Hi there everyone! I am so glad I found this place. I feel we have a problem! I am the stepmom to two children, a girl, aged 8, who is pretty normal but who does have a few insecurity issues (which, thankfully are resolving themselves over time) and a boy aged six who...has a few problems. A little background. The children are not the product of good circumstances, to say the least. I've known them since they were 2 and 4. Their mother abandoned them completely 2.5 years ago. The daughter does get sad sometimes thinking about her mom, especially now that I am pregnant with their little sister, and she sees how much I care about this baby - and feels sad that her mom took off on her. It's totally understandable and totally copable-with. I can completely deal with that - it makes perfect sense. The little boy, however, has always been a little unusual. I do certainly attribute this in part to care, since when his mother was around, she really didn't take care of her children at all. He was left in car seats constantly, or in a playpen with no diaper on - poop would run down his leg. Hi father at the time was away at work a lot, and after his mother left he was left in the care of the paternal grandmother who...well, didn't have any discipline at all for either child because she felt so sorry for them. When I came into the picture as the stepmom, he was four, and regularly pooping his pants in public - stores even. Regularly. He didn't talk much - though by that time the situation had improved. Eventually he began to talk, and the poop incidences became fewer and farther between. Fast forward to kindergarten - he was a little slower than other kids but altogether, just about hung on. Didn't really want to learn. Now that we're in 1st grade however, all hell has broken loose. I'm 35 weeks pregnant, and do most of the parenting as Dad is still at work a lot. So here we go... For...oh gosh about seven months I suppose, he's been increasingly mean to people. Everyone, actually. Now at first, I assumed it was an attention thing - so gave him more attention. But it quickly became apparent that unless he was the center of attention ALL the time, he would act badly toward others. I mean ALL the time. Obviously with a little sister and another baby on the way, this isn't possible. So things got steadily worse and worse. The things he'd throw would become larger and more hurtful. At this stage he still gets told off at school for throwing rocks - and now, at people. Just the other day he actually hit another little boy in the face with a rock. So yes, he likes to throw things now - when he has a tantrum, he goes to the top of the stairs and plays target practice with the front door at the bottom, throwing things down the stairs until the floor is coated! He'll throw over chairs, throw shoes - you name it. When he's mad he will actually come into the kitchen while I'm cooking and throw something at me! Now let me tell you: I'm firm, I always follow through with consequences in a timely manner and I put my foot down quickly if there is violence or bad behavior happening. I don't shout unless there's a very loud argument going on between him and his sister: then it's a question of being heard before they come to blows. I never spank - never have - BUT I have had to restrain him from throwing things before: about a week ago, it came to a crux, you see: He'd become mad at me because I'd told him to replace the cushions on the sofa, which he'd thrown everywhere. In his typical "pushing" way - which is he does every time you try to tell him he needs to get something done (homework, hanging coat up - you name it) he chose instead to ignore me completely and play with the cat. I told him a couple more times in a nice voice, and told him that if he chose to continue ignoring me, it'd be time out. Sure enough, he chose to continue to ignore, and I told him to go stand in the corner. He then got angry and started replacing the pillows, saying he didn't want to go into the corner. I told him that he would have to stand there for five minutes, as I'd said, because he chose to ignore what I was saying to him, and now was too late to be doing what he'd been told to do in the first place... Well, so of course a tantrum happened. First of all, chairs were thrown over, then a stool. Then toys got thrown out of boxes. Then, the snowboots in the hall were thrown into the living room. Then he saw me standing there and started hurling them at my (then) 33 week stomach... I took several pairs in the stomach before intervening in that. I walked over and took him by the back of the arms to stop him throwing anything else - not violently - but, I had to stop him. Well by that point he was completely enraged, and twisted free, throwing a can of garbage at me, and then turned and punched me in the belly! Naturally I said to him "okay, go upstairs and be in your room now" - to which he retorted that he wasn't going anywhere. Well, I told him indeed, he was and that I would