In the past year difficult child 1 has started to run away during conflicts with the parental units (husband and me). He'll get p.o.'d over something -- usually a limit that is set -- and will just take off for a while. He's done this before on two occasions at home (and because it was raining or cold out and he couldn't go far on foot in his pajamas, we didn't really worry much). But when it happens in an unfamiliar place, like the timeshare we were at in Hawaii, the anxiety factor in me goes up. I realize that it's happening when his medications are worn off, that he's immature for his age, that he does it because he feels out of control and doesn't know what else to do. After about an hour or so, he usually comes back and apologizes and feels bad about leaving. I don't mind him taking a "time out" when he's upset and have told him that before. What I DO mind is him trying to punish us by leaving and making a big deal about it. I've told him as much many times. On July 4th, we spent the afternoon watching movies at home. difficult child 1 wanted to do this and got to choose some of the movies. In the late afternoon/early evening, we traditionally go to our city park to play frisbee or football, listen to the band playing, and then wait for the fireworks show. This year, we all decided to stay home and watch one more movie, then we'd leave for the park about an hour before the fireworks. difficult child 1 wants to bring a football or frisbee or something to play with. We explain that there won't be: 1. TIME because we'll have just enough time to park the car, walk to the field, find a spot and wait a few minutes for the show, or 2. SPACE as the field is really full of people by that time of night (we're talking thousands of people picnicking on this field). difficult child 1 insists on looking for something to play with (meanwhile the rest of the family is in the car waiting to go). He comes back with 4 tennis rackets and a can of balls! husband yells at him to put it back, while I explain AGAIN the reasons why he can't do this. difficult child 1 could not accept this situation and began to sulk, which just escalated as we drove closer to the park. By the time we stopped the car, he refused to get out. husband yelled at him and he got out reluctantly, scowling of course. Then he refused to walk with the rest of the family, lagging far behind. When it was time to cross the highway, a police officer had stopped traffic for a group of us, and difficult child 1 was still lagging behind. The cop told him to hurry up, and he just kept plodding along at his slow pace. As we got closer to the park, difficult child 1 decided to climb up in a tree and refused to come down. husband told him we were going to the park and if he wanted to come with us, fine, and if not, he was expected to be at the car by the time we got back or we would leave without him and he could walk home. So we ended up watching the show without him. And when we walked back, he was waiting for us not far from his "tree". He took my hand and was very apologetic. And we talked about how it all could have been handled better on both sides. I don't know if husband would have left for home without difficult child 1 -- I personally don't agree with making threats like that. But I can also appreciate the frustration husband is feeling because difficult child 1 has pulled this stunt close to a half dozen times just in the last two or three weeks. difficult child 1 turns 14 in about 8 weeks and husband feels that it's time he learned that he can't try to manipulate people like this and that the family isn't going to wait around while he has his hissy fit. Part of me felt really bad about leaving him there in the dark up a tree, even if it was his choice. Part of me hoped he'd learn something from this. Part of me worried something would happen to him. Part of me knows he's a smart kid who's acting impulsively. He's also taken to mouthing off a LOT more and actually flipped me off TO MY FACE during one of his tantrums in Hawaii. Things got ugly a few times and it did not bring out the best in me. I stilll haven't bought the Explosive Child, but perhaps there are some answers for husband and I there. What do you all think? Normal teenage cr@p? Normal ADHD teenage cr@p? I'm ready for a kid-free vacation now.