Childhood Memories: The Best We Ever Have?

Childhood Memories: The Best We Ever Have?

The stark reality for almost a million young carers across the UK.

Seagull and boy

For many of us, our childhood is something we reflect on with the fondest of memories. Isn't it strange to think that some of our most treasured possessions aren't physical possessions at all? Sure, we might have photographs, maybe even videos if we're lucky, but the real joy is in the memory itself. Something which lives only in our minds. We can access it whenever we want. We can close our eyes and try to remember what it was like to be there, in the moment. The memories are ours. Once they've been created, nobody can take them away from us.

Endless summer holidays. Playing in the garden after school. Climbing trees. Building dens. Running barefoot on a sandy beach. Eating ice creams under a shady tree on a hot, sunny day. These are some of mine, and I know how lucky I am to have them.

 

Father and son sunset

But now imagine a childhood whilst happy, loaded with adult responsibilities and non traditional memories. Memories of missing out on days out, holidays, trips, parties and opportunities.  Memories of childhood being 'different' when compared to friends. Unfortunately, this is the reality for many of the UK's estimated 800,000 young carers. And that's because these completely amazing, selfless children and adolescents forgo any semblance of a normal childhood by devoting themselves to the care of a parent or grandparent.

They don't always have 'free time'. They can't easily go out with their friends. They still have school to worry about. And when they get home, there's little respite - it's back to work. Back to work doing the kind of tasks that most other children don't have to do until they are adults or maybe even parents themselves. Preparing meals. Cleaning the house and doing other chores. Grocery shopping. Getting someone else dressed. Bathing someone else. The list goes on.

They do all this because they have to. Because nobody else is going to do it. And because of their love for their mum, dad, grandma, grandad. And they do it all while fighting their own struggles and emotions. Like anger at feeling misunderstood. Like fear, which many feel when they have to leave their parent alone. And like the loneliness and isolation they feel by being trapped between childhood and adulthood, and they are so often missed completely by schools and social services.

All this, when the only thing many of them crave... is cuddles.

father and son

MYTime needs your help! Please help us to create new childhood memories for young carers by telling us about your own

As you may know, it's our mission here at MYTime to provide young carers with the support, friendship and opportunities that every child deserves. And that includes making happy childhood memories.

And now we're asking for your help!

We are excited to announce that we're creating a brand-new app called the MYTime Making Memories App. The app will act as a fun list and memory maker, with 50 things a young carer should do before they turn 10, and another 50 they should do before they turn 18.

And we need your help to compile these lists!

We'd love you to tell us about the memories that start coming back and the emotions they evoke when you think about the answers to some of the following questions:

  • What's your favourite childhood memory?  Think about why it is. Is it because you can remember it as clear as day, and be transported back to that happy place and time?
  • What was your favourite thing to do as a child? Your favourite toy / sport / hobby?
  • Are you a parent or carer yourself? If so, how do you think about creating happy memories for your own children? The ones they will remember forever.
  • Based on what you read in the first half of this article, about the lives of young carers, how does it make you feel when you compare your own/your children's childhood to that of a young carer?

Now that these memories are fresh in your mind (and you're hopefully feeling a bit emotional!), you can help us out enormously by answering one simple question in our survey:

What is your favourite childhood memory?

By taking just a couple of minutes to answer this question, you will be helping us to compile the lists for our new MYTime Making Memories App, which will help us to create new, happy childhood memories for young carers around the UK.

Take the survey now!

Support us and stay up to date with our news

Thank you so much for telling us about your favourite childhood memory. Please do share the link to this blog post and the survey with your friends and family so that we can collect as many responses as possible.

Another easy way you can support us is by following us on our social media channels and by liking, commenting on, and sharing our posts. This helps us to increase our reach and educate others about young carers and what we try and do to help them.

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To learn more about life as a young carer, please watch this great video:

The A-Z of Being a Young Carer

Useful links for support:

The Samaritans

Childline

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