Home > Family Life > Caring for a Parent

Caring for a Parent

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 23 Jan 2018 | comments*Discuss
 
Caring For A Parent Teens Caring For

It may not be fair, but teens are often called upon to care for a parent. Whether it is due to a short virus, broken limb or long-term illness, there are times that parents can’t do it all on their own and a teen is the most suitable person in the home to lend a helping hand.

However, just because you are available to help care for a parent does not mean that caring should become your full-time job. You are still a young person who should be concentrating on your own education and social life, so finding support if you need it is imperative.

Understanding the Situation

For teens who are called upon to care for a parent, understanding the situation is of the utmost importance. If you don’t already know, find out what the injury or illness is, what the prognosis for the future is, who your parent’s doctors or therapists are, and if there are any types of medications that will be taken (and when, and how). When you are armed with all of this information you can begin to make informed decisions about what you can do and what you will not be able to do. For example, while you may have no trouble cooking dinner for your parent, you likely won’t be home to feed them breakfast and lunch as well. Once you know your own limitations you can begin to find help for when you are need it.

Finding Extra Help

As a teen, no one would expect you to devote your life to caring for a parent and you should not feel as though you need to do so either. Your ability to care for a parent is not linked to your love for that parent, so don’t feel guilty or as though you are letting your parent down simply because you are unable to attend to his or her every need. Talk over your situation with your parent’s doctors and therapists, your relatives and adult friends, adult members of your religious community, your teachers or even a school counsellor. These adults should be able to help you sort out plans for caring for your parent in the short term, or viable options regarding a parent’s care for the long term.

Knowing Your Limits

Not only is it important to understand the physical limits of how much you can do for a parent, but it is important to understand your emotional limits as well. As a teenager, you are not supposed to be as mature and responsible as other adults, but you are meant to have free time to sort out your thoughts and feelings about many different subjects. Drawing up a list of activities that you enjoy doing and can do on your own, such as indulging in a bath, taking a walk, going to the gym or even letting all your cares go away and napping for a little while, is a great way of always having an idea on hand when you need one.

Caring for a parent isn’t easy at any age, but it can be extremely difficult for teens. Not only should teens bear in mind the physical limits of what they can do to help a parent, but the emotional limits as well.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
I'm a teenager. I'm having troubles with my family. Can I be adopted?
Ava - 8-Jan-18 @ 3:23 AM
I would appreciate some links to caring for elderly parents with autism. My mother is undiagnosed but has many autistic difficulties which have affected her throughout her life and have seriously strained our relationship. I am only recently gaining an understanding of her anxiety, rigidity and her lack of emotional understanding in the light of high functioning autism. But there is so much damage done after years of struggling to understand and cope with her behaviour. Now she is frail and elderly I still struggle not to feel hurt by her and overwhelmed by her needs. I struggle to give her the support and patience she needs.
C - 8-Apr-17 @ 7:38 AM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • Ari
    Re: Arguing With Parents
    @Agent To Your comment is pretty rude. The people here aren’t here to attack their parents (as it seems your son has done) but to have…
    20 May 2018
  • Cal
    Re: Coping with a Crush
    @maggie_w - have you even spoken to him? That would be a start. Try and strike up a conversation, be confident and just do it.
    15 May 2018
  • maggie_w
    Re: Coping with a Crush
    Alright, so I'm a freshman. The second I started highschool I noticed this guy, he was in three of my classes. I realized I had a small crush…
    15 May 2018
  • TeenIssues
    Re: All about Abortion
    Anonymous - Your Question:I found out I'm pregnant only by 5 or 6 weeks, I'm 16 years old and I'm wondering if I need an adult to accompany me…
    14 May 2018
  • Fliss
    Re: Losing Your Virginity
    @tilly - do what feels right for you and definitely don't let yourself be rushed into anything.
    14 May 2018
  • TeenIssues
    Re: All about Abortion
    1234234om - Your Question:I was at a party and had sex with a boy unprotected and he pulled out but then we had sex again about 30 minutes…
    14 May 2018
  • Anonymous
    Re: All about Abortion
    I found out I'm pregnant only by 5 or 6 weeks, I'm 16 years old and I'm wondering if I need an adult to accompany me when I go for my abortion?…
    13 May 2018
  • 1234234om
    Re: All about Abortion
    I was at a party and had sex with a boy unprotected and he pulled out but then we had sex again about 30 minutes later and he pulled out again.…
    13 May 2018
  • tilly
    Re: Losing Your Virginity
    i’m 15 and i’m with a bit but we have t been talking for long , we both have tiring feeling. for eachother and both feel ready and have…
    11 May 2018
  • Dr.Miguel
    Re: Questionnaire: Are You Addicted to Social Networking Sites?
    I am a doctor in Portugaltahta stat sorry for my inglish but: isso é uma mentira não…
    9 May 2018
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the TeenIssues website. Please read our Disclaimer.