Families Change Teen Guide to Separation & Divorce

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When to Get Help

If the strong emotions you had when your parents first split up last for a long time and are really getting in the way of the usual things you do in your life, ask for help. Feeling depressed, having trouble managing your anger, feeling extremely anxious, thinking about hurting yourself or escaping, or just feeling out of control are all situations that you can and should get help for.

Tell your parents, teacher, counsellor or another adult you trust that you want to talk to someone who can help you. If you aren't getting the help you think you need, keep asking until you get it.

Q & R

Can I do anything to get my parents back together?

Most parents split up only after trying very hard to save their relationship. Their decision to split-up is usually final.

Some teens hope and believe that if they try to be on their very best behaviour, their parents will get back together. However, this plan isn't likely to work, since their parents' decision to split up had nothing to do with them.

Apart from suggesting that your parents see a marriage counsellor if they haven't already done so, the best thing that you can do is to begin to accept the situation so that you can get on with your life.

If my parents divorce, will the same thing happen to me?

Many teens whose parents split up feel anxious about their own relationships in the future. But just because your parents split up doesn't mean the same thing will happen to you. You can learn from their mistakes. What happens in your relationships will be up to you, not your parents!

I'm feeling really upset and confused about my parents' splitting up. Is this normal?

Your parents’ splitting up might be the hardest thing you've ever had to deal with. So it's natural — and entirely normal — to experience some intense emotions.

You will feel better over time. There are lots of ways to help yourself feel better, and there are people who can help you if you need it.