I Feel Torn Between My Parents

Are you stuck in the middle of arguing parents or in the midst of a family separation? We’re here to help.

Arguments and break-ups can make you feel torn. You might be feeling pressure to ‘choose a side’ or to favour one parent over the other. It can cause a lot of anxiety and stress if your parents’ actions are making you feel like a miserable piggy-in-the-middle, but you shouldn’t have to suffer in silence.

Speak Up

Try to talk to your parents about how their behaviour is making you feel. You can talk to them together or approach them separately if things are just too tense and strained.

If you feel too scared to speak to them directly – perhaps because you’re worried it will start another argument or you’re frightened to upset them – you could talk to another family member or a family friend and ask them to discuss your feelings with your parents on your behalf.

Be Honest

Try to be as honest as you can when you explain how upsetting you find the situation. Be upfront and clear about your feelings, even if you’re worried about upsetting one or both parents. Remember that arguments and breakups happen for all sorts of reasons, but it is never your fault.

Choosing Your Moment

If your parents are arguing a lot, it can be difficult to find the right time to raise the subject. Try to find a moment when things are calm as it can be extremely difficult to talk to someone who is angry or upset. You can make a note of your feelings or the incidents that are making you feel upset to help you communicate your thoughts more clearly.

Sibling Support

It’s a good idea to check-in with siblings to see how they’re coping with the situation. They might also be feeling the same as you and need a little support. Having the support of someone who is going through the exact same experience as you can be a great comfort.

It might be the case that your sibling has different views to you. While you might not agree with their thoughts it’s important to understand that, ultimately, that’s their choice. You can still find ways to have a relationship, even if you disagree with their decisions.

Getting More Help

Sadly, communication sometimes completely breaks down between two people and nothing we say or do can change the situation. If the arguments continue or worsen, or you feel increasingly sad and stressed, you can reach out for more help. You can talk to a family member, family friend, your teacher, or a helpline to get support.

Talk to a Childline counsellor: 0800 11 11Divorce and Separation:https://www.childline.org.uk/info-advice/home-families/family-relationships/divorce-separation/


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