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Over the years we have participated in KiC we have been faced with many issues that were both heartbreaking and frustrating. It is extremely difficult to deal out consequences to a child that has suffered trauma, separation,etc. Most of the issues we faced we were lucky enough to have a network of workers, counselors etc., to lend a hand in more ways than one. Never the less it still boils down to your own performance in the household. I call it working on your feet when a situation arises that shocks the socks off you and demands your instant attention.
Life doesn't get much tougher than what Kids in care can throw your way. It is very important for the caregivers to remember they are only human and do make mistakes. Don't stress or feel guilty, just do your best and it is bound to be a lot better than these kids have ever had before.
I hope that this site can be an informative area that carers can throw around suggestions to each other that they have tried with their KiC and found them to be of use. I have included some suggestions of my own for starters. I hope they can be of some use to other carers.
  1. Anger. We have used exercise as a way of breaking the cycle of anger related events. i.e. pushups, laps around the property, star jumps etc., until the child is exhausted. They nearly always come back inside much happier than when they started.
  2. Boundaries need to be set and then stick to them, NEVER give in. The KiC need to know that you are strong and reliable. It makes their life safe.
  3. Dietary. Keep foods simple to start with as often diet has been less than healthy. Slowly introduce foods that are necessary and insist on no dessert till vegies etc. are finished. We have found in the past that introducing fruit, vegies and salads is best done whilst the child is famished. I.e. straight after school. Alternatively for a child that only eats the junk, insist that the vegies must be eaten before the chicken nuggets etc. are touched. The healthy stuff is much easier to swallow on an empty stomach rather than one that has just filled up on the chips etc. first.
  4. Hygiene. There is no place for anyone other than the hygiene offender to clean up their own mess that goes for dirty washing, wet beds, toileting, EVERYTHING. We had a child that was not particular about where they went to the toilet just as long as it was not at the toilet. The break through came when we realised the importance of the child cleaning ALL their own messes. It was long and painful with many many hours of tears and pain. That same child is now very proud of their accomplishments in hygiene and is willing to offer advice to others.
  5. TV KiC that have been traumatised need special ratings on what they view. Basically anything other than G. needs to be viewed prior. Our children have their own TV viewing area with a video player. They do not watch live TV Everything is pre taped or hired for them. It saves the hassle of nightmares, etc.
  6. Sugar intake is reduced in our household due to certain allergies etc. But we have found that the very last thing you need with a child that is suffering any form of trauma or anger is to have them hyped up on coke and lollies. It begins the lethal combination that inevitably turns to an ugly scene. You are what you eat. We have apple pops on sticks instead of lollie pops. Carob instead of chocolate. Water and milk instead of soft drinks or cordials etc. etc.



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