Sophie, 16, explains why it’s so important that children are able to talk about how they are feeling when their parents divorce

More from yesterday’s Family Mediation Week contributions:

“Talk to your parents individually and explain how you’re feeling.”

Written by Sophie aged 16

 My parents divorced when I was 3 years old. Some would say that being a young child unaware of what is going on around you can help with the emotional side of a divorce, however I believe that it can be just as hard no matter what age you are when the divorce occurs.

As a child I often felt anger that I was the child amongst my friends who didn’t spend time with both of their parents, as I lived with my mum and spent little time with my dad and his new wife and children. His new relationship caused a lot of problems between my mum and him, which meant that it put me in a difficult position as a young child – I felt like I was torn in the middle as I didn’t want to take ones side over another.

Parents may often unknowingly make you feel pressurised to take their side when trouble occurs but a way of coping with this is to try and explain that you love them both and want to be kept out of their issues. As adults, they shouldn’t bring you into arguments as this isn’t good for you mentally, it can cause distress and anxiety.

Don’t bottle it up if you feel like you are in this situation. Talk to your parents individually and explain how you’re feeling. I now have no involvement in any discussion between my divorced parents and I feel a lot more relaxed and comfortable to contact and see either of them without feeling like I’m betraying one.

www.voicesinthemiddle.org.uk

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