Ok, my son has always been a difficult child, but I just figured it was his personality. He has been through a lot in the past few years, and he is only 5, so I have been saying since he could walk, "It's just a phase. We'll get through this." Some of my friends jokingly said that my son is a terror, and I said, "Oh, he's not that bad. He's just a boy." One of my close friends sat me down and said, "Amy, I'm a boy. I did not act that way when I was 5 years old. I don't know many kids who will simply ignore their mother and walk all over her the way he does you. Ask your best friend what she thinks if you don't believe me! She won't say it to your face unless you ask her for her opinion." So, I asked her opinion and was told, "Well, I believe the comment he's referring to was one night when J was being particularly difficult. I said something like, 'If he doesn't change the path he's on, he'll end up a sociopath.' But he just has some of the signs that concern me, that's all." So, as you can imagine, I was up until midnight reading the forums and finding information on sociopathic behavior in children. And now I'm scared. Is my son a sociopath? He is the sweetest child when he wants to be! He is always asking, "Mom, are you happy at me?" because he doesn't want anyone upset. He's extremely social and knows no strangers, especially when outside or at school, but then he'll walk out of the room, grab the dogs tail and just keep walking with it! I'm like, "OK! When you were three, I could see this as, hey what happens when I do this? but you're 5! We've had this dog for 2 years! Leave the poor dog alone!" As an only child for the first two years of his life, J was never lacking attention. He and I lived with my parents because I left an abusive relationship with his father when I found out I was pregnant. For the first 18 months of his life he lived in a house with 5 other adults (my parents, myself, and my two sisters when they graduated from college) and was the center of everyone's world. When he was 2, I remarried and he became the youngest of 4 children that I was now responsible for taking care of. We got our first family dog, and he was in love with her! He has always played too roughly with her, though, ever since she was a puppy. She will often growl or yelp and I know that he has hit her or pulled her tail in the other room and I have to run in to find out what is going on and make sure that she doesn't end up biting him! We adopted another small dog, a miniture poodle, about a year later, and she does not tolerate his annoyance as well, so he tends to avoid her, but the dog that he sees as "his" is constantly poked, pulled, laid on, kicked, or smacked, just to see what kind of a reaction will come. I don't know if this qualifies as hurting animals, and my mother says he's just trying to see what will happen, like studying cause and effect, but it scares me! I have also read that bed wetting is another sign of sociopathy in children. He is five years old and I have to have him sleep in pull ups because otherwise he sleeps so soundly that he will wet the bed. For about a month I was letting him sleep without them because he said they were uncomfortable, but then I discovered that he was wetting his bed at night and then covering it with is blankets so that I couldn't feel that the bed was wet. When I changed the sheets this weekend, there were at least 4 stains on the leakproof matress cover from where he had wet the bed and then tried to hide it by covering it. I worried that it was the dog peeing in his room somewhere, but once I found the source of the smell and washed it, it has gone away. J and I are on our own again because my second husband and I divorceed this summer, and J lost two older brothers and an older sister in the divorce. I was basically a single mother with four kids and a house to care for while my husband played video games or slept, and I could not handle the stress of it all by myself. When I left, my husband took his kids to another state and has not allowed us to see them since the beginning of August. I know this has had a tremendous effect on him and his behavior, but I don't know what to do other than make sure he has all the attention and love he needs. J ignores me if I say something he doesn't want to hear. He will manipulate a situation to get what he wants, as well. He used to call my mother and tell her that I was drinking or something else that my mother didn't approve of, trying to get her to come pick him up from our house. He hasn't done that since I got a new cell phone that locks when not in use, but it really bothered me. I did not drink around him, even when I did drink, but I have stopped drinking, even just one drink, because I don't want him growing up with the wrong ideas or examples. J has no hesitation lying or stealing, and has been trying to take toys home with him from daycare since he was probably 3. The other day at school he got in trouble for stealing another child's candy from the treasure box, because he had not had a good day and did not get to pick from the treasure box that day. I often cannot tell if he is lying or not, and I don't know how to deal with it! I don't want to discipline him if he is telling the truth, but I have no way of knowing!!! He has not hit me or his teachers or friends at school, but when he gets angry, he throws fits, turns over chairs, throws whatever is in his hands, and if we're at home, he'll throw whatever he has in his hands at me. I have threatened to take his stuffed animals off his bed on nights when he is being particularly difficult because I know that he will probably end up throwing them all off the bed into the floor and then use that as an excuse to get up again. Either that or he will throw them at me as I stand in the doorway. Is my son displaying normal 5 year old behaviors, even for a 5 year old who has been through as much as he has lately? Or do I need to be concerned about this? Is my best friend right? Is my son a sociopath? How do I find a good doctor in my area? I mean, surely there is someone in the DFW area who he can see on a regular basis to help me figure out what's going on! We're in Arlington, so we're right in the middle of anything. I just don't know where to start or how to find a specialist. I feel so silly going to his pediatrician about this. I mean, I've never said anything about his behavior to her, and he's so smart! She's always complimenting him for being ahead for his age, and I'm terrified that this is all my imagination, fueled by my best friends tendency to overstate things. Any advice would be welcome! Thanks!