Parenting advice needed please!!!

Dawn - posted on 03/29/2009 ( 11 moms have responded )

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Ok I need some serious help here if anyone has any ideas please let me know i would greatly appreiate it. I have a soon to be 6 year old boy and he gets up in the middle of the night and gets into things in the kitchen. he eats the same as all his brothers and sisters do. I just don't get what he thinks he is accomplishing by doing this cause it always gets him into trouble. This morning for example my husband had some heartburn so he got up to go out and smoke and then came in and sat on the couch. He watched our son open his door come out of his room walk right in front of him into the kitchen. He turned on the light in there and then my husband said he looked around for a few minutes. opened all the bottom cabinets didnt see anything he could get into so he went to the bathroom walking right past my husband again got the stool and preceeded to look into the top cabinets. this is when my husband stopped him. this was @ 3:30 am this morning. Why does he do this and any suggestions on how to get him to stop? This could potentionally be very dangerousto him. We have had to lock our fridge at night but all food we would generally leave on the counter above the cabinets what a hassle it all is we have cought him in the past walking on the counters and even on the fridge. Please if anyone has ideas let me know i am at a loss for what to do. With many thanks

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Betsy - posted on 03/30/2009

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I have heard this is something similar to sleepwalking.  He probably doesn't even realize he's doing it.  I would talk to his pediatrician.  My son was a sleepwalker and would get up and do bizarre things at night.  He  eventually outgrew it, but it is really scarey and difficult to understand.   I found that my son did it more when he was stressed about school.  I just calmly led him back to bed and he didn't even remember it in the morning. 

Stacy - posted on 03/30/2009

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I agree with locking the cupboards and drawers. My daughter opened the sharps drawer one night and it was very scarey.

Stacy - posted on 03/30/2009

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Was he sleeping? My daughter is almost 7 and sometimes when she gets over tired or stressed, she sleep walks. She will talk to you, her eyes will be wide open, but she isn't always listening. I used to try to wake her up but it seemed to just cause more problems. Now when I hear her get, I tend to just follow her and make sure she is safe. If it's possible he is sleep walking, take him to the Dr.

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I definitely think you need to talk to your doctor about it.  It does sound like sleep walking, like everyone else said.  If he consciously knew what he was doing, then he wouldn't have done it right there in front of your husband.  The way you described it, it seems like he was in his own little world and didn't even notice Daddy sitting there.  I also don't think you should punish him for it until you know for sure why he is doing it.  If it's sleep walking, then it's beyond his control and he'll think he's getting punished for nothing.  Something I'm curious about...does he remember doing it when you ask him about it?  I do feel for you though...having to clean up messes every morning.....

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ask your doctor for help as this could be dangerous,  is he sleepwalking or awake. in the meantime put cupboard locks on doors and drawers.

Laura - posted on 03/30/2009

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What's your son say when tou talk to him about it? Maybe this is something that needs to addressed by a doctor. I haven't heard of any children I know of personally having this issue. So sorry I have no real advice to give.

Anita - posted on 03/29/2009

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If a  child doesn't know that he is sleep walking and he is not doing it on purpose I dont see why there needs to be any punishment...If he is sleep walking then u need to guide him back to bed...the only thing u can do is make sure he is safe..if u have a kitchen door maybe put a lock on it...u just have to be more aware in the middle of the night if and when he gets out of bed...most if not all people who sleep walk cant recall doing it...not sure what expert advice you can get... u might need to do more net surfing on sleep walking...best of luck...

Heather - posted on 03/29/2009

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Sleepwalking sounds like a possibility.  My brother used to get up, unlock the door, and walk outside.  My parents thought he was doing it on purpose and asked him about it one morning after he'd done it.  He thought they were playing a trick on him...he had no memory of doing anything.  Ask your son about it and see if he knows he's doing it.  If he is sleepwalking, do something to block him from getting into the kitchen (or anywhere else that he may go).  If he isn't sleepwalking, talk with him to see why he's doing it.  (Is he just hungry in the middle of the night?  Could there be something medically (diabetes or thyroid issue) that is making him feel like he needs food? Then let him know what the punishment will be if he is caught doing it again.  Make sure that you and your husband have a plan for enforcing the punishment if it is needed.

Eve - posted on 03/29/2009

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Are you sure he is not sleepwalking? My BIL was a big sleepwalker. He would get up and wonder around and not even remember it.

Anita - posted on 03/29/2009

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The first thing that springs to mind Dawn is your son is/maybe sleep walking?..I read this to my husband and that was also the first thing that sprung to mind...

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