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Separation and divorce can put a lot of stress on everyone in the family. Often it will raise a lot of questions, and create some upsetting changes that young people need help to understand
Young people whose parents are splitting up might feel angry, upset, scared, or even guilty or responsible. Some might also be relieved there’s no more tension or fighting at home. They may have to cope with a lot of changes happening all at once: where they are living, what they do each day, and how often they see their mum or dad.
If you are supporting someone while their family is going through a time of change, be there to listen and let them talk about how they are doing.
It’s normal for a young person to feel stressed when their parents decide to separate, and they might not ask for help. If they are having a hard time dealing with what’s happening, you might notice that they:
Being there for someone means being a good listener when they want to talk. They may not want to open up straight away, but if they do, pay attention to what they have to say and:
There are lots of little things you can do to help make the situation a bit easier. Find a way to connect, be a good listener, and stay involved.
Skylight offers a wide range of services to support people facing change, loss, trauma and grief. It has a range of resources about how to support young people through family break-ups.
The Family Justice system is designed to help people resolve family issues, where possible, without going to court.
Confidential Helpline: 0800 376 633
Youthline provides free phone, text, and email counselling support. Its website has great information for youth dealing with challenging situations, including a section on family relationships.