I am reading "The Explosive Child" very avidly at the moment. J has got more and more explosive and I have been flioundering around with it all, losing my rag, often getting explosive back. Yeah, I should know better but in the heat of the moment often I don't. A Moroccan woman I know here - really she's not a friend any more - poured contempt and rejection on our heads the other day because J had a meltdown while at her house and then refused to leave. This has been a BIG battleground, this refusing to leave places he doesn't want to leave... Anyway, her approach is to beat a child into submission, literally, and she no doubt thinks this is the required solution for J... Today the penny kind of (re) dropped. I have to use my own judgement and intuition to parent J, not what my society is telling me I need to do with him. Here's an example - I could choose many!! Tonight he wouldn't go to sleep by himself in his bed. Until recently I have had the habit of going to sleep with him in his room by lying down with him and then leaving when he was asleep but I feel he really needs to learn how to go to sleep alone now... he is approaching seven. Of course he is rigid, inflexible, incredibly persistent so we had about an hour of him refusing to go to bed as I would not lie down with him, making his bed in the corridor, banging on my bedroom door relentlessly. I suppose I could have attempted a power struggle but no party wins in these... So eventually I took him on my lap and he told me that he was scared of mice and rats (something he picked up while we were at my mother's in the UK... she had mice and I am slightly phobic). I eventually agreed to sit on a chair outside his open door, reading a book. This seemed like some sort of compromise that we both accepted. After about five minutes he declared he wasn't scared any more and that I needn't sit there any more... Compromise and negotiation are going to be the way forward. He completely lacks the skills to deal with frustration or thwarted plans. Getting angry with him is not going to teach him any of those skills in any way. Many people may not approve but I know in my guts I have to throw all the conventional wisdom out the door.