Hello children and teenagers

If you’re on this page then it’s likely your parents have told you that they are going to separate. You may well have lots and lots of questions. It’s also likely you will be feelings lots of different emotions and whilst that can be uncomfortable it is normal.

The news may have been a big shock for you, or you may have been expecting it. If you’re not generally on board with reading lots of text then skip to the summary at the bottom. 🙂

One of the things we know from surveys of young people whose parents separated is that they often feel that their parents don’t talk to them about what’s going to happen. Some of the discussions will of course be about adult issues that you don’t need to know about (or probably want to know about) but where those decisions affect you you may have views on what you would like to happen.

These might be about:

  • Practical arrangements that you want them to get right. You don’t want to end up at one parent’s house without stuff you need.
  • You might want to know if you can keep doing the activities you enjoy. These might be clubs you go to or just things you do like hanging out with friends.
  • Things that are happening at the moment that you don’t like such as your parents arguing a lot.
  • Ideas you have on how they can make things work. It is possible that you know more about divorce than your parents if you have lots of friends whose parents live separately.

There are different ways that your parents can hear what you think:

  • They can talk to you themselves. This might be together or it might be conversations with each parent separately. You may feel comfortable with this if you feel listened to and that your mum or dad isn’t getting upset.
  • Mediators like us can also talk to children and teenagers (when they have particular qualifications and insurance) so you can offload to someone who is impartial and who understands. We can work with you to help you decide on what messages you might want to share with your parents. Then we share them with your parents. We only pass on what we’ve agreed with you and anything else you say is confidential. The only exception is if you tell us that might be at risk of harm in which case we have to tell someone that in order to protect you. Don’t worry we talk you through all this.

Sometimes it’s hard for parents to talk about what’s happening and you may feel it’s too hard to talk to them. You might want to know who else you can talk to.

  • If you have a teacher or tutor or other adult at school that you trust then you might be able to talk to them.
  • If you feel that talking about personal things in school is not right for you then you could ask your Mum or Dad if there is someone else you can talk to. This might be a therapist, a doctor, a youth worker or another qualified person.
  • There is also Kooth which is an app focused on mental health and wellbeing
  • If you feel desperately sad or unhappy about what’s happening then you can talk to Papyrus 0800 068 41 41 or the Samaritans on 116 123. Both these charities help people who may be feeling suicidal. Even if you’re not sure if that’s you or not if you feel pretty low then it can help to talk to someone.
  • You can also talk to Childline too on 0800 1111

Sometimes mums and dads don’t get things right the first time (or even the second!). Divorce and separation are hard and you may find that they are more emotional or that they get irritable more easily. You may find they find it hard to answer your questions. You may have learned more from school about sorting out differences than your mum and dad have. Communication is often the hardest bit to get right in a divorce but if your parents can get it working it usually means things will be a lot better for you. If you feel comfortable doing so then you can make suggestions or explain how you feel.

We share simple tips on our social media on how to improve communication. So if you have your parents’ permission to be on social media you can look at Instagram, Facebook or Tiktok. But a word to the wise on social media, sometimes it’s tempting to sit and scroll when you’re bored, fed up or sad and you may have noticed that this doesn’t always make you feel better, and can make you feel worse. The algorithm that governs social media shows you more of what you interact with. So if you’re interacting with sad videos, or videos with content that relates to your bad mood it will show you more of those. You can quickly become bogged down in how much of these you are exposing yourself too. It can help to notice and be mindful of how you feel and to particularly think about how you feel before and after using social media.


  • It’s OK and normal if you’re finding it hard, and have things you’re worried about.
  • Your parents may not get it right first time. We know that them arguing a lot is hard for you.
  • It’s understandable that you want to be heard and to have the chance to say how you feel and to be able to ask questions. You can talk to the mediator if your parents are in mediation.
  • There’s some ideas for support above. If you don’t feel Ok it’s important you talk to someone.
  • Be mindful of your social media use and aware of what your feed is showing you.

Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial