J had a big tantrum this evening. I suppose that's the word for it - one could also call it an explosion, or a grand voiding of emotion/fatigue/over-stimulation. We had a quiet morning at home, J watching television and me reading him stories, then he went out for a bit to visit the 3 year old little girl he regularly plays with (and whose grandmother owns land in the village with chickens, geese and donkeys for the children to ride on and goats for them to milk!), then lunch, more stories, then he went to his pony riding lesson - his grand passion - then he went off to see the little girl again. When he came back, he started kind of going crazy, screaming and shouting he wanted to watch television, lying on the floor and kicking his legs, making huge amounts of noise. I refused, basically because I'd said in the morning that 3 hours was (more than) enough, as it is. Finally got him calm enough to sit and do colouring with me but he lasted for about 5 minutes before rushing upstairs, coming down with his football kit on shouting he wanted to go out and play football, having another tantrum when I said (calmly), no, it was nearly bedtime, he wasn't going out again. Up to then I had been reasonably kind and patient but when he started being rude, insulting, I got cross and he stopped. Started to calm, got in the bath, story, sleep. Somewhere in it all he had supper, and a lot so he was hungry, but I forget at which point. Obviously an accumulation of hunger and tiredness but how familiar are these kind of scenes to folks here? People might perhaps talk about medications but actually I feel myself moving away from the notion of medications to deal with this kind of stuff. While he is holding together at school and we are more or less holding it together (accent on the less at times) outside of school, I simply cannot justify giving him strong medication with all the attendant side effects just to make him easier for me to deal with. He started a social group therapy at the local children's psychology centre last week - just one other boy in it (don't know what his issue is) and another little girl to join it - and the psychologist said to me afterwards they had played together very well and the children had talked about a lot of things to them... so I guess it's a kind of children's therapy?? J is SO sweet much of the time... really a delightful kid... and then these horrible times in between, largely centred on when he doesn't get what he wants... but I feel less worried, less desperate about it all. He listens to me more than he did, always comes back at the time I tell him to now when he goes out to play, is never violent towards me any more, has stopped wetting the bed at night and is now completely dry - there are signs of hope! But he's always going to be something of a difficult child, I think... for bad AND for good.