After a terribly stressful, rage filled two weeks, I find myself absolutely ready to resign myself to a life of misery, but I refuse to give up. Reading Maddie's post, allowed me to recognize so much in my own daughter. I also found behavioral tracking charts to use in trying to find triggers for my daughters behavior. I am at a loss. I feel like my family is being held hostage by my daughters behavior. I don't know what to do, and for the first time in my life truly feel like I am descending into black. As I get deeper into parenting a high intensity child, I realize how early her behavior was probably different from other children. She screamed non-stop from birth to about 3 months old, she had to be entertained and engaged constantly, she could never change a routine. She was my first child, and I didn't know that children were not supposed to behave that way. I thought a good mother would play/cajole/coddle, I thought all kids threw 3 hour long tantrums when you said a toy fruit was an apple not an orange.... We went through her second year, with multiple hour long tantrums and rages. We went through self-biting, although that has stopped. Currently, she will be 4 in October. The rages seem to ebb and flow, and for awhile, they seemed to be limited to the house. Generally, my daughter is tremendously kind to other children, especially young children. I am trying a reward system, when she gets "caught being good." I am truly committed to my child, but am total at a loss. Let me digress...and give you more background. We started preschool in December, and for the first few weeks, she would make herself vomit when we got to class. Never, did her teacher ever complain about her behavior. She received complements about how good she was at school. However, the afternoons and evenings, we still saw patterns of difficulty. As we moved into summer, her back talk, disobedience, and difficult behavior has increased. I am also seeing an increase in public tantrums, which I didn't see before. Let me tell you about Saturday, and then ask for advice. On Saturday, I, my 18 month old, my difficult child, my sister and her daughter went swimming and out to lunch. We then had ice cream. At the ice cream shop, my daughter decided, after she was done eating, that we forgot to give her syrup on her ice cream. I told her she wouldn't have syrup that time, we had already almost finished. She then proceeded to go into a rage so intense that people we starting and pointing at us in the parking lot as we left the shop. Today, she went into a rage at swimming because she didn't have the same teacher as her last class. Then, she had another rage today when I wouldn't allow her to wear her dress at bedtime. Here is where I struggle, I am a former high school teacher who long believed many teenage behavior problems in my classroom was due to lax and inconsistent parenting at home. I am very focused on not allowing her to be disrespectful, but her emotional rages are not good for her or our family. Do you let some standards go that a "regular" parent might have? Do you allow your child to be defiant if it means avoiding a tantrum? Should I have given her the syrup? I am beginning to realize I am not parenting a regular kid, but want to give her a strong foundation for the future.