24 answers

I Caught My Son Playing with fire..how Do I Deal with It PLEASE HELP ! !

Okay so this is probably going to be long and i apologize. My sister had a house fire back in July of this year found out that it started because the little boy she was babysitting lit paper on fire and thought he blew it out when he heard someone coming up the staris needless to say he didn't but through it under the bed..the little boy age 7 admitted this to the fire chief and my sister. At this time my sister was also / still is watching my kids while i work. Okay so here now with the help i need.
I keep a lighter in the medicine cabinet in our bathroom so i can light candles in there i walked in the bathroom because the door was opened and i heard him in there and he was holding the lighter and a q-tip i asked what he was doing he said he was looking at the lighter while cleaning out his years, i grabbed the q-tip from him and it was burned on the end.....okay so we dealt with the lying and playing with the lighter last night. So today while i was at work my sister called me and said that she found my son playing in her bedroom with matches. I am sooooo at my wits end how do i handle this ? Is there something wrong with my child ? Is it just for attention ? oh yeah and he is 5 years old will be 6 in January. Sorry this is so long but any advice would be appreciated.

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My daughter was around the same age. I explained to her how dangerous it was and grounded her for a week to her room. No t.v. or toys she had to just sit on her bed. Extreme? Maybe but she has never touvh matches or a lighter since.

1 mom found this helpful

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This probably isn't the best answer...but my Mom used to let us light things over the sink under supervision (this started after I burnt the porch of our cottage down when I was three). It got out our curiosity and I never lit anything again (except for my cigarette as a teenager but that's a whole other post! lol)

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My daughter was around the same age. I explained to her how dangerous it was and grounded her for a week to her room. No t.v. or toys she had to just sit on her bed. Extreme? Maybe but she has never touvh matches or a lighter since.

1 mom found this helpful

Hello J.,
Take him to your local fire deparment and have the firefighters talk to him. My dad was a firefighter for 32 years they wont mind they will do anything to prevent someone getting hurt. Hope this helps N.

1 mom found this helpful

What about finding some videos on youtube. You can watch them first to make sure you approve. If he sees the devastation it causes in some sad videos, maybe he will get it. I think this is more extreme then grounding and may hit home. I wish you luck.

1 mom found this helpful

He's obviously interested in this. My boys have been the same way to. I would try not to overreact about it. Kids find fire fascinating. Its amazing to them how the fire just eats up whatever their holding. Boys are also very naturally curious.

I think maybe sit him down and talk to him about how fascinating it is. Tell him it can also be very dangerous and let him know that fire is very hot and burns and that it also spreads very quickly. I would not let him watch you tube videos of fires as you may peak his curiosity and fear tactics never work. Just arm him with knowledge.

Tell him if he ever feels like lighting something to come to you and he can light the candle while you snuggle and watch it. My kids love blowing the candles out. Talk about all the positive things you enjoy about safe fire use. Find a safe outlet that will satisfy his curiosity but be safe. Our kids are used to fire because we go camping every year and we have discussed safety.

Also, its obvious hew can reach the lighter so I owuld find a new hiding place right now.

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No, nothing is wrong with him!!! Kids are pyros. You HAVE to be very consistent and very firm with your discipline and he'll stop. It may take several more tries, but be strict, and consistent. Make him learn he will NOT get away with it and touching anything that could be used to start a fire, much less trying to light things is not worth his while due to the harsh consequences. Do not give any sort of overdramatic dialogue, talking, analyzing etc in case it is for attention. A quick, simple, clear reprimand and a very firm, very unpleasant consequence. And step up the attention and love at other times. He may be feeling some sort of void. But most likely he just wants to start a fire. He has no idea how dangerous it is, and he won't understand explanations about pain and burning and death and property loss. Just make sure he is clear it's not allowed to touch flammable things or he'll be very sorry, through actions, not words! In addition to training him about it, also remove hand held flammable things and matches when you're not home. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

I've seen lots of great advice here. But what I do is hide the matches in a cabinet that has a lock on it-the kind that requires a key--one of the many keys I always keep in my pocket. It's often a pain for me to have to unlock that cabinet whenever I need something out of it, but considering the matches I keep in there, it's worth it.
Secondly, when it comes to lighting them I hope my kids see how carefully I watch the lighted match in my hand, because that flame gets a little too close to me sometimes and I have to blow it out before I get the candle lit. I hope he picks up some caution about fire from that.
Thirdly, my husband is involved quite a bit with a fire department. It's not what he does for a living though. So whenever that fire department is having an event for kids, we tend to know about it. Mine has been to many fire department open houses.-I got an idea, take your kids to see the movie FireProof. That's got some real fire stuff in it-it gave me a feel like never before!

Hopefully some of this will help, and we are hoping that our kids know something about fire with all this exposure.

I'd teach my kids that finding a match or lighter is as dangerous as finding a gun. "Don't touch, Leave the area, Tell and adult".

We're with you on this! Hope this helps.

all matches, lighters out of the house. Might want to only use the candles in an emergency for a while at least.

does she still watch the little boy who started the fire?

I'd sit down calmly and discuss the dangers and read some books to him. Library is a great source as well as the local fire dept.

He should be in Kindergarten, can mention it to the guidance counselor and see if she can have some talks with him and if she can tell you if maybe he might need some counseling.

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