Teenage Kicks: How it Feels to Be a Young Carer

How do you care for an alcoholic parent?

Danielle Jones is a freelance journalist and editor from Hampshire with bylines for Time Out, Metro and VisitEngland. A mum to two girls, she specialises in travel, culture and lifestyle writing.

Danielle had a happy family life until her mum’s relationship with alcohol started to affect her family. What started as a normal – if more colourful than some – upbringing, became a problem with alcohol, and by her mid-teens Danielle found herself looking after her mum as well as herself.

Danielle tells me about her mum’s frustration with motherhood, and how she struggled with the limitations placed on her as her young family grew up. She also describes how becoming her mum’s carer impacted on her own life – on her studies, and on her own mental health.

Danielle talks about how she got past her own struggles and began to focus on her own life and wellbeing, to become a successful journalist, and now a mother herself. She has some fabulous insight into how everyone is struggling with something – no one has the perfect life you imagine they do – and some fantastic advice for anyone who is struggling to get a foot in the door of their career ambition. I love her take on life!

For anyone who is faced with a parent’s relationship with alcohol, or in fact with having to become their parent’s carer, there are some websites where you will find support and advice:

  • The NHS is always the first point of call, and has some good signposting for children who become carers for any reason
  • Al-Anon – the support organisation for families of alcoholics – has a section specifically for teenagers
  • Adfam provides information for the families of drug-users and alcoholics
  • Action for Children provides support for children who are young carers

You can find Danielle on Instagram at @TinyTripping.

You can find the episode in your usual podcast app, or if you prefer, you can listen online below.

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Thank you so much for listening! Subscribe now to the Teenage Kicks podcast to hear about the new series when it begins. I’ll be talking to some fabulous guests about difficult things that happened to them as teenagers – including losing a parent, being hospitalised with mental health problems, and battling an eating disorder – and how they overcame things to move on with their lives.

I’d love to hear from you if you have any suggestions for future topics on the Teenage Kicks podcast. Contact me here, or you can find me on Instagram and Twitter at @iamhelenwills. I appreciate every message, and love to hear from my listeners.

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For information on your data privacy please visit Zencastr. Please note that I am not a medical expert, and nothing in this blog or in the podcast should be taken as medical advice.

Join me in the Teenage Kicks Facebook group!

If you’re a parent of teens it can be difficult to know where to go for advice, to vent, or just to talk. So I’ve made the Teenage Kicks Facebook group, for all parents of teenagers to chat in a safe space. It’s a private group and everyone in there will be a parent of teenagers.

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