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Why Is My Child So Explosive?

By Shawna Wingert

When my son kicked the windshield, I didn’t think it would break.

I was wrong.

Apparently, the force of losing all rational thought and ability was enough to crack it from end to end.

He was crying, flailing and screaming at me.

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I can’t do it. Mommmmeeeeeeeee. I can’t.  I can’t go in.”

We were in the parking lot of his doctor’s office — the very doctor that we needed to see for the increase in his aggressive and violent behaviors.

He had climbed into the front seat as soon as the car stopped and began physically fighting me.

Scratches up and down my arms and on my face, I tried not to cry as feelings of pure defeat and desperation washed over me.

Then he broke the windshield.

We both were stunned.

My son looked at me, suddenly much calmer and said, “Well, I guess now I have to go in.”

He opened the door, got out of the car and calmly walked into the office.

I have two boys.

A fourteen-year-old and an eleven-year-old.

One loves computers and video games.

The other adores animals and the outdoors.

One is quiet, the other can be boisterous and loud.

My two boys are very, very different from each other.

But there is one thing they have in common.

They are both explosive children.

Over the course of the last ten years, I have been trying to figure out how to react, how to respond, how to discipline, how to show compassion, and how to have boundaries around my children’s behavioral challenges.

In the beginning, I listened to all the well-meaning voices.

If you would discipline him more…

He just needs a good spanking….

If you weren’t going through a divorce….

He’s manipulating you…

He knows he can get away with it. That’s why he does it.

I listened and I tried it all.

And none of it, I repeat, none of it worked.

In fact, it got worse.

It’s what led us to smashed windshields in parking lots.

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