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Parenting An Explosive Child

I have been scratched, spat on, threatened, punched and called names.

There are holes in the walls, windows that have been broken, iPads that will never be the same and stains on the ceiling that will not come out no matter how hard I scrub.

Our school day often involves more than one book or pencil being thrown, and an anger so fierce I am sometimes afraid.

I am deeply saddened and often ashamed, but it is the truth.

I am parenting an explosive child.


You may read these things and think our life is total chaos and out of control.

You may think I need to crack down and discipline my children.

You may think this is an unusual occurrence and that we are somehow an anomaly.

You’d be wrong.

Our life is sometimes chaotic and out of control to be sure, but most days are a mix of good and bad, just like anyone else’s.

Yes, there are times when I could be more a consistent disciplinarian, but never when one of my sons has completely lost control.

And no, sadly, our family is not all that unusual.

Please know, amazon links may be included below. Thank you for your support of my family.

The good news is we are learning slowly, but surely, exactly how to help my son with his explosive behavior.

We are understanding that because of his lack of maturity and function in certain areas, even the smallest stressors create a fight or flight response as real to him as if he were being chased by a lion.

And we are finding ways to help him gain control.

If you, like me, are parenting an explosive child, please know, you are not alone.

Just because we don’t often publicly discuss the really hard things, doesn’t mean they aren’t happening.


Parenting An Explosive Child

Over the course of the next few weeks, I will be sharing what’s working for us and the realities associated with mothering an explosive child.

This series will include an in-depth look at how our approach, our day-to-day failures, successes and the progress we are seeing.

Topics include:

Why is My Child so Explosive?

Calming the Explosive Child

What Do I Do When My Child Has Completely Lost Control?

Homeschooling an Explosive Child

The Best Thing You Can Do To Help An Explosive Child

Please know, I am in no way an expert.

I am a mom, just like you, trying to figure this out.

Let’s do it together.


Read on:

For all Explosive Child posts:

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  1. Hi Shawna,
    Thanks for your insight. Boy do we have a lot in common! I am looking forward to your series and also reading your minibook. But when I subscribed, I received a download link that was just to the picture of the front cover your your book (a PNG file), I think you likely meant to send the link to the PDF file. If you can share that, I would appreciate it.
    Thanks again, and like I say to the guy looking at me in the mirror – “Today is a NEW day.”

    1. Thank you so much for letting me know! I have fixed the problem and a new group email is being sent out right away. In the meantime, I am going to personally send the PDF to your email as well.

      I am grateful!

  2. Tammy Compton says:

    I was explaining today an incident where there was a two second shift to explosive reaction. I find it so hard for my other two kids(one of
    whom has autism but different) when they are afraid and then angry of how we all have to live with the fall out. I was asked by this BCBA how do I discipline these behaviors? I was sort of panicked and feeling overwhelmed to answer. I don’t punish I really move find regulation and then we try to work on triggers, coping skills, but number one is safety. Hard enough to ask for help but then I struggle with judgement. The hard part for me too is the belief I have that we all sin and all deserve love, grace, and forgiveness. With all that I don’t want to excuse or say it’s ok for him to be explosive and hurt or intimidate any of us. My twins are in constant state of picking at what the other one does, it’s not fair….. They are right but I still struggle how to help us all love in middle of all this. It’s not easy to really admit that live in a form of domestic violence from my child with autism.

    1. I think you articulated the confusion, fear, and despair that we all feel. I just want to encourage you that you are not alone in this. Everything you describe is something I have also experienced.
      With love,

  3. This is good to see. My explosive child is grown up now, but there wasn’t a lot of support when he was younger. I wish I could say he is better now but the explosions are still a constant battle for him. Thanks for helping others who feel so alone. Take care

  4. Thank you for you writings on the topic of this form of domestic violence. I too am a parent of an explosive dysregulated child who is now an explosive /aggressive young adult. I still share your challenges though it’s looks different when the explosive child is a 20 year old.

    For years I taught classes and hundreds of parents and explosive teens in a juvenile justice diversion programs.

    Now I am a Parent Support Specialitst and an Educational Consultant (Morgan Guidance Services) assisting parents plan for explosive kiddos and many other school, social, emotional or behavioral challenges.
    When indicated, I work with families to select the best possible specialized school or therapeutic program.

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