What are the effects of Domestic Violence on children? Growing up in a home that is filled with Domestic Violence, or Controlling Behaviors teaches the child that this is how life is. They can either learn to become violent, or learn how to allow violence to happen to them. They can learn to control, or they can learn how to be controlled. Regardless of how it can affect them as adults, it can have tragic repercussions on them when they are children as well, and this is a story of one little boy that it has affected.
Robert Young is a very happy 6 year old. The only thing that is endangering his happy childhood at this time is the fact that his mother died at the hand of another. And having to face the possibility that this other was his father, who has been charged with her murder.
Robert loves his friends and family with an energy that astounds others. He is open, and giving, and reminds all that knew her of his mother. It is also heartbreaking to all when he states "I miss my mom!" What do you tell a 6 year old that has to face life without his mother, and quite possibly his father as well?
We tell him that his mom is in Heaven...and he says that he wants to go and see her in Heaven. We tell him that his mom is watching over him, and will always love him...and he wants to know why she cannot be here to hold him.
But he still has a life full of love. His mom's friends and family have taken on the role of "Mom" as well as they can. And he is always encouraged to speak openly about his mom.
Robert loves T-Ball, Rollerskating, and is going to be in Soccer when that season starts. He refuses to participate in Tae Kwondo anymore, because that is what he and his mother used to do together. He is in Kindergarten, where he does well. And he is already loving to kiss little girls. He is a wonderful child...Heather did well with him.
It just seems senseless to us all.....this wonderful, loving, outgoing little boy is growing up without his closest family! It could have been avoided!
Please come back and review this page from time to time. I will keep it updated so that all can see how Robert is doing at different stages of his life!
UPDATE! Oct. 2010
It has now been 6 years since Robert lost his mother and he is now almost 13 years old. He is growing into a wonderful young man with his mom's sense of humor. He no longer enjoys sports (I believe it's because sports was something he enjoyed with his mom) but he does have his love of roller skating which was one of his mom's favorite things.
He seems to be very well adjusted considering all that he has lost. He sees a counselor and his family tries to shield him from a lot of things that might remind him of why his mother is gone but he is still curious. Recently he went with his mother's friends and co-workers to deliver toys to the Domestic Violence Prosecution Center. He wanted to know all about why we donate the toys so it was gently explained to him that people who flee domestic violence situations tend to leave with nothing but the clothes on their backs. When children come in, they are allowed to pick a toy and they get to keep that toy. It helps that they have something they can call their own during the often traumatic transition from home to shelter. He seemed to understand and appreciates that we donate in his mom's memory.
Robert is happy, healthy and thriving considering all he has been through. He is smart, funny and articulate. He is learning to play the flute, his favorite class is spanish and hates math. But what kid doesn't. He looks more and more like his mother every day and is growing into a fine young man that his mother would be very proud of.