The Warning Signs of Explosive Childhood Rage
It probably is more common in boys than girls. But the reality is that I've never loved the title The Explosive Child because it leaves out a very important group: implosive kids. But I find that imploders and exploders are imploding and exploding for the same reasons—lagging skills, unsolved problems.
What's the difference between an explosive child and an implosive child?
Imploders become anxious or depressed or things like that. Exploders, we know what they do. But I don't see any of those behaviors as being different from each other. Kids who are anxious are lacking the skills not to be anxious. Kids who are irritable are lacking the skills not to be irritable. And both anxiety and irritability, just like exploding, are potential responses to unsolved problems.
How common is it for children to have severe rage problems?
I'm not sure that I would be able to define severe, because what severe usually means is how severe a kid's behavior is in response to those unsolved problems. But here's the interesting thing: Human beings throw temper tantrums. And when do most human beings throw temper tantrums—adults included? When they are lacking the skills to respond to whatever frustration has been set upon them. This is true of everybody. The question is more of frequency and intensity and severity. And so what percent of kids are having bona fide difficulty dealing with frustration so it's pretty noticeable? I'd peg it at around 10 percent.