It's New Year's eve, my husband is working, and my 4 year old son Logan and I are sitting at the computer, he is watching "Toy Story 3", and I have been reading the thread on this list about ODD.

We stop and chat, he asks me questions about the movie.
We've had a busy, socially active few days, so this is downtime is perfect for both of us.

I bring him a snack, he says he's not hungry, and a few minutes later he tells me that he is hungry after all. I could have said, 'You just told me you weren't hungry". That would have created an adversarial moment between us. Instead, I made a few suggestions, and he decides he wants cucumber. As I am cutting the slices I have a creative flash, and make the slices look like a face, with blueberries for the nose and pupils.
He is delighted with this, and after he finishes eating it, he asks me make another plate.
I am getting into it at this point so I cut the slices of cucumber in half to make the smile look better, in my opinion. I knew I was taking a risk because Logan likes things a certain way, including his cucumbers, as circles.
As soon as he sees the plate, he tells me he does not like the cucumbers cut in half. I tell him I will remake it, no problem, and all was well.

In both instances I chose to be his partner and friend.
I'm getting better at it, and it pays off because the times I go back to to reacting, Logan reacts right back, and to an outsider, he might be viewed as defiant, difficult or spoiled.
Most people don't examine the parents behavior.

My mom worries about him because she thinks he cries too much.
He has had some major meltdowns around my family, but as I reflect on why it happens I have to come back to me. I get nervous and stressed, and feel judged around them because I parent dfferently than the way I was raised, or how my sister is with my niece. Logan feels my energy, and minor things cause him to have major upsets.
They don't get the benefit of seeing our happy household on a daily basis.

It's up to my husband and I to create a loving and peaceful place for our son wherever we are.