TILTON FAMILY CHILDREN’S SHELTER
Johnny (name changed for privacy) was eight years old when he was placed at the Hibiscus Shelter. He struggled with outbursts, lack of control and difficult behaviors. Due to the abuse and trauma that he had experienced in his young life, Johnny was having a very difficult time learning to control his anger and emotions.
Recently, one of the children told Johnny that another boy hit her. Johnny felt the need to help, so he reacted by hitting the other boy. When the staff intervened to stop the boys from fighting, Johnny punched and bit the staff members. He then ran off and tried to hit the other young boy again.
This is the reality for abused children who have suffered at the hands of their parents and/or caregivers. They react with uncontrolled emotions and defenses. While it is not unusual for there to be disagreements between kids, most children are taught to have self-control and to work through arguments by talking it out and telling an adult. As the staff continued to try to deescalate Johnny, his behavior grew more and more uncontrolled and forceful.
Johnny’s struggles are a direct result of his abuse home environment. While these circumstances surrounding Johnny are difficult to hear, the fact that he was removed from his abusive home and placed in a safe and loving environment, the Hibiscus Shelter, is a positive result that has now led to him receiving the higher level of care that he desperately needs to help turn his life around.
Hibiscus Therapists and staff worked with Johnny every day to help him feel safe, cared for and to guide him to make better choices. This took some time and dedication by the professional staff, but over time, Johnny began to come around and exhibit appropriate behaviors and even began to enjoy playing games and just being a child. There have been many “Johnny’s” come through the doors of Hibiscus Children’s Center, with perseverance and the wonderful support of our community, Hibiscus continues to provide the highest level of care to help these children succeed and feel safe and loved.