Friends and Others

As a young carer, friendships can be really hard. At times, you may have so much to deal with at home that you don’t have the time or energy for relationships with people outside your family. Some friends might not understand your situation, while others don’t care, or tell you you’re too negative when you’re just telling the truth about your life. Because of this, you might pick and choose what you tell your friends; you may even drift apart. This can make you feel alone and misunderstood. Maybe you avoid social activities and drama by never fully committing to plans or cutting out needy friends. You might try to make friends with people who are “drama-free” and stay away from conflict with friends so you won’t get blamed for it. Other times, it may seem easier not to have many friends.It may seem like people are always watching and judging you and your family. They might think that you have a broken family without knowing anything about what is going on. Some people have expectations of you because of your age and do not understand your unique role in your family.When you open up to someone you might worry that they think you are making things sound worse than they are because they don’t see the issues your family member is dealing with. This can make it really hard to open up and find the support you need and want in the community. It sometimes makes parents scared to let people outside of the family know what’s going on because they don’t want to be judged or criticized.Adults outside your family, like coaches, camp counsellors, teachers, neighbours or family friends, can be important in your life. When these adults show they care about you and your situation, you will be more likely to bond with and respect them. They can provide you with the attention, motivation, and praise you feel that you’re not getting at home. Because of this, you may look up to them as role models and try very hard to please them, so they will be proud of you. It can be tough to find friends and adults outside your family that give you what you’re looking for when not everyone understands your situation, your family wants to keep things private, or people are not available when you need them. When you are able to find people you can depend on, they can have a huge impact on your life.

Family

Ways to Cope

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