After yet another morning of fighting with one of my children, I googled ODD and was extremely depressed to find that they fit every single behavior perfectly. I'm laying it out here because I'm just so frustrated and I need help. I have a daughter who is 8 and a son who is 6, we are long past the point where temper tantrums should no longer be a part of our daily life. I just don't know what to do about it. I have described it to others in the past this way - they think they are prisoners of war and they have to resist for resistance sake. One will hit the other and I will tell them they need to go to their room for 5 minutes. Usually they will not move without threat of further punishment, if this is given they will do whatever they can on the way up to **** me off - throw things, knock things down, hit me, hit something else, slam doors, etc. 95% of the time, a 5 minute time-out in their room turns into an hour or more because of their behavior between the time I gave the initial punishment and when they finally went to their room. They often tell me that whatever punishment I am offering is something they are fine with. "I don't need that toy". I have to ratchet up punishments extremely high to get them to take them seriously and when I do finally reach the point where I've gotten past their 'I can take it' they then move to throwing a full blown tantrum over whatever it is, crying, screaming, wailing loudly. If I touch them during a fight (like to pick them up say by the armpits and carry them to their room) they will react as if I am beating them by screaming and accusing me of hurting them. I feel like I yell constantly, because if I don't yell its literally like I am not there. Anything I say has zero bearing with them, they will not take my suggestions, even when given nicely at a time when we are not fighting. It's as if they think I'm an idiot and nothing I say could possibly be true. When my daughter was 3, my husband once came home to us having a fight on the lawn about what a telephone pole was, because she would not believe me when I told her. They both attend a montessori school, not a traditional public school, so they have no school problems. This is because the method allows the children significantly liberty and freedom in how they do their work, without which I am 100% positive we would have serious issues. The school does not have homework. The idea of trying to force them to do homework they don't want to do is probably a huge contributor to we went with this school. I am not a strict parent, we don't keep a clean house really. They watch almost no tv at home and play very very little computer/video games. (They do watch TV at my parents house when we are there) They have a few responsibilities that I require of them, but mostly I am not a taskmaster. We fight about basic things that I feel like at 6 and 8 I shouldn't have to fight my children on. Brushing hair, getting shoes on, taking a bath (but I just took one last week!), getting strapped in in the car. My daughter responds to every single request with 'Why?' - not because she doesn't understand why, I've explained why 100 times for each task, what she really means is 'Why should I do what you want?'. My son takes however you phrased it and interprets it as literally as possible and spits it back at you. Example: 'Please pick up your backpack and hang it on the hook' 'I don't know where it is!' (in an angry voice, without any attempt to look, its right behind him), 'It's right there' (pointing) 'Well that that means it is right here' (pointing to a spot on the ground). He basically uses this technique to manufacture an excuse not to comply. I don't think I handle this whole thing very well. Most of our fights end in screaming, partially because I'm so frustrated and angry. I've hurt myself several times in anger (grabbing something and clenching and shaking it I will pull my neck, pounding my hand on the table out of anger I've brused my palm) and a handful of times I've resorted to spanking, which I don't want to do and I'm ashamed I have done it. I am strong willed myself and I'm positive they got this personality trait from my and my father through me. The stories of what my father and uncles did to my grandmother are legendary and disturbing (and my father is proud of it and eggs my children on - which is a whole 'nother problem). My parents didn't use corporal punishment with us (except, like me, for maybe a handful of times when I think my mother just got too frustrated) - my father always said the only reason he didn't do it was because it wasn't effective - his father used to discipline with his belt and my dad said it never stopped him from misbehaving. I fought constantly with my mother and I can feel in myself that I have an automatic resistance to being told what to do still now. I am usually against the grain of society, I'm the one who doesn't like the popular show/actor/device, etc that everyone else raves about. The more adamant people are about how great something is, the more resistant I am to trying it. I am fairly self-aware and introspective, so I try to notice this and work around it, but it definitely comes into play with my kids. I'm reluctant to give in to their demands for probably the same reasons they are reluctant to give into mine. I can remember distinctly not wanting to do something specifically because I was told, preferring to do it when I wasn't asked at all, often waiting until my mother was literally at wits end before giving in and doing it. So I know that my children's behavior is not due to my indulgence, giving in to bad behavior or letting them get away with things. When I commit to something, I will take it to the point it needs to be taken to in order to win the battle of wills. I know that may not necessarily be the right solution, but my point is that I definitely don't encourage behavior by giving in to their temper tantrums. So at age 8, it doesn't make sense to me that she should say headbutt me in the stomach because she doesn't like what I'm saying (as she did this morning at school dropoff) because that has *never* gotten her what she wanted and only ever brought more punishment down. I'm starting to realize that this has to be ODD because a normal child would have long ago realized they weren't getting what they wanted out of the deal. My husband has none of these issues - his parents are the passive agressive types who barely even suggest one should do something. I don't think they ever yelled at him. Sometimes they can get my kids to do things, but when my kids don't want to they walk all over them. My kids have turned my husband into a yeller, even with his far-larger patience and the fact that he spends less time with the kids during the day (since he goes to work early comes home late) which lets him be more patient than me, they still take him to the point of anger and frustration and yelling daily. Okay, I'm writing a dang book, I have to stop now, thank you to anyone who read this far. As I said in the title, I'm at my wits end and don't even really know where to start to improve our situation.