Shop the fall collection ➔

I’m not sure what caused the explosion. All I remember is bear-hugging my 7-year-old in the bathroom praying he wouldn’t hurt me. 

Taking a huge deep breath in, I whispered to myself “He would do well if he could.” And with every exhale, I silently prayed, “God, give me strength. Fill me with love.” 

Little by little, I released all of the fear with my breath, creating a sound like that of ocean waves crashing onto the rocky shore. 

It took every ounce of willpower I had to keep my own nervous system from being hijacked by his. 

Every few minutes, I shook my hands vigorously so the rest of my body could remain calm. 

He kept screaming on top of his lungs, “GO AWAY!” to which I would quietly respond, “I love you too much to leave you like this.” 

RELATED: To the Mom of a Difficult Child, What if You’re Raising a Peter?

After an intense struggle, my son eventually made it into the bathtub allowing the water to slowly dissolve his anger. It was as if the water gave him the space he needed to take his own full breath again. 

As he looked up at me with puffy, glassed-over eyes looking like the life had literally been sucked right out of him, all I could think of was how much I wish I could take away his pain. 

Slouching down on the toilet, I allowed my body to relax. I had finally crossed the finish line after what felt like a grueling marathon. 

We both sat in silence as he continuously dunked himself beneath the warm water only coming up for air when needed. 

Having an explosive child is hard. 

It’s not only hard but exhausting, scary, trying, testing, and utterly depleting. However, it has also made me a stronger, more caring, understanding, empathic, prayerful, kinder, and better mother

I had the same meltdowns as a child, but they looked a little different. 

Instead of trying to hurt others, I hurt myself. 

Instead of getting violent, I spiraled into deep sadness. 

RELATED: Dear Son With Invisible Disabilities, You Are Not Broken

Instead of having a mother who prayed to God asking to give her strength promising to never leave my side, in those sad moments, I was left alone wondering if she would ever come to see me again. 

Instead of screaming, “Go away!” I buried my head in my pillow shaking and screaming without anyone nearby. 

The opportunity is mine to make a change. I can be the mom I desperately desired to have as a young child.

One who would do her best to embrace and love her uniquely wired child. 

I can celebrate my child’s differences even in the face of challenging behaviors and meltdowns. I can savor the good times and give tools to overcome the hard times. 

I can learn all there is about my child’s anxiety, obsessive and intrusive thoughts, his developmental advances and delays which come with his gifted brain, and take the time to understand the reason for his behaviors. 

RELATED: My Son Swears Sometimes, But I’m Not Freaking Out

I can choose to continue to fully show up despite how challenging life gets. 

And I can follow God’s leading for the purpose and calling He has graciously given me. 

Having an explosive child is far from easy, but with God’s power and guidance, I can and I WILL rise above, choosing to be better. 

Adriane Thompson

Adriane is a mom to three neurodiverse (read: loud, intense, and creative boys). She uses her own differently wired brain to research and to learn all she can to encourage and empower parents to find their purpose in parenting. Residing in Arizona, she loves to hike, find water holes, and discover all God has created across the state with her family in their camper. You can read more from Adriane at www.raisingkidswithpurpose.com 

Our Friend Steve Is Back! Get Ready for the “Blue’s Clues” Live-Action Movie

In: Kids, Living
man in a trench coat and green tie looking out door

We just got a letter, we just got a letter! Except this time, it’s even better! ’90s kids rejoice, because one of our favorite classic Nickelodeon series, Blue’s Clues, is getting a live-action makeover. Not only that, but it will also feature all three of the show’s hosts, which means our beloved Steve Burns will be returning to the screen after all this time! You may remember, Steve popping back into our lives unexpectedly last year for the 25th anniversary of the show to explain why he had departed so suddenly. He hit us all in the feels when he...

Keep Reading

Dear School Bus Driver, My Whole World Is In Your Care

In: Kids, Motherhood
Little boy standing on school bus stairs, color photo

To the bus driver I do not know, You don’t understand how hard it is to let go of my child’s hand in the morning and hand him over to you. You don’t know how long it took me to make this decision . . . to let him ride the bus.  Some may say it’s brave or courageous to trust another with your child’s life. I sometimes think it can be daring but also really unwise.  RELATED: Every Time I Leave My Child With Autism in the Care of Someone Else, I Worry In today’s world, we must worry...

