When families split up it’s important for your long term happiness, where safe, that you get enough time with both your parents to help you feel loved and secure.
Both your parents love you and want to spend time with you and why wouldn’t they, you are super awesome!
Being around a wider set of family and friends also means you get to have fun with more people.
When parents can’t agree on how much time you should spend with them it may be hard for you. You may find that:
- You feel guilty leaving one parent to spend time with another.
- One of your parents gets angry or sad if you have had a good time with the other parent.
- They may say bad things about the other parent and compare you to them if you don’t do what they want.
- They may say your other parent doesn’t love you or make you think they don’t take care of you properly.
- They might stop you having time with them or make you feel awkward when you speak to them on a call.
- They want you to start calling their boyfriend/girlfriend “dad”/”mum”.
- Your other parent gets angry or upset because they feel like they are being stopped from seeing you and afraid they are going to lose you.
- You feel unloved.
Having to deal with things like this will make you have bad feelings:
- You may feel there is too much pressure on you and you can’t make anyone happy.
- You might be afraid that both your parents will leave you and there will be nobody to take care of you.
- You may feel like you have to stop hiding your real feelings to make your parent happy.
- You may start to feel as if one parent is all good and does everything for you and the other is all bad and doesn’t love you or is not a good parent. This is a sign that something is wrong, especially when you feel like it would be easier for you if you never saw one of your parents ever again.
If you feel like this it is important that you find a safe grown up person to speak to.
Children who don’t see a parent often don’t see their grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins or friends. It is a lot to lose. It might feel easier to say you don’t want to see a parent anymore but as you grow up things may get harder.
You may feel let down by the people you love sometimes but it’s important to remember that people have a mix of good things and bad things about them. If you try, you will remember the good times you had and how much they love you.
It is important that your parents and others listen to what you want but they also have to think about what is best for you long term. The more safe people there are to love you and protect you the better your life will be.
You have a right to love both your parents.