not let him act this way around his sister, and that punching was not okay. I was also by this time exhausted - Dad was still at work for another 1/2 hour. So off he stomped, and then proceeded to destroy his room and throw a bunch of stuff down the stairs... I mean seriously, I am exhausted with this type of thing happening. I'm not physically violent with him at all - never have been. I've never even sworn in his presence. He regards me as "mom" - tells all his friends. Now anyway, there's moooore...lol. He destroys people's things. Went through a stage recently where he had to fill EVERYTHING with water. My makeup, his sister's hair things, every bottle, every container, everything. He'd get into trouble at school with throwing water everywhere in the bathroom. Tried to solve that with baths, and allowing him to play with bottles in the bath. But, no change...*sigh* - he just stopped doing that when he felt like it. Then came the "putting things in the toilet" thing. He'd flush people's stuff down the toilet when he was angry with them. Again, hair things, makeup, expensive stuff - once, an entire bottle of my Burts Bees body oil... He actually managed to completely mess up the downstairs toilet by flushing a set of plastic wrenches down there. We had to take the toilet off it's pedestal completely and turn the entire thing upside down, and extract the plastic stuff from the back of the U-bend... Additionally now, lying is SO common it's actually compulsive. He lies about everything - I mean everything from what he ate for breakfast, to whether he has homework. You literally cannot ask him anything without getting a lie in return. It's really quite extreme. He's rude to people all the time - mostly those he knows well, and always his family. When something isn't to his liking at the dinner table, he'll call it "gross" or "disgusting"... He told me a few months ago that he hoped the new baby would die. I don't know why...he even laughed afterward. He also laughs at people who are hurt, or sad. Often he'll throw something at his sister, or punch her, or deliberately ruin something of hers, and then he will laugh when she gets upset or even cries. I've tried time outs for that, and the result I get is a full blown tantrum and awful things said. I've tried talking to him - which makes no difference whatsoever. I've tried making him make up for his actions, which he does, but which does nothing to prevent repeat occurrences... Now his latest "thing" - after several months of not wanting to learn to read or write, is using his new found writing skills to write very mean notes to people. He will write these notes, and come and quietly leave them next to a person while they're doing the washing up, or working, or watching TV, or anything really. They're quite creative: he's called his Dad a "stinky man" and said he doesn;t like him any more. He's written a joint note for me and his sister in which he's said he doesn't like either one of us. He tried to get his sister and I to tell him how to spell "hate" - but we knew what he was up to. I asked his sister not to tell him how to spell mean words, and also would not tell him. So, he cleverly made a horrible note out of nice words and got her to tell him how to spell them all - then delivered the awful note to her! Just the other day his uncle, who didn't know what was going on, finally taught him how to spell "hate"...a word he immediately took and wrote a horrible note to his paternal grandmother. He wrote that he hated her, and quietly left the note by her side as she watched television... She'd just given him a donut five minutes earlier... Between the notes, hitting, revengeful behavior, back talking, anger and constant drama, I am quite exhausted. I've tried everything I can think of to remedy this situation. Nothing has worked. His Dad has tried everything he can think of as well. I just don't know. I am now worried about the baby... At this stage I fully believe he's going to try something with the baby when she comes in four or five weeks at the most, from now. This is way beyond normal jealousy, methinks... It's really uncontrollable. Nothing seems to help him make progress. It's just getting worse and worse... I'm very pregnant and very tired - also very emotional because of all the lovely bonding hormones and honestly sometimes, I just want to shut myself away in a room and put pillows over my head... I've read a bit about ODD and wonder if this could be it. The behaviors - especially the revengeful behaviors - are just really extreme and vindictive. They don't get him anything he really wants, and though he says he wants to be liked, and that he knows this way of acting is not getting him any friends, he chooses to defend the way he's acting whenever he's challenged about it (e.g. "THIS i why I write those notes!" when we say "no" to anything at all). Phew. Sorry - long first post! Any advice? I've never dealt with this kind of extreme stuff in a 6 yr old before...in my life!