What is a good punishment for kids (9 & 8) that play with matches

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~♥Little Miss - posted on 10/03/2011

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Once again, kids climb. At that age, they should understand safety rules of such items. I think going to the fire station and having firemen set them straight is the trick.

Elfrieda - posted on 10/05/2011

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I think it would be a good idea to have a serious adult show them the ropes when it comes to fire. I'm thinking slightly scary but awesome uncle, a firefighter (call the station, I'll bet they'll help), someone that the kids look up to but are slightly frightened by, who knows about fire. Have him (or her) show them how to build a campfire the proper way, tell them about all the dangers of doing it the wrong way, and then have them do it themselves (under his supervision) so they know.

After that, if they're doing something so stupidly dangerous as playing with a lighter in a closet, throw the book at them. Scream, cry, scare them a little. :) That'll make an impression!

I remember my sister and I (about 6 and 9) found a book of matches and were trying to start a fire beside my grandmother's house when my dad came and caught us. I braced for the worst, but all he did was tell us that if we lit a fire right there, it would melt the siding off her house. Also, he said our wood was too wet. Then he told us that we should always have a plan if the fire got out of control, and asked what we would do. I thought quickly and pointed out the rain barrel a few feet away. Dad said, "Alright, then." and WALKED AWAY! It was crazy. I felt so responsible. I put the matches in my pocket and told my sister it was too dangerous.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 10/02/2011

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Take them to a burn unit. That will fix them. Or you could bring them to a fire department and have the firefighters talk about the dangers to them.

Tommyped - posted on 07/30/2012

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since they are all tweens already, then by this time you have already narrated all the safety and security risks and list most especially about fire. Most of the fire in neighborhoods are started over playing with matches. Fire stations may pose too boring place, since teachers already have briefed them too about fires and playing with matches

second keep them away for easy reach. all my matches are placed on top of cupboards and lighters are kept enough for the adults reach yet so high for the tween to reach.

Sherri - posted on 07/25/2012

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@Whitney how is a 3yr old getting a hold of it in the first place. The person leaving it around should be getting the punishment.

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Whitney - posted on 07/25/2012

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My 3 year old niece thinks it is cool to play with a lighter, I have tried to get her to give it up. Her grandmother told me to let her play with it and I have told her no and that it was not safe. The grandmother lets her play with it anyways. I am a strict aunt and do not let her play with dangerous things, like lighters. What is a good punishment to enforce on my niece.

Chris - posted on 10/05/2011

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Behavior issues that age, not keeping out of reach...they should know the dangers at that age...get some help.

Jodi - posted on 10/05/2011

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I wasn't suggesting that putting them out of reach was a punishment, but anyway......

Bonnie - posted on 10/05/2011

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Meggy, that's fine. I was just giving examples. I would hope that parents wouldn't purposely cause physical harm to their children.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 10/05/2011

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Bonnie, I'm not sure that you should've put Causing physical harm to a child or spanking them as a punishment. Spanking is one thing and it should onlt be done right after the fact (I only spank my 7 year old after she repeatedly runs into the parking lot) Physical harm can be linked with abuse.



Personally I find a fitting punishment is still youtube videos. They can get pretty graphic.

Bonnie - posted on 10/05/2011

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You talk with any person in fire safety and the first thing they will say is matches and lighters should be out of reach or locked away somewhere. They will recommend teaching children right from wrong and letting them know what will happen if they do play with these items because this is why they come to schools and teach fire safety. Just because kids learn about fire safety, does not mean we should go ahead and leave these items out in the open.

And IMO, putting these items out of reach is not a punishment. They should not be using these items anyway. Causing physical harm to a child or spanking them, or taking toys/priveledges away, those are punishments.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 10/04/2011

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Bonnie, I keep an eye on both my girls (7 months and 7 years) and they still get into things they shouldn't. This evening I was on the phone with my mom and my 7 month old crawled over to the kitchen and flung the cat's food dish around. Thankfully my 7 year old hadn't remembered to refill the dish so there wasn't much food in there. But it just shows no matter how much you watch them kids get into things. It doesn't mean some parents aren't watching it just means kids are curious.

Jodi - posted on 10/04/2011

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@ Bonnie, I agree that an 8 or 9 year old should already know the dangers of fire, which is why I don't see this as being a matter of punishment or putting the matches out of reach (or locked up), but should be an opportunity to teach them what happens if things go wrong, and how very easily it CAN go wrong. At this age, a child shouldn't need to be highly supervised the way you would supervise a 3 year old, for instance, and no, nothing is "out of their reach." If you are having to supervise them at the same level as a toddler, then you have more problems than children playing with matches. You have children who ultimately have overall disciplinary issues that need to be addressed.

[deleted account]

Just because of the 'more closely supervised' comment I would like to say that my girls get stuff off of the fridge WITH my permission. ;) Of course, I don't keep stuff up there to keep them out of it. It's just another 'counter space'. ;)

Bonnie - posted on 10/04/2011

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Thanks Sherri, that was more of what I was thinking. I'm just saying I have never seen an 8 or 9 year old or any child for that matter try to climb on top pf a fridge, but anyways. Maybe all the children I have been around are just supervised more closely, I don't know.

