Being a young carer can affect your life in lots of ways. It can be a lot of responsibility but it can also be really rewarding.
If you’re a young carer you might find yourself worrying about money or coping with school work. You might find friendships or relationships harder. But it’s important to remember you’re not alone.
Sometimes hearing what other young carers feel about their experiences can help:
Some young carers can find friendships or relationships hard…
The main thing for me is that friends don’t understand. The problems they have, they come to me but they seem harmless and silly to me because I’ve experienced much more because I’ve lived through problems and situations they wouldn’t understand.
I’ve found it kind of hard to tell them because I don’t know if they’re going to understand. If they don’t understand they might not want to be my friend anymore or they might bully me for what I do of for my family.
A lot of people at my school are the same age as me but they’re not my friends. They don’t know how it is to be a young carer and how hard it is.
Other young carers think that having friends who understand is important …
My friends understand about my caring role and they’re supportive when they need to be and help me get through.
Most of my friends understand about my situation in that they don’t give me a hard time when I can’t make things. They’re also there when I need them for support and a shoulder to cry on. To be honest, it really does mean a lot to me.
Talking with other young carers can really help as they know what you’re going through and can give advice…
To the young carers who don’t know they are one, just go to a social worker or a family member just so you can get advice.
You’re not alone and just because you’re a young carer you should be accepted.
Seek help from other places, such as school.
Don’t be ashamed about being a young carer. It’s not a bad thing to be and you should be proud of yourself.
Tell people about your caring role – what you do. The more you bottle it up, the worse it’s going to get. I look at it as doing a good thing, rather than doing a bad thing because I’m not ashamed of it.
Talk to your guidance teacher or another adult you trust in school to find out what support is available for young carers in your school.
There might also be a young carers group in your area so click here for more information.