Ask Sam letter


To Sam

my friend

My friend at school always wears the same uniform to school and doesn't have any of the things everyone else does for school. Should I ask them why?
Ask Sam


Hi there,

Thanks for getting in touch with me - I can hear how concerned you are about your friend.

There could be several reasons why your friend doesn't have the same amount of stuff as everyone else. People from different backgrounds live different lifestyles – sometimes this is by choice and sometimes it’s because of their circumstances. It would be important not to assume anything and for you to be careful you don't embarrass or upset them. 

It might put your friend on the spot if you were to ask them directly why they wear the same clothes each day, but there are other ways to find out more and to show you’re concerned. You could ask more general questions about their family and what it’s like at home for them. If they seem uncomfortable or give very short answers then that could be a sign they’d rather not talk about it and you should respect that. It might help them feel more comfortable if you were to share what it’s like for you at home as well – the things you like and dislike about it.

If you still feel concerned then you could always talk to a trusted adult about your worries. Someone at school might be able to keep an eye on what's going on and will know what to do if they feel something is wrong. You could also take a look at our page about helping a friend.

Having someone else on your mind can be really tough, so don't forget you can always talk to someone at ChildLine by calling 0800 1111, sending an email or talking to a counsellor via our 1-2-1 chat. Remember you don't have to cope with things on your own.

Take care,

Need help straight away?

You can talk privately to a counsellor online or call 0800 1111 for free.

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