Hello, I am new to this site. I found this site after spending sitting on the couch monitoring my two littlest boys to make sure that no one got injured. This is actually how I spend most of my evenings. Dealing with physical and verbal outbursts and feeling so inadequate and angry. Let me introduce myself. I am a 33 year old mother of 4 (1 I gave birth to and 3 who stole my heart when I fell in love with their father and my fiance). I work as a child case manager for a community mental health agency. I spend all day working with children with significant mental health diagnoses that impacts their daily functioning, teaching them coping, social, and emotional management skills as well as supporting their parents in their efforts to manage their children's behavior. My little boy is 5. My fiance has a 5 year old, a 12 year old, and a 14 year old. Our two five year olds are 6 weeks apart. If I and my stepson's mother had carried to term, the boys (as we call them) would have had the same birthday. But we both had preemies. My fiance is a full time student and he works part time too. We are busy needless to say. My fiance's five year old is a challenging child. He was just diagnosed with ADHD (but we have known for a long time that he had it). We have, together, started a new therapy program with him that we are hopeful about. He has experienced way more than he should have in his short life. He is a fighter. Has been since the day he was born. He was born 2 1/2 months premature after his mother was ejected from a car through the sun roof in an accident. He spent the first 2 1/2 months of his life in the NICU. I met him right before he turned 2. He had these beautiful blue eyes. They were huge and surrounded by the longest eye lashes I have ever seen. While we try to make our home stable and loving, our home is very different from his mother's and this is hard for him. He only spends limited amounts of time there but he doesn't yet understand why this is the way things have to be and it makes his sad and angry. He started kindergarten in the fall. While he loves school, he struggles and we have just started the testing to determine if he is eligible for special education services. As far back as I can remember, we have always struggled with his behavior. He is highly active. Never slows down. He is a risk taker. I can remember when he was almost 3 finding him jumping off the top bunk of the bunk beds because simply because he could. And he landed perfectly. He is very athletically inclined and is good at almost every sport he plays. But he loves football and swimming. The funny thing is, he is kind if clumsy in every day activities (like walking). He trips a lot and bumps into things. He is rough and slams everything from toys when playing to forks when eating. He loves his family and makes sure to tell me everyday that he "loves me for his while life". But there is a dark side to him. We had a horrible time getting him to sleep, right from the start. He would scream for 2 hours every night before finally passing out. Once we started using Melatonin and got him onto a regular schedule falling asleep got easier but he still does not sleep through the night. He gets up to go to the bathroom and still insists on waking one of us up to tell us. Usually we find him in our room around 3AM trying to get into our bed. His tantrums have always been intense but as he has gotten older, they have gotten more violent. I remember at 3 he was flipping over furniture and kicking and headbutting the wall when we tried to put him in time out. We eventually had to resort to restraining him in order to keep him and our home safe. There is a predictability to these times. He pushes it to the point that we (it is usually me) have to restrain him. Then he fights and screams for a while and then I start to sing to him. His body relaxes and he eventually turns himself into me and cuddles. Then we are usually good for the night. He has also always kicked people. Before he could talk that was how he greeted people, by kicking them in the shins. Then he moved on to kicking people in the privates and laughing. Then it was slapping people across the face. Thankfully, we never went through a biting stage (although there was a time when he bit my finger because he was pretending to be a dog and was completely out of control). I burst into tears and he didn't do that again. Recently however, he has become really violent. This weekend, he gave my son a black eye after throwing a toy car at him. Tonight started when I got to daycare to pick them up. The daycare provider (who is wonderful) told me he had been in time out 3 times since 3:00 for hitting my son. I knew I was in trouble. When we got home it was more of the same. He kicked my son twice and gave him another knot on the head by throwing a toy car at him. He had to spend time in time out DURING dinner because he kept putting his fist in my son's face and threatening to punch him. He takes pleasure in hurting others. And so I find myself here. Exhausted and overwhelmed and wanting so badly to have a good night and actually enjoy being home with him instead of just trying to survive the night. Thanks for listening.