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keeping kids from killing themselves in dumb accidents

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ProbableIceCream posted 5/25/2014 21:14 PM

My 7 year old, this morning, while I was asleep (6 AM on a sunday) --

0. tried to cook something on the stove, mildly burning her finger

1. went outside

2. went to a neighbor's place and BANGED on the door and windows to try to get her friend to come out and play


So how do I mitigate this? I've told her logically why these things are a bad idea and given her ground rules (she is smart and responds to reason, but she also lies a lot and is good at manipulation); I've told her how this stuff makes me feel (she has a good heart and I think she cares); and I've taken away privileges in a logical fashion. I think she's just bored, since the last thing I took away was the computer for four days. She says she wanted to 'experiment' and didn't think I'd let her (which I think is partially a lie, but whatever).

I'm just concerned she'll decide to experiment with something the ER can't fix. While I'm asleep.

little turtle posted 5/25/2014 22:31 PM

Can you take the stove knobs off?

I'd try to find something specific that she can do in the morning while you're sleeping. My DS6 used to go outside and play when he was 2-3. I had a lock up high which worked until he was tall enough to unlock it while standing on a chair. Luckily, he's content watching TV/movies or playing with his brother.

Did she have any consequences for her actions this morning?

Bluebird26 posted 5/26/2014 04:18 AM

Teach her to wake you up on waking up.

Get her clock in her room and she can't come out of her room til X time.

Teach her she is not allowed to use the stove/oven without you with her.

Do you have a tablet/ipod or similar you could set up that she could play certain apps til X time?

PurpleRose posted 5/26/2014 11:30 AM

How scary. I think you need to start with some serious consequences for her choices. Kids need to know they are never allowed to do certain things because they are dangerous.. And two of my top no-no's are things your 7 year old did in one morning!

Never ever turn on the stove without my permission. Ever.

Never ever leave the house without telling mom where you are going/asking permission first. Ever.

Both of those rules were non-negotiable. Immediate trouble if broken.

What are her consequences for breaking rules? While she may "have a good heart" she is only 7 and doesn't have the life experience to understand why she cannot make these kind of decisions without your ok. She is 7. You need to create an environment that keeps her safe. Give her things she CAN do, so she won't try to find them herself.

Parenting is hard... It's not for sissies! :) I am so glad she is ok and you have the opportunity to change how things work when she wakes up before you.

ProbableIceCream posted 5/26/2014 11:59 AM

Yep, I'm taking this very seriously. She's at her mom's right now, and fortunately her mom is taking it seriously also.

She always has consequences when she does something she knows she's not supposed to. I very rarely yell at her.. but she knows when I'm not happy, and I'm very clear about my expectations. So, she did have consequences.. and I also told her that she broke my trust because it was really clear that she knew I wouldn't like it and that's why she didn't get me up.

I'm going to make sure she has something to occupy her for times when she's awake really early. That's a good idea. (She likes to watch cartoons and I can easily set the computer to let her have time before I wake up, for example--she would ALWAYS choose that over any other activity, which is why it's limited.)

Stove knobs makes sense.

nowiknow23 posted 5/26/2014 12:26 PM

How scary, PIC! I'm glad she wasn't hurt badly. The conversations and consequences are so important. If she's anything like my DD, you'll still need take some steps for prevention and warning, however.

A couple of ideas we used with DD when she was in a similar stage -

I stored the stove knobs in the cupboard above the vent hood. For a while we also kept the oven and microwave unplugged unless they were in use. Kind of a pain, but worth it safety wise.

We put bells on the door knob of her bedroom. They alerted us when she would get out of bed in the middle of the night and leave her room.

We also put a child gate in the hallway that allowed her access to the bathroom but limited her from other areas. She knew how to take it down, but it was noisy enough that we could hear her doing it.

Make sure she gets positive redirection as well. When she wakes up early, what can/should she do? Give her some options, and then praise her when she does the right thing.

Good luck.

GabyBaby posted 5/26/2014 13:03 PM

I think you need to start with some serious consequences for her choices. Kids need to know they are never allowed to do certain things because they are dangerous.

I'm really glad to hear that her mom is taking this seriously as well.

Kajem posted 5/26/2014 15:44 PM

When she does the right thing do a surprise reward.

We did this with our kids, never said a thing to them about it UNTIL we pulled up to the ice cream place. We'd turn around and tell them "since you _________ we decided to thank you by treating you to ice cream tonight. ".

It was stuff we were going to do anyway, they didn't know it. And it WORKED!

ProbableIceCream posted 5/26/2014 20:46 PM

Surprise reward is a good idea. I hadn't thought of that.

I found a wireless motion detector that you can buy for about $50. I may or may not use it. :)

tushnurse posted 5/27/2014 07:43 AM

Listen - a kid of 7 needs real consequences for scary stuff like this.

My kids still aren't allowed to use the gas range when I'm not home. Really there is no need.

The microwave rules when they were that small was cook nothing for longer than 1:30. If it's not warm, flip it, or stir it, and give it another 1:30. Teach her how to do this safely. Get her some breakfast stuff that she can make on her own, without the use of the stove. It's great that she wants to be independent, I have one like that, and at 8 she was doing her own laundry, and making her own meals for breakfast and lunch (packing her school lunches). You want to encourage the independence, but also make sure they are safe.

You need a steadfast, under no circumstances do you ever,or I will paddle your behind, rule about leaving the house without your knowledge. This is NOT OK, ever. My kids are 15 and 17, and I give them a lot of free reign, but they still have to tell me when they are going outside of the house. There are just to many weirdos, and too many crazy things that can happen.

ProbableIceCream posted 5/27/2014 08:24 AM

I agree, tushnurse. I was kind of shocked the day it happened and didn't know what to do, since she's never done anything like this before. She's been at her mom's since then, so I had a couple days to think about it. All the responses here have been helpful.

I may come across as a bit cavalier about it, but it's just my way of dealing with it. It upset me a huge amount.

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