It’s not your job to make your parents feel better

When your parents split up they both will be feeling bad. It’s a big change for them and they may be worrying about how this will impact on you, how they will manage money and what this means for them.

They may be angry and upset that the family has split up.

Most parents know that children in this situation are going through a hard time and won’t want to tell you how they are feeling. They know you love both your parents and do what they can to work together to make it as easy as possible for you to still see the other parent and deal with the change for your family.

Some parents struggle to do this. They may rely on you to make them feel better. Maybe they will tell you:

  • About adult things like what they are arguing about, struggles with money or what is happening in family court.
  • How sad or angry they feel about something the other parent has done.
  • That the other parent has abandoned you and doesn’t love you anymore.

This may be a lot for you to deal with because children don’t really know how to help adults with their problems and feelings. You’re already dealing with so much because your family has split up and this may make you feel even more scared and unloved.

Most of the time both your parents will want to spend time with you. So you may feel guilty about leaving one parent to go and spend time with the other. You may feel like you have to choose to spend time with the parent who is finding the break up most difficult.

As a nice person you want to make things better for your parents but there are some things that are too much for you to fix. It’s not healthy if you are having to:

  • Hide your feelings of love and joy about seeing the other parent.
  • Comfort your parent a lot and take over what they would do e.g. waking them up in the morning or looking after your brother or sister.
  • Behave perfectly to make them happy or stop them getting angry.

Speak to your parents about how you feel, If it’s not safe, or when you spoke to them it didn’t help, find someone safe to speak to.

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