Hi ladies. I have finally hit a wall with my ds#1 and googled for help and found this forum. Seems like you ladies have a wide spectrum of experiences and may be able to shed some light on my situation. I am seeking direction. Where to go from where we are. Here is a very long rundown of my situation with ds#1: - Born 3 weeks early, fully developed, 8lbs 11 oz - at 3 weeks became EXTREMELY colicky - he cried nearly all day and night. Made it hard for him to get into a sleep/eating pattern. My husband would come home from work and take over. I would find him in tears after about an hour. It was a very challenging time for us with no family nearby to give support. I went to mommy/baby groups and family doctor for help and support. We just had to wait it out. - He did outgrow this extreme behaviour at approx. 12 weeks. - We always felt he had strong reactions to things, extremely animated, extremely happy at times, extremely frustrated when things did not go his way. - I went to work when he was 10 months old and we found a home daycare provider with more patience than anyone I have ever met. She is very accepting of behaviour outside of the "norm". - He seemed fine to go to daycare, no visible anxiety/crying etc. He always loves to get attention. He was just as difficult with her as he was with us. - We registered him for Junior Kindergarten when he was 3 3/4 years old, as that is the age we start JK here. He has always been very advanced with academic type knowledge but socially/emotionally behind. - he could say his alphabet at 18 months, could "read" most of the letters of the alphabet out of order shortly after. Learned colours, shapes etc. before age 2 (shapes including trapezoid and octagon) He seemed to focus on certain things and learn about that and then move on.... No issues with lining up, colour preference, etc. - At JK he refused to cooperate with his teachers. We chalked it up to his being too young at three and unable to verbalize his frustrations. This first school was a french immersion school, we wondered if the second language was frustrating him? He was putting in a long day from 8 am to 5pm. He was still struggling with potty issues as well and this was a source of stress for us. We pulled him out of that school and tried putting him into an english speaking school. He was equally defiant with this second teacher. I encouraged her to put him into time out, take away privileges, etc. things we do at home. She tried her best but with a class of 24 it was more than she could handle. We decided to pull him out until the following school year. He will be starting Senior Kindergarten next week!!! - After returning to his daycare for most of this past year we decided to enroll him into a pre-school program for March-June thinking that he needed a stepping stone between daycare and a structured school day. He did very well at first. He was exposed to a half day of structured activity and a half day of more free play type learning. By the end of May he was beginning to show his true colours and giving the "teachers" a hard time. They were very willing to communicate with us which we appreciated. Nothing terrible just outright refusal to do what he was asked to do!! - I have read 1,2,3 magic and count several times a day. He will often wait until I am at 3 before complying. Or just refuses and I put him into timeout. - I also set timers often to get him to do things in a timely manner, i.e. timer to finish breakfast, put on clothes, shoes, etc. - I have read most of "The Explosive Child" and I must admit that this book made me feel like I had nothing to complain about. The behaviour they describe seems far more extreme than what we are dealing with. - I am currently reading " 10 days to a less defiant child", this book struck a chord with me when the author describes these children as emotionally immature. This seems to ring true for my son. - I have read parts of a few other books aimed at parenting "spirited" children but nothing that seemed "right" - we use time out, timers, rewards for "good" behaviour, sticker charts, verbal praise, more recently we have resorted to spanking (doesn't do a thing). This is a lot of info. I know and it is all over the place but that is where we are right at the moment!! I should mention that I am a primary teacher and have taught quite a few children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), a few different extremes. I don't see this as autism due to his extremely strong interactions and emotional connections (at times). He has a younger brother who is calm, kind, easy going, etc. Exact opposite. I am due with our third son any day now too. He is going to start school next week and I am nervous about this new "start". Any advice what to do? I have painted a pretty scary picture but I have to tell you that with all of these challenges he is still the light of my life. He can be very endearing, funny, smart, smart, smart, creative, etc. These extreme opposite behaviours fuel our frustrations. He seems like he is smart enough to know better but chooses to be oppositional anyway. Thanks in advance for any advice.