When speaking of his childhood, (way back in the dark
ages) my college roommate told stories that made the
rest of our dorm mates speechless. As a child, he had
been the direct caregiver for both of his parents. When he
was just ten years old, he began caring for their physical
needs, doing the family books, cooking for everyone and
trying to have a childhood. As an adult he is an extremely
professional, yet caring and considerate person, but I
always felt bad for how fast he had to grow up.
Connie Siskowski was one of the first
advertisers and supporters of Today’s Caregiver magazine
when we began publishing in 1995. She had created a service
which attempted to recreate the concept of doctor house
calls (in those days, a radical thought.) Don’t worry,
these two stories do connect. Since then, Connie has gone on
to receive her Ph.D. and to create an organization dedicated
to children who are also caregivers. I bring this up
to highlight Connie’s work with the
American Association of
Caregiving Youth and The Caregiving
Youth Project (exemplified in a terrific New York Times
article earlier this week,) but also to reinforce the notion
that when it comes to caregiving, there are no stereotypes.
Only people who need and deserve our support, from whom we
can learn and teach much, as long as we are open to sharing
our stories with one another.
Tell us your stories about caregiving and kids.