Hello everyone. I'm a 39 year old former single mom (recently re-married) with a 12 year old son. I'm here for my best friend, who is also a single mom with 2 young girls, 10 and 7. Her first daughter (10 year old) has been difficult from the very beginning. Violent temper tantrums, banging head very hard on things, holding breath til literally blue in the face. Would follow their dog around once she could walk and just pull the dog's hair out (God bless that dog; he never even snapped or growled at her). When her little sister came along, she took to pulling her hair out and pinching her (still did it to the dog as well) As she got older, she would do deliberate things, then either laugh or scream at her parents (they divorced about 1 year ago), and continue the behavior. Apparently, she is an angel at school. My friend has spoken before of the possibility that her eldest might need some sort of help and yet never does anything about it. At any rate, she called me in tears over the weekend as they were at the beach with friends and the daughter was really acting out and embarrassing her and making everyone (kids and adults included) uncomfortable. She took the child's cell phone away and noticed that her (the mother's) cell number was in the child's phone as "the thing that I hate". She said she was at her wit's end and that she was going to do something about it. I told her I thought that was the best thing for her daughter and for her. I realize this is for the 5 yrs and under set but since the behavior has been present since pretty much 6 months of age on, I thought maybe I should start here. The reason is, in speaking with my friend a few days later, she said she is going to wait about doing anything for a few weeks as she is leaving for vacation (with both daughters) in a week. I understand some may feel I'm sticking my nose where it doesn't belong but the situation just continues to get worse. Does this sound like normal behavior, or maybe just an extremely headstrong kid? She'll sit in a room of people (kids and grownups alike) and not say a word, just pick a scab open or pick at a mosquito bite til it bleeds then play in the blood. It's sort of scary. I just don't know if my friend is wise to wait til she gets back from such a major trip (she lives in PA, too). sorry if I've overstepped here.