Ask Sam letter


To Sam

Please advice me :(

My father always complains about my mother in front of me. he says mean things about my mother to me and it makes me very sad because I love both of them so much.. my dad says that my mom doesn't respect him, and they don't even talk anymore. I'm getting so stressed up about this I think I'm about to breakdown any moment. please help me
Ask Sam


Hi there,

Thank you for your letter, I can hear that what your dad is saying is really starting to get you down, and it is unfair of your dad to say these things about your mother in front of you. Your relationship with each of your parents is separate from the relationship they have with each other, and you should not be expected to get involved in their disagreements.

You don’t say in your message whether your parents are still living together, so I’m not sure how much of the time your dad is saying these things and if this is something you are seeing regularly at home. Whether your parents are living together or not, I can hear that this is having a really big impact on you, so you have done the right thing to ask for help.

It is not unusual for parents to argue and be angry with each other sometimes whether they are together or separated. However it is not fair for them to express their negative and insulting feelings about each other to you. It might be that your dad doesn't know how this is making you feel so I’m wondering how you would feel about talking to him? You could tell him everything you have told me and that you would like him to stop talking about your mum in this way in front of you.

I know it can sometimes be really hard to talk to someone about their behaviour, but your needs and feelings are important too. This page on being assertive might help you to prepare what you’d like to say, in a way which gets your feelings across without being rude. You might want to write this down in a letter as this will help you to think about what you want to say to your dad and how it sounds. You could then either give your dad the letter or just use it as a guide to remind you what you want to say.

If you decide you are not ready to talk to your dad just yet, it might be that you will need support with the stress you are feeling about the things your dad is saying. This page on stress gives some practical advice on how to cope when the feelings become overwhelming, and you might want to consider talking to someone you trust about your feelings. You can also take a look at our family relationships page for advice.

You can talk to a counsellor at ChildLine, or talk with other young people on the home and family message board to get further support or talk through what you might say to your dad. The counsellors are here to support you, and you have taken an important first step in contacting me today.

Take care,

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