Ask Sam letter


To Sam


Dear Sam,

I just wanted to aks if you could give me some advice on something about my parents.

My mum and my dad split up and I live with my mum and my dad is struggling with money and I am getting really stressed about it because I really miss my dad.

My mum has a new boyfriend and I just cant cope with having someone in the house that is trying to replace my dad. And I get really upset because I never see him.

Thank you


Ask Sam


Hi there,

Worrying about someone we care about can be hard to cope with. It’s important to try not to worry too much as worrying can become very negative, especially when you feel there’s not much you can do about the situation. 

It’s normal to be concerned about someone who is having difficulties. These worries can be made worse when that person doesn't live with us. Talking to them and supporting them is often made harder by the distance between you and them. It can help to try to keep busy when you start to worry. Maybe you can think of things to say to yourself to help keep your worries under control, like “Worrying won’t help.” 

You’ve said how you miss your dad. It might help to think about the different ways you could keep in contact. You could use the phone, texts, emails or even an old-fashioned written letter.

It’s hard to adjust when a parent finds a new partner and they move in. It is not unusual for some people to feel like this new person is trying to replace their mum or dad. You’re right that no one can replace your dad and a new person shouldn’t try to. However, it can also help if you try not to assume this is what he's trying to do. I'm not sure if this is something you’re feeling or if replacing your dad is something that your mum’s boyfriend is trying to do. It could help to take some time to think about this. Then you could talk to your mum about how you’re feeling and what’s upsetting you. Sometimes people close to us do not see or understand how unhappy we are and we need to tell them.

You might find it helps to talk to someone else about your worries and what’s going on with your mum’s boyfriend. You can always talk to one of the counsellors at ChildLine. They talk to lots of young people about family worries.

You might also find the message boards where young people help and support each other helpful. You could find a thread that already talks about some of your issues, or if you felt able you could try starting a new thread.

Take care,

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