Ask Sam letter


To Sam


im 11 and i have to help[ my mum a lot because shes disabled. i then have to help my brother when im at my dads. my parents split up when i was nine so i spend a week with each.i never get to go out with my friends im always stuck in. im scared to tell my parents what i feel. please help me .
Ask Sam


Hello there,

Thanks a lot for your email. There are lots of young people who write to me about what it’s like for them after their parents separate and they have to live between two homes. I can see that for you, this also means that you are responsible for caring for your mum whilst living with her, and your brother whilst staying at your dad’s place. That sounds like a lot of responsibility for you to have to take on. It seems like there isn’t a place that you go to where you don’t have responsibility for caring for someone and that sounds like it could be really tiring.

You haven’t said whether you get any support because of your role as a young carer or whether you know any other young people in a similar situation to you. Sometimes having people to talk to who have similar experiences and difficulties as you can be really helpful.

The ChildLine website has a message board for young carers where you can find out about how other young people in a similar situation have coped and get support from them. Perhaps you could check it out or maybe post something yourself.

You’ve said that looking after your mum and your brother means that you don’t get to go out with your friends. It can be tough not to have the social life that you want to. You’ve also said that you feel scared to tell your parents how you’re feeling and it seems like you’re worried about how they’d react. It might be that this is something that ChildLine could support you with.

If you were to email them, log on for a 1-2-1 chat online or call ChildLine on 0800 1111, a counsellor could explore what it is about talking to your parents that worries you and perhaps help you to think about what might be able to happen differently.

Thanks again for writing to me.

Take care,


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