When parents have problems they can’t solve, they may decide to stop living together and separate.
It’s OK to feel sad and confused when parents split up or get a divorce.
- It’s not your fault if your parents break up. And it’s not something you can fix.
- You’re not alone. Lots of kids go through the same thing.
- It’s about them, not you: When parents leave each other, they’re not leaving you - they’ll always be your parents
When parents split up, lots of things change. It could mean:
- Moving to a new house
- Living at two homes – one with mum and one with dad
- Changing schools
- Doing things differently at home
If a parent moves a long way away and you don’t see them. You can always call or, text them.
I feel all mixed up
It’s OK to feel lots of different feelings when parents split up. It can be confusing. There’s no right or wrong way to feel. But there are things you can do to feel better.
Talk about it
Your feelings are important, so:
- Ask mum and dad what’s going on
- Tell mum and dad how you’re feeling
- It’s OK to feel upset, hurt or angry – it’s normal
- You can feel angry and upset with your parents and love them at the same time – just because you’re mad, it doesn’t mean you don’t love them
Splitting up is hard for parents too.
If they’re too upset to help you, find someone else you trust and talk to them:
- A grandparent or someone else in your whānau
- A teacher
- 0800 What’s Up – give us a call, we’re here to help
Here are some tips from other kids:
- Talk with other kids who are going through the same thing – it can help you feel less alone
- Hang out with other kids – it’s OK to laugh and have fun
- Spend time with pets - cuddle and play with them
- Take time out to read and do quiet things
- Get outside and ride your bike, run, play and exercise
- If mum or dad is sad, think of ways to show your love – tell them, and do something nice for them
- If you’re missing someone, see if you can call them or ask for some special time alone with them