Q: My mom and dad just split up about a week and a half before their 12th anniversary, and my house is crazy! What should I do? My mom cries a lot now, but I’m young, so I have no experience with what she’s going through. Have any ideas?

First, I am so, so very sorry that you are stuck in the middle of your parents’ mess. No daughter should have to watch her parents split up.

I can tell that you love your mom very much, and I am so glad that she has you through all this. I don’t think there’s any way for you as a teen to completely understand what she’s going through, and honestly, I hope you never do. Your parents’ choices have landed them in this situation, and you should never feel responsible to help them heal. Yes, you can do your best to be an “easy” kid while your mom grieves and picks up the pieces, but only God can do the healing.

Everyone deals with loss differently. You mom may need extra space or alone time, or she may want to keep you as close as possible for a while. She may want to talk things through with you, or she may seem completely silent on the subject. Do your best to be as patient and understanding as you can, no matter how she is feeling on any particular day. But like I said, don’t let yourself feel guilty or responsible if she has a difficult “grieving” process.

Honestly, sis, I’m more concerned about your own heart. Don’t allow yourself to worry so much about your mom that you forget to let yourself grieve and wrestle through the results of their mistakes. I hope that you’ll seek out a mentor or someone you trust where you can be honest about how you feel. I’m always here for you, but someone that you can meet with in person would be even better for this season.

I love you, and I’ll be praying for you and your family, sis.

Love,