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I Wish My Parents Had Explained One of Them Would Be Leaving

When the decision to separate is made and there are children involved, it is of vital importance they are told by both parents. In our need to protect our children from this life changing decision and its impact we sometimes miss their needs. A 17 year shares her experience with some common theme from parental separation.

Hello, I am a seventeen year old girl. I live with my mother and my older brother. My parents split up when I was just seven, although I was young I remember it and I remember the pain I went through. I remember coming home from school to nothing in the house….everything was gone, including my dad.

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Even though I was told repeatedly it wasn’t my fault that they loved me and maybe it was for the best, I didn’t want to believe it. I felt like it was my fault and I couldn’t do anything and it hurt. Both my brother and my mom helped a lot,  my mom always made sure I knew if I needed something that I could go to her, it made me feel safe. My older brother stepped in for a bit to make sure I had a good role model and always encouraged me to do my best.

I wish my parents sat down with my brother and I and explained that one of them would be leaving & that things would be changing. I think that would have been easier on me considering I was so young. It was really hard knowing that he wasn’t going to be living there, but I think the hardest part was only being able to see him every other week, he became bitter & I felt like I couldn’t make my dad or my mom happy anymore. As a child I wish I could have had more people to talk to (other than my brother and my mom) because I knew what I said could hurt them. But that trust wasn’t there so I didn’t open up to anyone

I don’t know why my dad doesn’t come around or call, but that is his choice and not something that I did wrong. It has taken a long time for me to learn that.

For any child in a similar situation please know that this is not your fault and remember that prayer will help get you through the toughest times.

In this situation we have support our children. It is important they are told of decisions made and reassured of our love for them. Seek resources if you are having struggles around the conversation your child. At Side by Side, we do our best to service and empower parents and children through this this decision, of separation and divorce.