Fibromyalgia Action UK
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Looking after my 13 year old Neice!!!

Gosh! Just had our really lovely and pretty 13 year od Neice given to us for the indefinate future! The first few weeks were too stressfull to go into, as I was probably more worried than she was, but now settling out a bit. We have to clear a room for her in the house so she can have a bedroom, and as she has moved over 100 miles to be here, she is looking forward to term starting so she can make new friends.

One of her old friends is having a kick boxing match up here tomorrow and he is staying in the hotel just down from us, so I am hoping She'll get time to see him tomorrow before we have to leave town for the weekend.

So I would like some advice and tips on how to cope with FMS and a teenager, please! And also teenagers in General. She seems to be very understanding, when I am not feeling too good and hubby is good at explaining things to her, within his comprehension of the condition, so that is a bonus.

She is stunning looking, so we recon that may be a problem in some ways, but we will have to broach the subject of protection etc soon, and maybe someone out there has a tip or two for us. We are childless ourselves and I have only ever looked after younger children.


9 Replies

so pleased for you. I've no idea on coping with a teenager other than be open to compromise and if things flare re-inforce the fact that you love her it's the behaviour [or whatever] you don't like. Everyone is different just relax and take every day as it comes.

regards, sandra


I'm sure you will do an excellent job Glenys, I don't have children myself but assume it may be easier to look after younger children. Just take each day as it comes although it does sound as though your niece is a lovely young lady so you should be fine. Take care, Angela xx


hello teens are a joy and a trial there are great support on mums net

be kind to yourself and enjoy .. I have 4 of them its fun

gentle dyslexic hugs


I agree Lexie, I have three children, I can't imagine my life without them. :)


Teenagers are fun when hormones arent flying around.just relax.lay some ground rules down from start.

Dont try and be her friend your her auntie.its very tiring.just had my fourteen year old son for 3 days .but soo worth it.gentle pacing too.

Good luck and enjoy.x


Teenagers need loads of TLC - they are going through so many changes and live their lives in a confused turmoil most of the time! So they need plenty of reassurance that you love them. When they fail at things let them know you are disappointed FOR them not disappointed IN them.

Expect tantrums, sulks, hugs, tears and laughs ..... sometimes within the same hour. Welcome her friends and allow some freedom eg discrete make up for school (if the school allows it), wilder at the weekends if liked - it washes off!

Sit down now and negotiate with her what is normal for the school week eg where and when will she do homework, watch TV, let you know when she needs things for practical lessons such as Food Technology (Cookery), weekend homework on Friday to get it out the way or during the weekend to have Friday night off. She'll have a better idea than you.

She needs a responsible adult to care for her - she will have friends her own age pretty soon - you don't need to be her friend .... you need to be her rock.

Above all enjoy her company - teenagers are great - the road from child to adult in just a few short years is awesome.

I'm Mum to two wonderful young ladies aged 18 and 25; and for 23 years was a teacher of 11-19 year old students - so have had the privilege of knowing quite a few hundred of this amazing breed over the years!

You don't need to be dashing round for her, at 13 she is quite old enough to tidy up after herself and help with chores such as loading the washing machine or dishwasher, nothing too awful but things that make life that wee bit easier for you. When you are too pooped to do anything else at least sit and listen to her - teenagers love to have their opinions heard and respected! They also generally like take aways and experimenting in the kitchen - now doesn't that make life easier?

Julie xx


Hi Julie

Thanks for your advice.

Things certainly are a challenge, but I have got rewarding moments already out of this experience. We still have little family support when it comes to putting her up for the odd night, but she has had sleepovers with her friends at both ends, and has already taken an early GCSE exam.

A few little problems arise however, as she had very bad communication with her mother, so find it difficult to talk with us on that level (ie we didn't know about the exam till the week previous, and have seen none of the letters from school she has been given for us yet) - yet we can have humerous talks and belly laughs about current affairs, music etc as she is really bright.

The washing machine is being ased in a fashion, though she cannot get it into her head what goes where in the drawers...stil! :-). Dirty towels on the bed etc but that is typical teen, I have been told. She is a brill baker and has a really lovely voice.

My husband and his brother (her dad) are going to sit with her and explain a bit about my condition to her, as she still has a problem working out why I am up and down all the time. Hubby has been instructed to tell his brother that fibro is more physical rather than mental in it's origin (as I am sure he thinks I am a crackpot and hasn't had much info on it yet) so he doesn't put his foot in it.

I will know where to come when I have a problem though, as you and the other folk here are a rod!

All the best



I'm sure you will feel all the emotions under the sun (as most parents do at one time or another) but will undoubtedly find a lot of joy in your new home life!

I think that to be able to raise another person as a caring, understanding adult who is aware of this silent, invisible disability will be hard but very worthwhile. I often look at my children (now all grown men, one with a daughter himself) and feel great pride in their empathy and understanding, their ability and willingness to offer kindness and help to others and truly believe that having a parent with such a disability is actually a definite bonus in life!!!!

Every good wish & happiness to you all. Gentle hugs. xx


THANKS ALL - ITS WONDERFUL TO SEE SUCH POSITIVE COMMENTS. When I first mentioned it to folk at this end, a few people gave me the horror stories, but when they realised it was a permanent affair, their support was good. She is a lovely girl, and has made me realise that all children are not the same (I have babysitted some litle pests in the past, and that was what was worrying me).

Julieeveh - I am going to show her how to seperate her whites and coloured washes today, and although it is a simple thing, it's something new for me and I just hope it doesn't result in her whites going pink, or I'm for the chop!! And she is a great baker - we have an endless supply of cake!

Last night she came out to see me work (I sing in pubs) and although it was a saturday night I was aware that she would have too much of a late night, so I am looking forward to her finding friends (with willing mums of course) who she can have sleepovers with some of those nights.

Are sleepovers still in fashion ?? :-) None of the family over here are in a position to take her on those nights.



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