Growing up without a parent

People who grow up with 2 parents often think that that is normal for everyone. But many people grow up without a parent or with just one parent. Sometimes that’s because the parent has passed away, and sometimes it’s because one’s parents are divorced, or one parent left the family, or is working very far away and rarely comes home.

Growing up without a parent doesn’t have to mean you grow up without love. Many people grow up with single parents or step-parents, or with their aunts, uncles or grandparents, or with foster parents or adoptive parents, and these people can give you a lot of love. Having a parent is not just about blood (being related to someone) – it is also about being taken care of, supported and protected. A lot of people other than your parents can do that for you.

BUT… growing up without one or both of your parents will hurt sometimes.

Sometimes you might miss the person, and wish they were with you. That’s OK.

Sometimes you might be angry at the parent who is gone (even if they have died), and that’s natural too.

Sometimes it will feel like life is not fair. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have a good life and a bright future.

No one can replace a parent, but there’s a good chance there are people who care about you. Take a look at your family, friends and teachers. Find people you can look up to, and who can support you. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you don’t trust anyone in your life, speak to a counsellor or social worker, or call Childline on 08000 55555. You can also read our article “Grieving the loss of a parent” for more help dealing with loss. 

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