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To Sam

Divorced parents

hi, im Ava, my parents are divorced so that means i cant see one of my parent as much as the other! For me, i dont see my dad that much and i really miss him. Everytime i have to go back to my mums, i try incredibly hard to hold back my tears and it works. But most nights when i try to sleep i end up crying myself to sleep. Its really hard. I feel like i have no-one to talk to accept Childline, i was going to call Childline but im too nervous, so please reply!! Thank You!!

Ask Sam


Hi there,

When parents split up or get divorced it affects the whole family. It means changes for everyone – and getting used to change can feel stressful. Their relationship with each other may be different now - but that doesn't mean their relationships with you and how they feel about you will be different as well.

Divorce or separation happens when two people in a relationship, marriage or civil partnership decide not to be together anymore. It can happen for lots of different reasons but no matter what has happened, it's never your fault. Your parents’ relationship with each other is their responsibility and there's nothing you could say or do that would make you responsible for it.

Your relationship with each parent is their responsibility as well. As your parents, they should always care how you feel. It's important that they don't let their divorce get in the way of your relationship with them or each other. It's never okay for them to involve you when they argue or to make you feel guilty for spending time with the other parent. Childline has more advice about ways to cope with divorce or separation.

Not being able to spend as much time as you’d like with a parent can be hard to deal with. There might be good reasons why it's not possible at the moment but that doesn't make it any easier. It's okay to want to spend more time with your dad and talking about it with them might help them understand how you feel. Your mum shouldn't try to stop you seeing him unless it’s for legal reasons. If you're able to rearrange the time you have with him, it could be your best option.

If it's not possible to see your dad face-to-face more often, perhaps you can find things you can do remotely. You could try chatting on the phone, playing online games or doing video calls. It's also important to remember that at some point you’ll be old enough to decide how you spend your time – and you’ll be free to choose how much time you spend with each parent. That might feel like a long way away but it's something you can look forward to.

I hope this letter has helped. If you ever need more support you can always talk to a Childline counsellor or get support from other young people on the message boards.

Thanks for writing to me, take care.


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