Let me introduce myself... I am the mother of two, a 10 yo daughter and a 3 1/2 yo difficult child DS. From birth, I never had any behavior problems with my daughter. When she was hungry, she gave me enough pre-cry grunts and wiggles to let me know long before she resorted to crying. As a crawler and toddler, I merely had to say her name and raise my eyebrows to stop any inappropriate behavior. I thought I was a great parent and had this discipline thing down to a science. Then along came my son... From the very beginning, I knew he was different from my daughter. He was very demanding from the day he was born. He went straight into a ticked off scream when he was hungry or uncomfortable. I thought this was normal and I was just blessed with an exceptionally good natured first baby. Somewhere between 6-9 months I started to think his temper was not normal. When he was 10 months old, after observing him for several days my sister said, "Wow. He's going through the terrible two's and he's not even one yet." At 15 months I signed up for a parenting class because by that point I was feeling like a total failure as a parent and didn't know how to handle him. They taught "Love and Logic" which in my opinion was totally useless for a child that age. in my opinion a child needs reasoning skills for that program to be effective and they just don't have them at 15 mos. He has some now, but he is so defiant most of the time that he just doesn't use them. Most children will respond to discipline by someone other than mom or dad, but not him. The first time I realized this was when he had just turned two and a pretty big and burly male friend of mine listened to me try to deal with a temper tantrum for a while and (with my blessing) he stepped in and tried to handle him. He used a firm voice and told him to stop or he would spank him. I was scared for him but it didn't phase my son and he went off on a screaming tirade at my friend! I've been waiting and telling myself he would outgrow this behavior, but deep down I've known for a long time that there is something not right with him. Now at 3 1/2 he is just as defiant as ever and I am more stressed than I ever thought a child of my own would make me. He seems to set up situations for the sole purpose of starting a tantrum. For instance, he always goes to bed with a cup of water. Tonight he came out of the bedroom and said he was done with it and wanted to save the rest for tomorrow. He always wants water in the middle of the night so I told him to just put it by his pillow so that it would be there when he wanted it again. A tantrum ensued and he kept screaming for me to take it. I didn't because I knew as soon as I took it, he would scream that he wanted it back. Then if I gave it back to him he would scream for me to put it up and so on. The "I want a bite" game I wrote about in another post is another example of this. As long as everything is going his way and he has control over everything, he is fine and happy and loving. But he does not take "no" well and throws huge tantrums, saying hateful and hurtful things to me during them. Once he calms down, he always appologizes to me and acts as though he is hurt and sad by his own actions. I feel like I am always walking on eggshells with him because I never know which "no" will send him into a tizzy. I also find myself constantly second guessing myself as to how to handle him. I discovered ODD a while back and it describes my son to a tee. I know they say it usually is a co-morbid condition, but at this age it's hard to tell if there is anything else going on. in my opinion he is no more hyper or inattentive than a 3 1/2 yo boy should be but only time will tell if he has ADHD. I wonder if it could be BiPolar (BP) and the thought of that scares me to death. He is well adjusted socially and plays well with other children, probably better than most. He is very smart and has a real intrest in letters and words and is already able to sound out and spell a lot of 3 letter words. I have been worried about addressing his issues with anyone for a long time because I am afraid they will just blow me off and tell me he's just a normal 3 yo, when I know he is not. I am having my daughter evaluated and her dr's office called today to move up her next appointment. so I told her about my son and asked if he was too young to be evaluated and wound up making him an appointment too. There are so many more issues going on here but I will save them for a later date. Sorry this is so long but thank you to any of you who have made it through to the end. I have needed this kind of fellowship with parents of similar children for so long because most of my friends are perfect parents of perfect children and I feel so judged by them.