Keep Reading

Every Time I Blinked, They Grew—and It Was So Beautiful

In: Kids, Motherhood
Boys kissing mother black and white photo

I thought we were prepared, but we weren’t. Not even close. Not in the tiniest, least little bit. When we hugged our precious, oldest boy and left him to start college just a few hours away, we didn’t know what was coming. The waves of emotion, of loss, of pride, of accomplishment. They say not to blink because your kids will grow up. But despite how much we may not want to, it’s involuntary. We have to blink. They don’t talk about this part. No one tells you what to do when you open your eyes again. RELATED: I Blinked and...

Keep Reading

I Love it When You Smile at Me

In: Kids, Motherhood
Little girl in wheel chair with classmates, color photo

I gained a bit of insight today. We were walking past the checkout at the store this afternoon when we came upon a mom and her children, waiting in the checkout line.   RELATED: A Simple Invitation Means the World To a Special Needs Parent My daughter Chloe rolled by them in her wheelchair. I watched, as I often do, as the children noticed her. One girl about Chloe’s age smiled at her as we walked by. As soon as we had passed them, Chloe turned to me and said . . . “She’s the first person to smile at me!”  Let me say I...

Keep Reading

It’s Okay to Say No to the Promposal

In: Kids, Teen
Boy holding pink sign saying "Prom with me?"

Promposals are cute.  But, even for the sweetest questions, it’s okay if the answer is not yes. I have more boys than girls at my house so the whole meet the boy asking your girl out with a gun posts don’t sit well with me. Boys and girls have an equally hard time negotiating friendships and relationships in high school, and I care equally for both. A young man spent some time, told his friends, made a cute sign, and planned to ask my daughter to a dance. A friend of my daughters mentioned he might ask (and even made...

Keep Reading

I Wipe the Slides

In: Kids, Motherhood
boy on slide

I want you to have the most fun possible at your tiny playground stars program, so I wipe the slides. I don’t want you to have a meltdown if your clothes get wet while I’m gone, so I wipe the slides. I want to have three precious hours of only managing your little sister, so I wipe the slides. RELATED: I’d Rather Serve My Kids Than Have Them be “Self-Sufficient” I don’t want you to feel embarrassed by a big reaction to wet clothes when I’m not there to help you, so I wipe the slides. I want you to...

Keep Reading

One Day You’ll Outgrow Being My Little Boy—But Not Today

In: Kids, Motherhood, Tween
Mother and two sons back-to-school picture, color photo

One day you will come home after your first day of a new school year and not wish to share a single thing. Not today. Today, you got into the car and talked non-stop about every second of your day. I was delighted!  One day you will not have countless first-day forms for me to sign and return the next day. Not today. I signed my name at least four times. I was happy to grant permission for you to play sports, learn algebra, and do whatever else I gave my permission for.  One day you will not allow me...

Keep Reading

The Sports Mom Shows Up For Her Kids, No Matter What

In: Kids, Motherhood
Youth baseball game

We’re nearing the end of club baseball/softball season, and the burnout is real. The time away from home, burning through gas to get somewhere for two hours with half your house packed only to pack back up and turn around and drive to the next two-hour destination is insane. I don’t even like the sport right now. There . . . I said it. I’m so sick of softball fields and wind-blown dirt in my face. I’ve seen so many balls thrown in the last two months that my eyes hurt. But I still show up. I love to see...

Keep Reading

Having Babies and Toddlers Is Exhausting—but So, So Sweet

In: Baby, Kids, Motherhood, Toddler
Family of four with baby and toddler on bed

I took the girls to one of our favorite coffee shops last week and all around me were parents of babies and toddlers. Their little ones ran about in the grassy area out back, toddling up and down the lawn, when it suddenly hit me with perfect clarity—the sun has nearly set on this season for me. It was a realization marked by internal tension, a mourning of the loss of one season contrasted by the joyful anticipation at the arrival of the next. It came out of nowhere and hit me like a tidal wave. Having five kids in...

Keep Reading

3 Common Phrases to Avoid Saying to Your Kids (and What To Say Instead)

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother sitting with young boy on couch

Learning to love yourself is hard work. I did not grow up loving myself. Instead, I always felt inadequate, and I felt the need to change myself to prove my worth.  I want more for my kids. I want my kids to know their inherent value and worth. I want to empower my kids to love and accept themselves.  My self-love journey, aided by the expertise of a counselor, has helped me realize there are some narratives from my childhood I needed to unlearn. I had to accept my emotions as helpful and not something to be pushed down. I...

Keep Reading