(Well, one among the doubtless many). There is a recurring pattern with J that I saw tonight and I think it is telling me something that I need to grasp more than I presently can. The pattern is this: he begins by having what I call tantrums (ie shouting and crying) about something or other, to do with something he wants to do or have and for whatever reason cannot, I get annoyed - not very annoyed, just annoyed, my tone of voice, facial expressions - the mood escalates until I think I have to do something to break it. So I will propose an activity together - J loves to help so, tonight, after the sweets-related tantrums (it may seem harsh on my part to limit him to a few but halloween is not a big deal here, he has never been involved in it before, so doesn't associate it with loads of sweets) that seemed to be escalating into nowhere good, I proposed he helped me make supper. Eagerly he agreed and was busy pinching the ends off beans and shredding chicken. And he is then so anxious to please, trying to be really good, saying please and thankyou, saying things like "I did help, mummy, and I like to help you!" and doing everything I ask, straightaway. He is also very cuddly and affectionate. It really is like a different child. I am not sure how to "deconstruct" this other than to think that despite all my good theory, I am still not really believing that J's explosions are not his "fault" and I am reacting to them with annoyance as though he is choosing to be naughty... my reactions seem to be hurting him emotionally so that he is then really keen to "get back in my good books" - which you would never think when he is raging around, saying horrible things and acting defiantly... This really is SO hard, actually, to see the bad behaviour as something he totally cannot control, like a broken leg (in keista's image)... I wonder if I could react lovingly instead of punitively when he is difficult whether it would be helpful. Honestly, he is such a darling when he is being "good", which seems to be related to having some directed, focused activity, that it is genuinely confusing. Any insights... as ever, gratefully received.