New kid on the block was small but mighty and soooo loud. At first it was hard to talk with him because he cried and screamed at everything and everyone. His little sister was quiet, wide-eyed, never smiled. No one minded having her around.
The first couple group nights he attended, he was returned to his mother because his behavior was so hard to manage. After many Time Outs and the loss of snack one night, he realized he’d have more playtime and more fun if he didn’t hit kids, grab their toys, or refuse to cooperate. After that we had little problem with him in group. His behavior with his mom and the other women didn’t improve, however. No one, aside from some of the group volunteers, seemed to like him a whole lot.
Then one night, the little guy and I were sitting next to each other in the playroom when groups were switching rooms. He suddenly told me what Daddy did to make him and his mom so scared. He spoke clearly and well with an intelligence way above his chronological age. And his words cut deep. He knew too much and understood too well.
The next week, he and his mother moved out. I hope his exceptional mind will save him when he’s grown from re-living the home life that still so consumed him at the shelter he began to tell many of us its hurtful details.
Yet I wish every child at the shelter were more like him. Not loud and defiant, of course, but able to talk about their trauma. Most kids or teens can’t do this as quickly as he did. He is one amazing child.‘