Frequently Asked Questions

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Children & Teens

Children & Teens Introduction

If your parents are going through a separation or divorce, you will want to know how it will affect you and what you can do about it.

You may feel uncertain about your future, and you may find it hard to share your worries with your parents because you know they are also going through big changes in their lives. You may worry about talking to either one of your parents for fear of being seen to take sides.

The most important thing is not to panic, and to know this is not your fault. You can’t really change their situation. But it can be very helpful to try to let them know how you feel about things.

Equally you will want to know what is going to happen in the future, where you will live, who with, will you see both of your parents and grandparents or aunts, uncles and cousins. What about your friends and social life. You will want to know how this might be affected. And most importantly you will probably want to tell your parents what your hopes for the future are.

Even though it might not be easy to talk to your parents about this, it is important they understand how these changes are affecting you.

If you find it difficult to talk to your parents at this time, and that is quite common, it is a good idea to find someone else to talk to: A grandparent, a teacher at school or a family friend.

At National Family Mediation, we understand the effect divorce or separation has on children and know that you too will have some worries and concerns about what the future holds.

If your parents are in family mediation ask them if you can be involved. You can have an opportunity to talk to the mediator and tell them how you feel about the changes that are taking place. The mediator will help you get your point of view across to your parents if you feel they aren’t listening.

Children and Young people who have been included in mediation say they were glad to be able to tell their parents what they needed now their family is changing.

They said meeting the mediator gave them an opportunity to discuss things they felt unable to raise with their parents.

That seeing the mediator helped them understand the options available to them and made it easier to talk to their parents and they felt being included in mediation meant their parents cared about their opinions and feelings.

You can watch this video of Tom’s experience of being included in mediation.

Tell your parents you want them to go to mediation and you want to be included in the mediation.

Remember, things will get better. Parents rarely stay angry with each other forever and mediation will help them move on with their lives as separated parents. They both love you however hard it may be for them to show you that sometimes. Many children grow up with separated parents and you will probably be able to talk to other people your age about their circumstances. Just remember that everyone is different. Make sure you look after yourself and if you find yourself worrying find someone to talk to. Even if it is just a mate!