“My child has a short fuse” is something we hear a lot. Do you know or have a child that seems to overreact to every emotion or stimulus? A child that doesn’t seem to be able to process emotions or know how to show them?

This short fuse or inability to process emotion may look like:

  • school struggles
  • struggles with peers
  • behavior problems
  • struggles at home

When parents ask their kids something like “Hey buddy, can you put on your shoes?” or “Can you take the garbage out?”, they say it’s like lighting that extremely short fuse.

In no time at all, the child goes from 0 to 60 and are veering out of control. This is because they are trying to process what is being asked of them. They have so many thoughts coming in at one time, that it is impossible for them to filter and process them. They become overwhelmed.

After talking with many parents at my Middleton chiropractic clinic, the analogy that makes sense to them is looking at a brightly colored volleyball. Think of a Van Gogh painting. There are so many swirls, colors, geometrics, that it can be hard to process it all at once.

This is what these children are experiencing in these moments. All those colors and swirls are swimming around in their head.

my child has a short fuse


Often, we try things like behavioral therapy, diet changes, occupational therapy, movement therapy, vision therapy, and the list goes on.

We want the best for our kids. So, we go to these lengths to help them. If we can find a therapy that works, they will be happier, right?


Our brains are like a computer processor. It needs input to process things, so the output is clear.

Most often, the problem isn’t with the processor or brain. This issue is more likely the quality of the input that the processor receives.

A child that is having difficulty processing and/or controlling emotions, has a brain that is getting poor input.
Imagine trying to do a task that you boss assigned to you, but they gave you really unclear instructions. Think about how you would feel. You’d be stressed, and you would have a short fuse. Little things would set you off, because you’re just trying to process and focus on that task. Then the task is going to be hard to complete well.


How do we use the different therapies, like behavioral therapy, to allow our children to get the best from them? It’s important to look at and start with the spine. Often, these children’s brains or processors are overloaded with thoughts, emotions, and responses, and unable to receive clear input.

We need to restore those circuits or pathways to the brain to allow the proper quality of input to be entered, and then the output will be better. This starts with the spine.

My child has a short fuse – WHERE CHIROPRACTIC COMES IN…

As a pediatric chiropractor, we can measure the input that the brain is receiving. This input is the perception your child is receiving of reality. It is their reality. Everything that a child with a short fuse is perceiving, is real. So, they react to that. It’s hard for them.

We measure the input and see where there is interference in the circuit or spine. We can then adjust your child’s spine accordingly. This adjusts the quality of input they are receiving, and in turn, we see a change in behaviors or the output.

It is a beautiful thing working with families.

As your child gets more adjustments, you may notice they are able to handle transitions more smoothly and their fuse becomes longer. What a beautiful thing to witness!

Want to chat about your child and their struggles with sensory overload? Click here to tell us more! Helping kids like yours is what we do best! You’ll discover that it will help not just your child, but your whole family!

We are here for you!