Find support if your parents have separated: 8 practical tips

Find support if your parents have separated: 9 practical tipsIf you’ve found yourself reading this, the chances are your world has been rocked by the news of your parents separating. It’s okay to feel a whirlwind of emotions right now—confusion, sadness, anger, maybe even relief. Whatever you’re feeling, know that you’re not alone. You can find support if your parents have separated.

Even if things are really tough at the moment, they will get better and there are positive choices you can make to help you recover.

What to do if your parents are separating

So, what now? How do you navigate through parental separation and divorce? Here are a few steps to help you find your way and get support:

1. Talk About It

Bottling up your feelings won’t make them disappear. Find someone you trust—a friend, a teacher, a family member, or even a counsellor—to talk to about what you’re going through. Talking about your thoughts and feelings can help you process emotions so you start to feel better.

It’s natural to have a million questions swirling around in your head. It’s ok to ask your parents about what’s happening. Understanding the situation can bring some clarity amidst the chaos.

2. Take Care of Yourself

Self-care is crucial during times of upheaval. Make sure you’re eating well, getting enough sleep, and engaging in activities that you enjoy. If you can, stick to your usual routines, it can help.

3. Find Support

Lean on your support system. Whether it’s friends, extended family, or a support group, having people who care about you can provide comfort and strength. Think about joining a Your Direction workshop, it’s an easy way to find support if your parents have separated.

4. Express Yourself

Sometimes, words aren’t enough to express how we feel. Try different outlets like writing a journal, drawing, or music to channel your emotions. You might be surprised at how therapeutic it can be.

5. Stay Neutral

Remember, your parents’ relationship is their own, it is not your fault and nothing to do with your actions. Have you heard both sides equally or just one? Relationships can be very complicated and your parents may see the same situations in very different ways. Avoid taking sides or getting caught up in any conflicts between them.

6. Set Boundaries

As your parents navigate their separation, boundaries might need to be established. These are the rules we set to protect ourselves emotionally. Communicate your needs and preferences clearly, and don’t be afraid to assert yourself respectfully. For example a boundary might be “Please don’t ask me to pass messages to my other parent” or “Please don’t say unkind things about my mum/dad in front of me”.
Seek Professional Help if Needed:
If you’re struggling to cope, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. A therapist can provide guidance and support tailored to your specific needs.

7. Take Things One Day at a Time

When parents separate there are usually a lot of big changes that happen quickly but things can stay unsettled for quite a long time. Healing takes time, so be patient with yourself. Focus on taking things one day at a time, and remember that it’s okay to not have everything figured out right away.

8. Believe in Better Days Ahead

It may not seem like it now but things will get better. Hold onto hope and believe in brighter days ahead. You’re stronger than you know, and you will emerge from this experience stronger and wiser.
Remember, it’s okay to feel whatever you’re feeling right now. You’re not alone, and there are people who care about you and want to support you through this.

How to find support if your parents have separated

Your Direction is a free five-session workshop for two age groups: 12-17 year olds and 18-30 year olds. It’s there to support any young person whose parents have separated whether it has happened recently or a long time ago. Come along and meet other people in similar situations to you. You can share as much or as little as you want to. There’s no obligation to attend all five sessions if you want to test it out come along to the first week and see what you think.  Your Direction is here to help you find support if your parents have separated. You don’t have to do this on your own.