Hi, I am Joanne from Perth in Australia and I have three children – Jake is 6, Ashley is 4 and my daughter Alyssa is almost 2.

I have struggled with Ashley since the day he was born as he had severe reflux. That was quite hard to deal with and then at about 18 months of age his behaviour became terrible – that was while I was pregnant with Alyssa.

It seems that he only has issues when he is at home so that is why I think that he may suffer middle child syndrome. When he goes to kindy he is really good. I suppose because he is off on his own and doesn’t have his siblings or myself around.

He is a very moody child. One minute he can be quite happy and laughing and then in a split second can change to being very upset and depressed. He likes to spend time on his own alot and we really have to encourage him to join in with things if we are doing stuff together. He also throws terrible tantrums the moment I say no to anything and has changed from wanting to try things himself to always saying “I Can’t”. He wets his pants almost every day which can be really annoying but it doesn’t seem to bother him at all.

He is also very smart and his skill level (academically) is higher than others his age. He writes his name very well and has done for the last year, and his drawing and colouring is impeccable.

I don’t feel like I am giving the others any more attention but I suppose it is different because the attention I give him is mostly negative. I always tell him that I love him and always praise him when he is good or does something well or right.

I don’t know what to do with him. Is it that I need to take him to therapy? I feel like I really need help with dealing with him because some days it is just too much.

If anyone has any suggestions, it would be greatly appreciated.

Many Thanks