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Re: 16 year old son too much responsibility

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Re: 16 year old son too much responsibility

Parent/Carer Community Champion

Re: 16 year old son too much responsibility

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@20201361  I hear your concern. It is nice that both you and your ex can be open and honest with your son. It shows in how well he communicates with you and cares for his dad. 


It sounds like your ex needs a lot of support right now and doesn't know where to get it. It is also easy for him to lean on your son while he lives there. I wonder if there are other services available.


It is commendable that your son feels concern and responsibility, especially when there are so many parents lamenting the lack of this is their own children. There are some figures that suggest that 10% if school aged children care for an adult to some degree. Scary isn't it?  I see it with primary aged children regularly. Many young carers say that caring is a positive experience. However, research clearly indicates that, when inadequately supported, their own health, mental health and wellbeing can be seriously affected. There are many support networks for Carers and if eligible your son may receive payment or respite for this.


Is it possible that your ex is able to get someone to check in on him under the NDIS? I assume that your ex hasn't got other family or professional support. Maybe he could consider help from Community Organisations like Centrecare or Anglicare or Salvation Army. Even our local community centre helps with this sort of thing. There are so many programs out there and it doesn't have to be long term. This may be something you can organise if you wish to give your son a break but I know that this may not be viable. 


As for your son having fun or relaxing on the holidays, this is also important. Is he normally the sort of boy who likes to get out and let off steam or is he more laid back or introverted? This will also impact on his choices to help his dad. He might prefer to do it in some ways. Maybe your ex can install the Triple Zero app on his phone so that your son knows he has a fall back option.  Maybe your son and his dad can negotiate a system of texts, calls or dm's that would help your son feel he can leave the house or even come to visit you.  I know some senior citizens who do this each day via FB or Instagram to confirm they woke up. 


Also worth considering, is this going to be a long or short term thing? If is is only for the short term maybe take a step back and let it happen and make up for it next holidays. Maybe his mates could go there for the short term. If it is long term then I agree that a support system needs to be put in place.


I'm not sure if I have been helpful but hope this sorts out soon and everyone is well. 

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Re: 16 year old son too much responsibility

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Hi, @20201361 , I just wanted to check in here, and also thank @JAKGR8 for the excellent support and advice. 


I also just came across this website which may have useful information for you and your son, it's Young Carer's NSW and has a wealth of information, resources, and peer support  for carers aged under 25


ReachOut also has a list of resources for young carers, with a lot of different services listed, and a bit about what they can all offer - if that's something you'd find helpful for your son, the link is here 


I can completely understand your concern for your son, particularly with the school holidays coming up, and I think that @JAKGR8  has also offered some excellent suggestions for ways for your ex-husband to get more support for himself, so that the burden isn't falling so heavily on your son. Do you think your husband would be open to looking into these services? 


In terms of the holidays, is spending some time with you so that he can recharge a bit an option that would be possible for you? 


We are glad that you came here for support, you are not alone, and I hope the community here can be helpful to you Heart