Questions from young carers (aged under 12)

These questions have been sent to us by young carers who are under 12 years old. If you have a question about caring please send it to us by clicking Ask the YC Team below!

1. How do I tell my friends that I’m a young carer?

Often young carers feel uncomfortable about letting their friends know that they care for someone at home. All of us want to fit in and don’t want to seem different in any way. However, if your friends don’t know about your situation then they may not understand why you can’t do some things such as stay after school or play on the weekends.

You might want to tell a friend that you really trust and feel comfortable with first. It’s good to find a quiet time when you’re alone with that person. Only tell your friend as much as you’re comfortable with.

2. How do I tell my school that I’m a young carer?

Some young carers feel worried about telling their school that they care for someone at home. You might be scared they won’t understand, will get involved with your family or will treat you differently in front of your friends. However, your school may be able to help you out.

Find a teacher or school counsellor you trust and feel comfortable with, and ask to talk to them when there is a quiet time. You may want to tell that person about this website or give them our number so that they can find out more about how to help you.

If your teacher knows you are a young carer she/he will hopefully be more understanding about why you’re sometimes late to school, hand work in late, have your mobile on in class or have days off school. Check out they study and work section for more info.

3. What are some quick ways to help my dad when he’s having a coughing attack because it gets scary?

When our parents aren’t well it can seem scary at times, especially if we aren’t really sure what to do to help. The best thing is to find out more information. It might be a good idea to write a list of all the things you want to know about your dad’s health and how to best help him. Then ask your dad if you can come with him next time he goes to the doctor so you can ask him/her your questions.

5. What can I do when I have a bad day?

We all have good days and bad days. The important thing to

remember when you have a bad day is that even though things are tough today things may be different tomorrow. Often when things are tough we forget about the good times we’ve had and find it hard to imagine that there will be good times again.

4. How can I cope with stress?

Caring for another person is not always easy. You may have lots of things to think about and lots of feelings that you may find tricky to deal with. This can sometimes lead to stress. If you are stressed you might show some of these signs:

  • an upset tummy
  • headaches
  • find it hard to sleep
  • a sore back
  • eat too much or too little
  • feel angry
  • avoid other people
  • cry a lot

If you are stressed then you need to take a break. Check these tips out:

  • Draw a picture or write about how you feel
  • Have a nap
  • Listen to music
  • Go to your local library and find a quiet space to read a good book or your favourite magazine
  • Talking about how you feel is also important. Find a teacher, youth worker, school counsellor or friend you trust to talk to.

6. How do I cope with people who stare?

Sometimes people may stare at somebody who has a disability or looks unwell because they don’t understand. You might feel angry, embarrassed or upset when this happens. The best thing to do about this is to talk to other people who understand and let your feelings out. You might like to write about you’re feelings and share your story with other young carers.