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Angry, spoiled, or high-strung toddler

My boy is almost 4 and is an emotional wreck. He came out of the birth canal screaming, he cried all day long as an infant- would push anyone me away when I'd try to hold him, but cry all the more if I put him down. He is ultra-sensitive to anything anyone says to him, he can ask for something- and if you said 'yes', he'd cry because he thought you said 'no'... and he'd be so upset you can't explain it to him. He was EXTREMELY destructive in his 2's, and is now just an angry, angry kid. He doesn't really do anything naughty except CRY ALL THE TIME. Not a manipulative, spoiled-brat kind of cry, this is with full-blown tears ALL DAY LONG. Of course, now he is BECOMING a brat.

We tried time-out when he was going through his destructive stage and it never worked on him (but worked beautifully on his older sister). If you scolded him for anything, he would have a complete breakdown, but if you put him in time-out, he would just cry more (I timed him once at over 4 1/2 hours). We ignored him in time-out for months hoping that eventually he's get a grip on himself, but now that the only thing he does that is naughty is scream and cry- and time out of course doesn't work, because he can just sit there and scream and get away with it. It doesn't make a difference if you make him sit on the kitchen stool, he's just as miserable everywhere else as there. You can't reason with him, any sympathy makes him more sensitive and demanding the next day. Now, he just gets away with the screaming because it is easier to close the door on him when I get a phone call from a job recruiter than it is to excuse myself a dozen times on the phone while I remind my now even louder and angrier son in time-out to be quiet. A few times I've had to smack his hand if he cried in bed at night for more than an hour, and it works- he instantly shuts his trap, but I don't like hitting him and this is not a solution to the bigger problem.

I am exhausted, there is no time for me to spend with my daughter or myself, and now my almost 6-year daughter found that it's great fun to aggrivate her younger brother (it's so easy) and does it now to get attention from me. I wanted to find a counselor, but no one around here will work with a kid younger than 5 or 6. There has to be a solution out there somewhere, but I just don't know what it is. I'm worn out. Does my kid have a serious problem? Am I the one with a problem? Does it ever get any better? We all thought he'd outgrow it by the end of the terrible 2's, and here we are, worse than at age 2!