Family Mentoring

Help! My Parents are splitting up! 

Although divorce technically is when a married couple legally end their marriage even when an unmarried couple with children split up the impact on everyone is very similar if not the same.

I’m so sad and angry will it get easier?

If your parents are splitting up it will be difficult at times, have faith that things will get easier and settle down eventually. Remember it is not about you and it is not your fault. It is between your parents alone and they have probably tried all they can to sort things out. In the end it is there own decision.

If you’re worried about the future or anything, talk to your parents, it’ll be tough at first, but if your parents are happier, you probably will be too.

What if I have to choose who to live with?Try and make a list of pros and cons of living with each parent and how you would like it to be when it comes to arrangements for seeing the other parent. There are lots of things to consider; who has more time to attend to your needs? Will you have to move? Be away from friends? Will it interrupt school or Exams? Can you change later…?

If after making your decision you find it hard to talk to them about it you could show them what you have written to open up the discussion.  Go with your instincts and stick with what feels right.

Can I help them get back together?No amount of meddling will make them suddenly feel differently. You can’t change the situation. Don’t waste your time and energy on something that is out of your control. Concentrate on the things you can like your education, and give yourself time to have fun with your friends.



I’m not getting on with my parents. 

We all go through stages when we don’t get on with our parents as well as others; it is really common in our teens and early twenties when we are developing our independent thinking. Remember this may be difficult for them too. The majority of parents would rather have a good relationship with there children.





Some tips for getting on

  • You don’t always have to have the last word, let some arguments go if you can do it they are more likely to do it sometimes
  • Pick your battles, don’t argue over petty things. Leave it until it is something you feel particularly strongly about.
  • Lead by example, if you go to far apologise, don’t wait for them to do it. That way they are more likely to do the same sometimes.
  • Don’t lie or go behind their backs, they will eventually find out, lose trust in you and it will make things harder all round
  • Seek a win win result, If they wont let you do something try and get a compromise, can you go out but come home earlier?  Could you do it if you save the money and pay or organise a lift home? If you cant go this week can you arrange a time when you can? The more you take responsibility and stand by your word the more they will trust you and begin to let you do more.

(Look at the friends section for tips on handling arguments and falling out.)


  • Keeping your voice low and calm is a much more effective way of getting your message across.
  • If you are not getting anywhere (and sometimes you wont) walk away and vent your anger in ways other than slamming doors or shouting (punching your pillow works quite well).  Once you are calm do something that will take your mind off it.

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Are you a bully?

The signs…Do you tease people push people around or pick on them on a regular basis? Or do you hang out with a group of people that do? Is it possible that someone has felt bullied by you or your friends?

Bullying ruins people’s lives. Every year around 16 children in the UK kill themselves after being bullied. Others miss out on education because they can’t concentrate or they bunk off to keep away from the bullies. Even for those who survive bullying, the effects on their self-esteem, confidence and relationships with others can last for years.

You may feel like it’s just a joke but it is very serious and harmful, no one deserves to be treated like that and it needs to stop.

How to stop

  • Look at yourself why do you do it, Has someone done it to you? Are you worried that people will do it to you? Do you have low self esteem and it makes you feel more important to make others feel low?

People can change and you can choose what kind of person you want to be. You will like yourself more and feel more positive if you deal with this stuff properly instead of taking it out on other people.

What do I do if I see someone else being bullied?

Watching and doing nothing while someone gets bullied is helping the bullies. Have the courage to speak out and get help if you see it happening.

Am I being bullied?Bullying takes many forms, from repetitive name-calling, hitting, spreading rumours, stealing, excluding people and turning someone’s friends against them. It can be subtle or very obvious and violent. You can also be bullied via abusive telephone calls text messages or online.

I think it is my fault.

NO IT IS NOT! Although it’s hard to feel sorry for bullies, it might help to understand that happy people do not need to bully. It’s the bullies who have a problem, not the people they pick on.


What should I do?

  • Speak out!  No one ever has the right to treat you like that.

Tell someone you can trust and who is in a position to help (not make things worse) It’s probably not a good idea to tell someone who is likely to ‘get them back’ as that will cause even more problems for you in the long run. Consider a teacher parent, Mentor family friend or older pupil in the school. Sometimes just having things out in the open can be enough to make bullies stop. (Your school should have an anti-bullying policy). If you can’t tell your teachers, ask a parent or another adult to speak to them for you.

  • Keep a diary of what happens,

Write when and where. Stick to the facts and try not to miss out anything important. This will help you get a better picture of what is happening and of what you may need to do. (There may be things you can do yourself to avoid the situations) It will also give you a clear run down of events and help show you’re telling the truth when you go for support.

  • If you’re being bullied on your phone,

Save all messages, if you have space. If not, write down the time of the call/text, what was said and the sender’s number if you have it. DO NOT reply to any texts or pick up the phone – it’s just what the bully wants.

  • If you’re being bullied in a chat room,

DO NOT respond to what they write, Instead name them as a bully to everyone else in the chat room so other users can support you.  Email the moderators or hosts to complain, using examples from the chat room. If there are no moderators, then do not use the chat room any more. Good chat rooms are moderated.

If you are struggling with Bullying and you don’t know who to talk to a bullying website may help or the Child Line website. You could also call Child Line or the Samaritans without having to give your name. Child Line on 0800 1111 (free) or The Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90 (cost of a local call) 24/7

Committing Crime

How old do I Have to be?

If you’re aged 10-17 and have committed an offence, you’re a young offender.

The law says if you are over 10 years of age you know the difference between wrong and right therefore you can be held responsible even arrested.


Do young offenders go to prison?

Prison is NOT the preferred option and is only used as a last option.  A young person would not be sent to an adult prison, they would be sent to either for 12 to 17-year olds a Detention and Training Order, this can last from four months to two years. It combines time in prison with time under supervision in the community.


Young people under the age of 18 who are found guilty of the most serious crimes, like murder and serious assaults, can be detained for longer periods.

What are the alternatives to prison?

If it’s a first court trial and you plead guilty, you could be given a Referral Order, where you have to meet with a panel to agree a contract to repair any harm done and stop you doing it again. This is supervised by a local Youth Offending Team. Every borough has one.


  • There’s also community service or reparation, especially if you’re 16 or 17. This could be anything from picking up litter to cleaning grafitti off a wall, and can be for a number of hours.
  • And then there’s the ASBO, the Anti-Social Behaviour Order…


If I do something wrong do I immediately go to court?

Basically if you make a poor judgement or decision in life and commit a minor offence and it is your first time iyt is highly likley that you will be given a reprimand on your first occasion, a final warning on your second and then a charge and go to court on the third. However it must be stressed that this is only if a full and frank admission is made and that as previously stated the offence is of a minor nature.

Should the matter be serious ie some one is seriously hurt, a knife or other weapon is used then it is more likely that the matter will be sent to court or that if for a first instance the matter jumps from a reprimand to a final warning.

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