

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