When your parents split up you can feel lonely and confused. Your feelings of self worth can be affected and your behaviour may change.
You might find you don’t want to see your friends and family and would rather spend time alone in your room. You might find yourself feeling angry and having arguments with your friends about silly things or even find you feel anxious in situations you used to be okay with like speaking in class or walking in crowded streets.
Talk It Out
This confusing mix of feelings is a lot to cope with alone. Try talking to your parents – you may be surprised at how much this helps.
If you feel you would rather talk to someone else, confide in someone you trust. A brother or sister, grandparent, aunt or uncle can often be a good person to talk to, since they know your family history.
You can also talk to a trusted friend, a teacher or to a counsellor at school. Many people have experience of divorce and want to do all they can to help.
There are also great organisations to help young people on the Internet and in your local library.
Even if you feel you can’t talk to anyone, it is sometimes good to write your feelings down somewhere safe like a diary. This way you can let your feelings out in a way you feel comfortable with.
You Are Not Alone
It’s normal to feel alone when you are upset. Even if there are lots of young people around you whose parents have gone through a divorce, this situation is happening to you and is unique to your set of circumstances.
Many of your classmates and even teachers have been where you are and felt sad and alone. If you share your feelings with them, or even just enjoy spending time with your friends like you always did it will help you to feel less isolated.
Bear in mind that your parents still have the same love for you and are making plans for your future. Things may be very difficult in the beginning but they do change and people can adapt to new situations.
Tips To Make It Easier
Hearing your parents are going to split up is a big shock and it’s okay to feel confused and upset for as long as it takes. There are things you can do to make things easier.
“My teacher said I might enjoy the after school gym club. I joined and it really helped take my mind off things. I made new friends there and even did some award badges.” Josie, 11.
Live your life! Stay focussed on your goals and dreams. It helps to join new clubs and activities and do things you enjoy in your spare time.
If you have moved because of your parent’s divorce, find ways to stay in touch with your old friends. Talk to your parents about going to visit old friends and make use of social websites such as facebook or myspace, email and texts to stay in contact.
Exercise is a great stress buster so get out there! Going to the park with friends, taking up a sport at school or running around will help you work off stressful feelings and feel better.
Don’t keep things bottled up. See below for people and organisations to talk to when you feel bad.
People and Organisations To Talk To:
- The Children’s Legal Centre – The Children’s Legal Centre is a unique, independent national charity concerned with law and policy affecting children and young people. They provide legal legal information to children and young people in a user-friendly manner and provide answers to frequently asked questions.
- Childline – Childline is a free, 24 hour helpline for children and young people in the UK. You can call the helpline at any time day or night on 0800 11 11. Childline counsellors are there to help you find a way to sort things out.
- The National Youth Advocacy Service (NYAS) – a UK charity enabling children and young people to have a voice by providing independent and confidential advice, information and advocacy services.
- Get Connected – Provides young people with help on finding a service to help them, whatever the problem.