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danny541, Parenting Answer Team
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my 6yr old son is getting into EVERYTHING every day --

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my 6yr old son is getting into EVERYTHING every day -- despite time-outs, toys being taken away, privileges being taken away, etc... he has gotten into all the drawers and cupboards, closets, hideaways, etc. He has stacked 2 chairs on top of each other to get into cupboards and take down scissors to cut his hair for the 4th time. He has found the hidden matches and lit flowers and candles on fire. He has cooked eggs on the GAS stove while I was in the shower. You name it, he''s done it. Finding the hidden matches and lighting things on fire was it for me today and I am at a loss of how to handle this. The more I talk with him about his poor behavior and punish him, the more he continues & his 4yr old sister is at his side. I''m at a complete loss & at the end of my rope!
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  danny541 replied 6 years ago.
Hello and welcome to Just Answer !

Has he always done things like this ? Or is it a recent behavior ?

You said time outs , for how long ? How long do you take things away from him ? What privilages does he lose ?
Are mom and dad together? Any recent upsets ? Death's, divorce, etc.

How is school for him been ? Any problems ?

The sooner you can answer these questions and each one, the better I can try to assist you, in what his problem may be.

Have you tried anything else with him ? Talking from both parents ?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Reply to danny541's Post: He has always been incredibly curious and has always 'gotten into things'... it's really intensified recently in terms of getting into things he's never ventured into before.

Time-outs are for 6mins. I take things away until he earns them back via good behavior. It's hard because he'll be really good, then mess it all up with a blink of the eye. We (mom & dad) are together. He graduated from Kindergarten in May, thus having to leave that school. new school begins in fall and he's already begun by taking their summer school camp program during summer. he loves it. it's his first 'separation' from his sister of which I wanted because she overshadows him. he's now 'coming into himself' as he's a shy, quiet kid, surprisingly enough.

school's been great. his strongest social skill is making new friends. he's very intelligent and has been accepted into a very sought-after private school. NEVER had any school probs.

Husband doesn't assist with discipline/kids as I need. Lucky me tends to be the one to do it all and dad does correct me & criticize how I handle situations in front of the kids. However, today he did sit down and talk with them about fire, however we have not come up with a 'punishment' for this fire situation as I don't know what to do now.

thank you!
Expert:  danny541 replied 6 years ago.
Sounds, like you have a really good child, that has a lot of curiosity about how things work and how to do things.

One thing I suggest strongly, take all matches, lighters, anything that can light a fire and put them under lock and key.

The stove I would suggest either teaching him how to properly use the stove but tell him how dangerous this is to be doing unless an adult is watching, maybe ask the fire department if they have a film appropriate for his age to watch about the dangers of playing with fire or cooking without an adult in the area to watch. The fire department can also put you in touch with a fire prevention program, that can teach your son and daughter how dangerous this can be. If this isn't a possibility then look for safety locks to put on the handles of the stove and catches for doors and cabinets. Till they/he is old enough to understand this isn't something he should disobey you about !

Try asking him why he is cutting his hair it could be as easy as a friend has a different haircut that he wants his the same, or just simple curiosity. But either way I would increase the punishment time to 10 minutes, and if it continues to 15. You can only add so many before it becomes meaningless to him and won't work.

You may also have to take his favorite things to do away from him longer and explain to him if it continues that you will have to keep making it longer, but it must be a favorite toy or activity, whatever means more to him than anything else.

Also, a word about your husband, talk to him and let him know that by criticizing you and correcting you in front of the kids, he is undermining your authority with them, if it continues, they will learn to think that what you say doesn't matter and they don't have to listen, if he disagrees with you then he should either tell you in private or say honey, can I talk to you a minute, then tell you what he thinks and then both of you approach some agreement, but it should never be done in front of the kids. Because then they see a way to get their own way by getting the two of you to disagree with each other and forget what they are doing !

This age can be very trying, but I believe you have good habits and a really basically good boy ! Just keep working on him and don't lose your temper, then you will show him how far it takes to push your buttons !

Let me know if I can be of more help, or if you just need to talk !
danny541, Parenting Answer Team
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 909
Experience: Have 5 children !
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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
thank you! you are right, he is a very sweet, tender-hearted, good boy. he is incredibly curious and I work hard not to crush his spirit in the same time have to fight his putting himself and his sister in danger. It's interesting to see the actions I've taken need to continue but just get 'longer' or made more difficult to earn back. I've gone through the locking the cupboards,fridge, doors when he was 4yrs old... he figured how to unlock everything almost immediately! Thanks for the info about the fire department... very good idea. I will go there tomorrow with my boy!

Again, thank you!
Expert:  danny541 replied 6 years ago.
That's great ! Apparently your young boy is very talented, which can be a good thing, but hard for you, since you are trying to keep him safe !

I do feel that if your husband let's your children know that if he back's you up in what you are telling them and also reinstates to your son, that it has to stop, he is old enough to understand at his age what danger is.

Sometimes I feel that children with a higher IQ feel that they can handle the situation and not realize that they can't, since he made the eggs on the stove he has made it clear that he can do it. Were they eatable ? If so it will just reinforce to his mind that he can do it !

I wish you well, and I hope it gets a little easier for you, but with children, they are always going on to new levels that we must deal with.

Ask for me anytime and I will gladly assist you !
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
thanks so much, Danny!
yes, i do have my hands full with my boy and my husband! Each challenge that lays ahead proves more difficult. I should be able to conquer anything at this point! And no, the eggs weren't cooked enough to be edible but they were eating them anyway. They came close to catching the house on fire from how he explains it. It better get easier or I'll be praying for an unintelligent child! Thanks again!

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