KINSHIP CARE FAQ
How can I avoid taking bad behaviors personally?
It may be difficult, but parenting a traumatized child may require a shift from seeing a "bad kid" to seeing a kid who has had bad things happen.
Your grandkid may resent being separated from their parent and wish to return, even if their home situation was dangerous or unhealthy.
Remember that kids often act out in a safe place, so although it may feel like your grandkid doesn’t love or appreciate you, their behavior actually means they feel safe enough to express frightening emotions.
How can I show respect towards the parent struggling with substance use?
Speaking negatively about the parent can damage the child’s self esteem.
Encourage the understanding that addiction is a disease.
The word “addict” creates a label and casts a shadow of stigma, as if it is the only thing that defines them. Try “struggles with a disease of addiction or with substance use disorder” instead.
How can I help a child deal with past trauma?
Teach and reinforce the 7 Cs:
I didn’t cause it
I can’t control it
I can't cure it
I can take care of myself by communicating my feelings, making good choices, and celebrating myself.
How can I identify trauma triggers?
Watch for patterns of behavior and reactions that do not seem to fit the situation.
What distracts the child, makes them anxious, or causes a behavioral outburst?
How can I support resilience and self-esteem?
Help children identify their personal strengths and resiliency. Let them know they are loved, valued, and wanted.
Allow children to share their story, and be willing to listen.
How can I let the child I'm caring for know that I won't give up on them?
Use descriptive praise statements when the child does any positive behaviors.
Plan for challenging behavior.
How should I discipline the child I am caring for?
Children who have had negative life experiences may express their feelings through inappropriate behaviors such as hitting, biting, fighting, not following rules, and constant arguing.
Be clear and consistent about expectations and consequences for misbehavior.
Communicate and educate ahead of events what sort of behavior is expected in public.
Avoid physical punishment, which can worsen an abused child’s stress or panic.
What should I do if I think the child I am caring for has medical issues, not just behavioral challenges?
Contact a doctor if they exhibit any of the following:
Blurting out answers
Difficulty waiting in line
Failure to complete tasks
What are some examples of consistent routines that I can provide for the child I am caring for?
Have dinner every night as a family
Read a story together before bed every night
Include children in age-appropriate household chores
How should I help the child I am caring for feel at home?
Encourage their input in their new home.
Try to give each child their own private space and encourage them to decorate their new space.
How can I help the child I am caring for feel like they are part of a community and build connections?
Regularly attend events at the children’s schools.
Provide them with opportunities to make new or strengthen existing friendships.
Participate in after school adult-supervised activities for positive source of structure.