Caregiving is a family event because each member of the family is affected when one person needs assistance with daily living. Providing care can be very challenging, and often, much of a family’s time, energy, and attention are focused on the person with illness/disability. Children often adapt by providing care-we call these children “young carers”, and they provide all kinds of assistance. They may act as the memory for someone with a brain injury or dementia, cook dinner when mom is feeling under the weather, or act as a translator for a parent who can’t hear or speak English.
Upside of Caring
· More responsibility means kids are more mature and wise
· Builds self-esteem & compassion
· Independence means young carers learn many life skills
· Learn to cope with tough times-young carers are resilient!
· Fosters close family bonds
The Other Side of Caring
· School work can suffer when children & youth are stressed or exhausted
· Loss of childhood-growing up too soon
· Feelings of anger, isolation, or grief
· More likely to develop eating disorders, addictions or depression than other children
· Restrictions on socializing and extra-curricular activities
What Can Parents Do?
Keep in mind-”children first, young carers second”
Talk, talk, talk! Keep communication honest and open
Listen! Encourage young carers to share their thoughts and feelings
Acknowledge the importance of the caring your young carers provide for their family
Make sure all tasks are appropriate for age and ability
If you have more than one child, try to share the caring responsibilities evenly
Try to give your young carers time just to “be kids”
Have family meetings-a time to share thoughts, worries, and dreams
Don’t feel guilty! Young carers who are well supported by their families turn out to be extra special adults!
The Powerhouse Project wants to help support our community and families…
The top 10 benefits the Powerhouse Project offers to Parents
1. We offer fun & free activities for your children during after school hours and on weekends
2. Your children get to hang out with other young carers
3. We can provide age appropriate information to young carers about illness/disability
4. We can help support your family and make sure you get referrals to other helping hands
5. Gives a chance to let “kids just be kids”
6. We help with homework!
7. Provide education and information for all members of the family. Come check out our resource library!
8. We give kids a chance to do things that might be hard for parents to do-like rock climbing or horseback riding!
9. We will liaison with the school to help out
10. WE GIVE YOU A BREAK!!!
Sign your children to be members of the Powerhouse Project and take advantage of all our great programs!