Jordan was 9 when he and his 5-year-old sister, Susie, started coming to an outreach group at the shelter. In the first several child support groups Jordan attended, he glorified his dad’s aggressive and abusive behaviors. He had learned that he wanted to be mean and tough like dad, despite seeing the violence in his home. About mid-year, Jordan began viewing his world and his parent’s relationship in a different way.
During one group session with Rachael, our Child Advocate, Jordan told her he was tired of being known as the bully at school. He was tired of always getting into trouble in school. He knew he had issues with his anger, and he wanted to be different.
Jordan’s mom and Rachael talked about options for individual therapy, and Rachael began talking with Jordan over the summer. They talked about domestic violence, the cycle of violence, anger, anger control, assertiveness, and self-esteem. Once school began, Jordan started seeing an outreach counselor. Toward the end of the year, after continuing in individual counseling and continuing to attend our child domestic violence support group, Jordan decided, at the age of 10, he no longer wanted to be a bully. He chose to have friends instead of no friends.
By the end of the year, Jordan told everyone in group that he has not been sent to the principal’s office once. And he has friends in school. He’s not seen as the class bully anymore!