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Kids Who Are Caregivers

The New York Times has an interesting article about a growing trend - while the general perception is that kids are taken care of, this isn't necessarily always the case. In other words, some school-age kids end up caring for their parents and grandparents.
I don't doubt this will grow even more as the economy suffers. Carol Levine, director of families and health care at United Hospital Fund, says, "Our society thinks of children as being taken care of; it doesn't think of children as taking care of anybody." She also discusses the consequences of children caregivers - on the one hand, caregiving makes help kids develop resonsibility, but others can grow angry and resentful as they sacrifice much of their youth to care for their loved one.
But let's not just recognize the emotional effects of caregiving, but also the ones being cared for. "It is embarrassing for grownups to admit they're so helpless that a child is caring for them," said Kim Shifren, a psychology professor at Towson University.
The good thing about this is that health care programs and organizations are beginning to recognize this issue and create programs to help these kids cope as well as offer them resources. Check out the whole piece for more info.

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