Hi. I will provide a brief background and then will go into the behavior issues that we are seeing. My 5 year old son was adopted by my partner and myself when he was 1 year old and has been in our custody since he was 3 months old. He was born to my adopted cousin who has significant attachment/mental health issues. She was adopted by my aunt and uncle when she was about 3 years old and struggled with attachment issues until she ended up back in the system at about age 9. She admittedly smoked marijuana while pregnant with my son and took other medications prescribed by her psychiatrist. I'm not sure what drugs those were though. My partner has stayed home with him since we got custody of him. He has only been to babysitters a handful of times. He has a good relationship with my partners parents and my mom as well. He has limited contact with his birth family and has had no contact with his birth mom. Now on to the behaviors we are seeing now. He has always been a very well behaved child. He made his own sleep schedule at about 4-5 months of age, 7pm-7am with a 2 hour nap from 12-2pm. He potty trained with no problem. He always listened well and did what was asked of him. This past September he began preschool (we started him a bit late). His behavior problems began when he started urinating in his room, not because he was having an accident, but because "look mom, it disappears in the carpet." We explained to him where it REALLY went, but this didn't stop the behavior. He urinates in his heater vent, between his dresser and the wall, at the foot of his bed, and the last time was on his bed (after he had just gone to the restroom). Apparently the cat that he is best buddies with was in his room, and he was trying to pee on the cat. The other behavior he has exhibited recently is when we ask him to do something, he is either saying "no" flat out (but usually still doing it) or he is making a hissing sound as he does it, usually directed toward me. Then, about a week ago, I caught him taking steak knives into his bedroom and then hiding them under the bed. When my partner did a search of his room, we found more steak knives hidden under his bed. He did this when he was about 3 years old also, but that time he got up in the middle of the night and was trying to "cut the cat's hair". Then, yesterday he "stole" the scissors from his preschool class and hid them under his bed. He had paper under there that he was cutting. He admitted to doing this. I asked him why he didn't ask his teacher if he could borrow them, and his response was "because the children can't take them home.". So, he knew flat out that it was wrong to take them. We had him take them back to class today and tell his teachers and apologize. I need some feedback on this. I can't express enough that I LOVe my child's personality. He is extremely intelligent and not a push over at all. I love his leadership qualities and that he questions authority. I need to know how to channel these personality traits in positive ways. I don't want to squash his spirit. We give him time outs for talking back, not doing what he is asked to do, etc. We are both very consistent with this. We warned him once about the peeing, but when he did it again, he didn't get to go play with his cousin and aunt, and he also lost his toys for a week (all but his puzzles and books. We don't want him to get too bored). He kicked his grandma (she has spoiled him rotten since the day he walked into her family. He stays with her and his grandpa one night and one day per week) when she wouldn't buy him something. He was warned that if he did it again, he wouldn't get to go the following week. He did it again, and then didn't get to go. He has done better since then. He also told me recently that I'm not his real mom and that he had a mom when he was born and she gave him to me. I'm wondering if he is needing to grieve the loss of his birth mom? He is extremely attached to us. Especially to my partner who has been home with him since he came to us. Overall, he is a happy, ACTIVE (very athletically inclined. He begins soccer this month), intelligent child.. He is also stubborn, strong willed, and defiant. Can anyone offer helpful feedback? I really do appreciate it. I love him very much and want to help him become all that he can be without squashing his spirit.