Hi I'm new here and looking for some feedback. My son will be 4 in a month. We've struggled with behavioral issues with him since he was about 18 months. We have tried various methods for correction: time-outs, positive reinformcement, taking away toys, ignoring bad behavior, picking our battles, etc. They are only momentarily effective. He seems to require strict consistency, as he's exceptionally smart, and once we slip up he knows it. We're not perfect, and it's impossible to catch everything (we have a 20 month old son, too) and to be completely consistent. We try to come as close as possible, though. He's very strong-willed and particular about how things should be done and whom they should be done by. He has essentially established his own "rules" on how he wants things done and is quick to point out if you deviate from them. Not abiding his rules results in a full-blown tantrum, which is typically what happens. For example, if he wants a glass of milk, it has to be gotten by the person of his choice (typically me) and in the cup he wants at the moment. If the cup is the wrong color or another person gets it, he throws a screaming tantrum. His tantrums can last for several hours. They typically involve screaming, thrashing, hitting, and throwing. He says very mean things and sometimes gets a demonic look in his eyes. Recently, he seems to want to hurt me while he's throwing a tantrum. When he was 2, he flipped over my mom's kitchen table during a tantrum. Time-outs can only be accomplished if he's locked in his room, but then he destroys his room. He frustrates quickly. He's increasingly defiant. I don't expect him to follow directions perfectly, as he's only 3. But he only does things if and when he wants to do them. Otherwise, he completely ignores me or throws a heated tantrum. He's obsessed with cars and trucks and would play with them exclusively if we didn't try to diversify his toys and activities. Lately, he's been waking 6-7 times a night with nightmares. I know he's sleep deprived, so that's making things worse. He's also suddenly quite clingy, wanting to sit in my lap all the time, only be in rooms where I am, and not wanting to be left alone. He doesn't seem to like abrupt change and prefers to be warned about things coming up. He seems to have difficulty settling down long enough to focus on something, but once he focuses or if the activity is something he really likes, he doesn't have attention problems. His behavior in public is generally good. He's only thrown tantrums at stores a couple times because he didn't get his way about something, like when I selected a shopping cart different from the one he wanted. He screamed during the entire shopping trip. But that's a rareity. He's typically well-behaved in public. He also does well in preschool. His teacher said she'd take a classroom full of him. He's described as helpful, nurturing, and encouraging to his classmates. He's very social and talkative. She notices he's strong-willed but it's manifested in quiet resistance to direction or change and eventual compliance. I have a history of mental/conduct issues on my side of the family. I have ADHD, my mother has ADD, my brother and father have bipolar disorder, and an uncle and 2 cousins have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). I'm not sure if my son's behaviors are simply a very strong-willed child (incidentally, my mom says his behavior is very similar to mine at that age) or if something more is going on. I do know his behavior is getting worse rather than better no matter what we try. Any thoughts are greatly appreciated!