How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask danny541 Your Own Question

danny541, Parenting Answer Team
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 909
Experience:  Have 5 children !
Type Your Parenting Question Here...
danny541 is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

my 6yr old son is getting into EVERYTHING every day --

This answer was rated:

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!
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 8 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!
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 !
danny541 and other Parenting Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 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!
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 8 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!

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
< Previous | Next >
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP Hesperia, CA
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin Kernersville, NC
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther Woodstock, NY
  • Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know. Robin Elkton, Maryland
  • He answered my question promptly and gave me accurate, detailed information. If all of your experts are half as good, you have a great thing going here. Diane Dallas, TX

Meet The Experts:

  • Rafael M.T.Therapist

    Rafael M.T.Therapist

    Family Counselor

    Satisfied Customers:

    MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
< Last | Next >
  • Rafael M.T.Therapist's Avatar

    Rafael M.T.Therapist

    Family Counselor

    Satisfied Customers:

    MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
  • Cher's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    Extensive Experience working with Children/Teens; M.A. Teacher/Tutor 40+ yrs.; Parent of 2
  • Jennifer's Avatar


    School Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    Collaborative parent consultation on everything from modifying behavior to child development.
  • professional_Alison's Avatar


    Child Care

    Satisfied Customers:

    Degree in early years,16 years experience in childcare
  • Dr. L's Avatar

    Dr. L


    Satisfied Customers:

    Licensed as psychologist and marriage and family therapist
  • Dr. Shirley Schaye's Avatar

    Dr. Shirley Schaye


    Satisfied Customers:

    PhD-Psych; Certif. Psychoanalyst NPAP& NYFS; Memb.APsaA;IPA; Pub.Author; Teach/Supervise Therapy
  • Eveningstargazer's Avatar


    Family Counselor

    Satisfied Customers:

    Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT)

Related Parenting Questions