Need to Destroy- Exhausted Mom Faces Her Violent Son

Written by Gabi on . Posted in Parenting and Family Relations

Today my eldest Dahnya and I were looking at picture of this huge, amazing ice scripture. I think it was an iceberg actually that this team of sculptures were working off of. It was the face of a woman, smiling, wind blowing her hair. Truly phenomenal piece of art. Size of a mountain. The sculptures looks like toy play figures around her.

My son Orazi walks in and looks over our shoulder. He stares at the picture for a minute and, as he turns away, he says aloud, ‘I wonder how you could destroy it?”

Sigh. Maternal sigh of great exasperation and exhaustion. More of his aggressiveness and violence. Deep sigh.

And then it hit me. That that is just part of his nature. Maybe cuz he’s a boy, ‘maybe he’s got his father’s faulty DNA, maybe he’s an elf in a little cherub-faced boy’s body who is meant to teach his mother great things. Either way, it’s just a part of who he is. Only now do I truly get it that he is not trying to hurt people to upset his sisters, to piss me off when he breaks things, throws them, jumps on things, breaks them. It is not out of disrespect for property at all. It is a need within him to break, to manipulate materials and see the outcome. It is a need he has.

Wendy Mogel in her phenomenal book The Blessing of a Skinned Knee talks about identifying the needs, the less then desirable urges that our children have, those parts of their personality, and give them a place to be, a positive outlet to release that energy into. If your kids is a control freak, let him be in charge of watering the houseplants and turning off all lights. If your kid likes meddling with tools, unscrew every bolt in the house and let him ‘fix’ all those loose ones around the house. Give that irking habit a safe and positive place to express itself.

You can deny it. ‘Stop being so bossy!’ and push it in and make him feel full of shame and guilt that he has this or that trait that you cannot relate to or you do not approve of and thus you are rejecting a huge part of who your child is.

My friend says that that is why they make transformers and other manipulative sorts of toys for boys so that they can constructively use that need for meddling, manipulating, contorting.

So my son walks out with a hammer, a real one that dad gave him, we’ve graduated from the plastic Bob the Builder sorts. We want to really break stuff. So, he’s outside with the metal hammer and itching to destroy something.

Ok. It is in him. He has a need for this. Give him a healthy outlet. I don’t tell him what not to do, I tell him what to do.

You can hammer anything

that is not alive

that you find

OUTSIDE of our fence.

We live nestled on a mountainside. Outside of our fence is god’s world and he can hammer away with delight. So, he finds some bricks out there and starts shattering them with his hammer.

Happy boy. Happy mom cuz mom finally got it that that is part of who my amazingly beautiful son is.

And, once mom lets him express those sides of him, even those sides that I have no connection to whatsoever. once I allow him to be and to touch and to experience all HE needs to, we can all breathe in our home.

To Do The Work On Your Relationships:

So, who in your family has that trait that still pushes on all of your buttons?

What does she do that drives you crazy?

And, more importantly, how can you see this from a different angle?

How can you understand this need from their world, their needs?

What can you do to allow them to express this need in a healthy outlet?


Would love to hear how this rolls off your soul. All my respect and love to you,


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