I don’t know how to help

Our double trouble little men arrived on Thursday night.
They come to us from a house full of violence and neglect. I’m finding it hard dealing with the violence.
Both of the boys have really short fuses and their go to response is to lash out. I feel like I need a referee jersey, whistle and a red card to wave at them.
The older boy Trevor, is by far the worse of the two for his temper and the younger boy David, is great for pushing his buttons to get him really riled up.
Today they have been playing the card game Monopoly Deal…like monopoly but a game only lasts about 15 minutes, and the littlest thing can set off Trevor. Who’s turn it is to start. Who has a deal breaker card. His brother winning.
As soon as the bickering starts we just tell them to pack it away and tell them when they have both calmed down they can start again. Sure as eggs, in about 10 minutes they’re laughing and playing….until the next time.
We get arguments over who’s turn it is to choose a movie to watch. All arguments are settled by us. The solution to that one is either we turn off the TV and they have to find a quiet activity to do until they feel better, or we pick a movie for them.

Trevor is also ‘runner’. He is used to wandering the streets all day, so to find himself stuck with us all day must be a shock to the system. He’s only once tried to escape (got halfway down the driveway…lesson learned for me, door is key locked at all times and keys in my pocket) and when I reached him, I put my hands on his shoulders and turned him around and walked him back to the house. He didn’t fight. He didn’t struggle. Maybe he just wanted someone to care enough to come and get him.

I’ve been playing the piano more while they are here hoping they ask why, so I can explain it’s what I do when I don’t know what to do. It’s what I do when I’m happy. It’s what I do when I’m sad and it’s what I do when I am mad. It’s my outlet. I’m hoping then we will have planted a seed for a future conversation about what they can do when they feel sad or mad.

Is there more that we can do right now other than just role modelling quiet and calm?

Their little lives have been tipped upside down this week. I can’t imagine how they must be feeling. That we haven’t had actual physical contact between them is a blessing.

How do we help these little men who only know violence?

How do we teach them that you don’t have to yell and hit to be heard?

How do we have more of the sunshine times and less of the thunder?

My guess is time.
Lots of time.
Time to see a different way of living.
Time to feel safe and not have a need for fight or flight.
Time to spend with men who don’t hit women.
Time to spend with women who don’t yell all the time.
After all…

Time heals all wounds doesn’t it?


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