We would like to share a story about two young siblings who participated in our mentoring through sports program at a state primary school on the Sunshine Coast.
Andrew and Daisy’s family have been engaged with our SunnyKids in Schools (SKIS) program for a short time. The family was referred to SunnyKids via their school due to some challenging behaviour from the two siblings including aggressive language, anger, negative attitude and difficulties with emotional regulation. The school had also identified that domestic and family violence present in the home and a close family member was in prison.
It can be difficult to imagine these two children feeling stable, however, soon after commencing our mentoring through sports program, the results were humbling.
When mentors Jack Reed and Tyson Brough sat down for their talks with the kids, Andrew and Daisy were engaged from the start and did not hesitate to discuss their thoughts on the topics discussed (social media, health, self-care etc). There were times when Andrew struggled to regulate his emotions. There was even an incident between Andrew and another program student; but due to Jack and Tyson developing a positive rapport with Andrew, Jack and Tyson were able to help him overcome his emotions and settle into the program.
SunnyKids team members attended extra sessions to support the children, the school and the mentors to ensure everyone was cared for and the risk was well managed.
When Andrew was completing his participant survey, he was very open and requested that his survey not been shown to any of his family members. He also disclosed that he felt people (teachers and family) thought he would become nothing. Although this is heartbreaking to hear, it shows just how much Andrew felt he could trust the SunnyKids team and felt safe to share.
Sometimes our job is not to fix everything in someone’s life, but if we can show a child that not everyone is the same and that how they feel is relevant, we can help show them that they matter!
Some wonderful things are starting to happen for this family and we have no doubt that this family is well on their way to breaking the cycle.