My son would try the patience of a saint (a British English expression - do you say that in the States?) and I am not blessed with such patience... I can go with the flow of events and behaving acceptingly and compassionately when there is clearly some external reason beyond his "control" for his meltdowns or contrariness - hunger, exhaustion - but his plain bolshie-ness and difficultness REALLY pushes my buttons. Almost anything I want to do becomes a drama and crisis with him protesting and objecting, shouting and crying... It wears me out, it really does, and I have got so tired of it... We are just about to go out for example and where we are going the dog can't come so I said that on the way we will stop and take the dog for a walk. Oh no, that doesn't suit His Lordship! Shouting, crying, he doesn't want to do that, he wants to go riding on his bike - okay, I say, getting annoyed (saintly patience not having flown to my aid), we will take your bike in the car and I will walk the dog on the path while you ride. Oh no, oh no! He doesnt want to ride his bike with a grown up, he wants to ride it with another child and he wants to call on the boy in the village he sometimes plays with so he can come too... At which point I lost it and just shouted at him. I don't even know if I regret it. It's impossible! No hunger at play - he had an enormous and nutritious lunch - and no tiredness. He just sometimes has to be difficult for the sake of it, it seems, and oh boy does it irritate me!! He then started crying because I was angry at him and wanted to sit on my lap - okay, fine, he sits on my lap, I talk nicely to him, he then says he wants to take the dog for a walk around the village which he does. I HATE these scenes, even though in a sense I co-create them I think because I just can't accept catering to his every whim and engaging in endless negotiations about EVERY decision or action we take. He explodes and I get angry and I am sure it is not healthy. But would it be any healthier to do what he wants all the time? Of course not. Remind you of your own experiences? Any insights?