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Not Just a Young Carer

Identity – Part 2

A 10 minute read for ages 16+

It’s very important for young carers to get to explore who they are in a way that’s not just linked to the person that they care for.

 

But How?

 Some of the positive ways that you can do this are:

  • Find Your Tribe

Your tribe doesn’t need to be massive; most people only need one or a few true friends. True friends are people who share your values and interests, who will listen to you and keep your secrets, who will share their own feelings with you and who will be there for you when you need them.

There are lots of ways to meet your tribe. Some of them are in our blog on friendship.

You could come along to Young Carer events. Heaps of young carers meet true friends on young carer events and camps.

  • Join a sports club or other group.

Places like KidSport can help you pay for membership fees; places like Edmund Rice and Communicare’s Get Active Project have free sports programs.

  • Be patient.

It can take time to make true friends.

At the end of the day, young carers need what everyone else needs; strong role models and support systems.

Find your “Golden Shadow”.

Your “golden shadow” (a term created by a guy named Carl Jung) can be described as the parts of other people that you admire deeply and want to be like. These parts are already inside of you, waiting to be expressed! You can learn by their example, which brings me to the next point:

  • Find a role model.

A role model could be an adult in your family – an older sibling, an Auntie, an Uncle or a grandparent – who you really respect.

It could be a teacher or a mentor. The YMCA has a Mentor Program that you can sign up to. It may take some time but they will match you up with a mentor who shares your interests and who will spend time with you regularly.

It might be someone a bit older than you, at school or perhaps even through a Youth Leadership program or maybe through an organisation such as YACWA, that is led by young people; your peers.

Maybe it’s even a public figure. If you just can’t get out, or you don't have anyone that you personally would consider a role model for you, maybe you can even find a public figure on You Tube or by listening to a podcast, whose style and morals you resonate with.

 If you need someone to refer you, the Young Carers Team can help - just ask

You’re an individual but you’re not alone.

There are 272, 000 young carers in Australia.

But the quotes in this article and in Identity - Part 1 actually come from young carers in a video by the Young Carer Project in Canada which was published 3 years ago.

And there were 700,000 young carers in the UK at that same time – so you can just imagine how many young carers there are, all across the world!

When you watch these videos, you’ll also see links to the loads of other young carer videos next to them.

Young Carers in Canada 

Carers Australia Young Carers video 

So take the time to explore your identity because being a young carer is just one part of who you are.