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To Sam

not sure

i have a very important question wich i would love for you to answer, i am twelve and for all twelve years of my life i have never recieved a birthday present by my mother.Its not like we're poor because we arent but she gets my sisters stuff on their birthdays but not on mine and it makes me feel kind of upset because its almost as if she doesnt care about me.Its my birthday in a few months, should i expect nothing from her? is this normal for children?
Ask Sam


Hi there,

I’m really glad that you could share this with me. You sound like you’re having a difficult time and I’m concerned to hear that you’re not feeling cared about by your mum. Everyone deserves to know that they are loved.

You asked whether this was normal for children. Everybody’s idea of what’s normal is different and some families don’t give birthday presents or celebrate birthdays because of their beliefs. From what you’ve told me, your mum gives a birthday present to your sisters but not you. That must hurt. 

Parents have a responsibility to look after their children and make sure that they feel safe and loved. To treat one child differently to another in this way is emotional abuse. I can tell that not getting a birthday present leaves you confused and upset and it would be a good idea to talk to an adult you trust about what’s been happening. You’ve done well to write to me about what you’re going through. 

You sound as though you’re trying to cope with a lot at the moment and it could help to talk to one of our counsellors about how you’re feeling. You deserve support with this difficult situation and you don’t have to go through it on your own.

Take care,

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