What I need from my Mum and Dad – A child’s list of wants and needs during divorce.

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Posted by: Sue Atkins


One of the main worries of parents who are going through a divorce is how to tell the children about what is going to happen and what to actually say to them.

Children naturally fear that they will lose one of their parents in a divorce or that their parents will abandon them. They also fear the changes and disruptions that a divorce will inevitably bring to their family and they often blame themselves.

One of the key things I ask parents to do is to sit down and work out together the answer to these questions:

What I need from my Mum and Dad – A child’s list of wants and needs during divorce.


  • I need both of you to stay involved in my life. Please send me emails, texts or even letters, make the effort to speak to me with phone calls regularly, and always appear interested by asking me lots of questions. When you don’t stay involved, I feel like I’m not important and that you don’t really love me.
  • Please stop fighting and work hard to get along with each other at least in front of me. Try to agree on matters related to me. When you fight about me, I think that I did something wrong and I feel guilty.
  • I want to love you both and enjoy the time that I spend with each of you. Please support me and the time that I spend with each of you. If you act jealous or upset, I feel like I need to take sides and love one parent more than the other and that makes me feel anxious and guilty.
  • Please communicate directly with my other parent so that I don’t have to send messages back and forth and feel like piggy in the middle.
  • When talking about my other parent, please say only nice things, or don’t say anything at all. When you say mean, unkind things about my other parent, I feel like you are expecting me to take your side and I love my Mum/Dad and hate hearing you criticise him/her.
  • Please remember that I want both of you to be a part of my life. I count on both of you to teach me good values and to bring me up to be confident, resilient, and happy. I also need you both to teach me what is important, and to help and support me when I have problems.

To help you navigate the journey through Divorce I’ve recently launched a new series of free Divorce videos called -> Divorce Step by Step.

Divorce Step By Step has been set up specifically to help you address the range of issues and matters you have to face when going through a divorce. I have been through the process myself so I know 1st hand how you are feeling and what you are going to go through.

I have come out the other side, stronger and fitter in every sense of the word. It’s not easy but with the right help and guidance the Divorce Step By Step videos will help you to help yourself make it less of a minefield.

I think it’s really important that you remember that divorce is a process NOT an event.

No two divorce situations are identical, but I believe sharing your story will be extremely helpful to other people going through the same process. Simply email me your divorce story. All contributions will be edited to keep the identity of everyone anonymous and names will be replaced with initials and we won’t publish any anonymous contributions.

The website is not a place to vent your anger at your ex – it’s a place to get information, ideas & strategies and it’s my intention to empower you to make good decisions going forward.

There are three areas in which the videos will seek to guide you.
1. Legal– we’ve recruited some of the top family lawyers to take you through the paperwork and process.
2. Financial– guidance on what you can expect to pay and what you might expect to get.
3. Emotional– the effect on the children and just as importantly YOU.
Go to Divorce Step By Step to explore also join in the conversation and send your story to stories@divorcestepbystep.co.uk
Feel free to ask questions and we will offer our advice in response to your email in a video.
If you’d like to work personally with me call me on 01883 818329 or email me at Sue@TheSueAtkins.com
I’m here to support you through my Divorce Videos,  Divorce Coaching Programmes, Divorce Workshops and with my inexpensive Divorce Resources
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