Sherri - posted on 10/04/2011

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Out of reach doesn't always just mean height wise but in a locked area etc. that would be considered out of reach as well.

[deleted account]

I just wanted to say that my 3 year old could get on top of the fridge. He never HAS, but he could. Hiding stuff out of reach doesn't work when you're raising 3 monkeys.... ;)

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 10/04/2011

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Honestly nothing is even out of a 6 or 7 year old's (or any other age) reach if they have the drive to get it. My 7 month old gets to my DH's xbox controlls all the time

Krista - posted on 10/04/2011

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Probably because depending on the 8 or 9 year old, NOTHING is out of reach. An enterprising kid that age could probably break into Fort Knox.

Bonnie - posted on 10/04/2011

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Jodi, another thing, why is it not realistic to put those kind of things out of reach? That is the first time I have ever heard anyone say that.

Bonnie - posted on 10/04/2011

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"Bonnie, have you ever had an 8 or 9 year old child? I don't think it is realistic to suggest putting them out of reach either."
Jodi, first of all, no I don't have an 8 or 9 year old, but I don't really see what difference that makes. I have been around 8 and 9 year olds before and my brother and I were that age once.
Secondly, they should already know about fire, the dangers of it, and the consequences. They do fire safety at school starting in Kindergarten. The fire department goes to the schools and talks to the kids about it all and shows videos. Maybe it means nothing to them.

Lisa - posted on 10/03/2011

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The obvious choices would be to 1) hide the implements, or 2) educate the child. Option #1 allows for the potential that the child will still manage to find the implements and, having not been properly educated about the dangers, will still play with them and potentially cause a great deal of damage (and possibly injury as well). Option #2 is the better bet; teach the child about the dangers of playing with matches/lighters, find a way to show them what can happen if a match is dropped or something is inadvertently set on fire (more on that in a moment), and outline clear house rules about not playing with the matches/lighters as well as the appropriate consequences.

I have always taught my children about the dangers of playing with matches/lighters. They have grown up always hearing about how dangerous it is; from the time they are born, I explain it. Heck, there were times we would be driving down the road and would see the local FD putting out a house fire; I would pull over and walk the kids down to the area, outside of the fire line set up by the FD, and sit them down right there and tell them that this is what could happen if they play with matches/lighters without knowing how to use them properly. I've also taken them to FD open houses, when we lived near Chicago, where the FD would have demonstrations of things such as fire suppression techniques and the difference a sprinkler system can make in case of a fire. Some FDs also have a "fire house," which is a mock house (a couple small rooms) that they can fill with smoke and they use it to educate children about fire.

[deleted account]

Not a 'bad' streak, Marina. I just liked fire... a lot. Thankfully my brother is 3 years older than me, so by the time my 'pyroness' kicked in... I had heard ALL about him almost burning down the neighborhood, so I knew to keep my fires small and contained in metal containers. ;)

Sherri - posted on 10/03/2011

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I would personally remove them from the house or keep them 100% locked and then set up an appt. with the fire dept. explain to the firemen what happened in your home and have them talk and scare the bejesus out of your kids by showing them what can happen.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 10/03/2011

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Do you have a shed or something? Because if the lighters (I believe they're the longish ones not cigarette lighters right?) at the moment you could lock them up somewhere else and hide them better. Probably somewhere low because who would suspect that? My parents used to hide things in the cabinets over the stove and the fridge until my brother learned to climb on it like Marina mentioned.

I'd suggest showing them the effects of fires and burns via youtube. That's what my husband did for our 7 year old when she wouldn't stop running into the parking lot without looking. We showed her car accidents.

Jodi - posted on 10/03/2011

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"Sorry Marina, but I have never seen or heard of any child climbing on top of a fridge."

Bonnie, have you ever had an 8 or 9 year old child? I don't think it is realistic to suggest putting them out of reach either.

I agree with those who are saying they need to learn fire safety and understand the implications of what could potentially happen if they are playing with fire. Even if you can't get them to see a burns victim, maybe show them photos of one. i'm pretty sure you could find some on Google.

[deleted account]

Take them to a fire station. Talk about fire safety. Teach them to ONLY use fire under adult supervision.



My brother was older (12), but him and his friend burned down a lot of empty field in the nearby neighborhood.... I was also a 'pyro' (though a chicken one, so all my fires were contained). Forbidding them from touching any fire items at this age will, most likely, backfire. Fire safety is key.



And thinking you can hide and lock away 'tempting' items to children would be one of the reasons that kids accidently end up killing themselves and/or thier friends (think 'locked up' guns....).

JuLeah - posted on 10/03/2011

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I wouldn't punish them for that. They want to know, they want to experiance. Let them. Have them light candles for you in the house, have them help start the fire. Teach them to make a fire in a safe way.

Talk about faire safety with them. Take the excitment out of this for them and teach them matches are a tool.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 10/03/2011

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Yup, we used to get onto the counter, to the cabinets above the fridge, sit on the fridge (one at a time). My mom kept all the goodies in the cabinets above the fridge. We learned how to get up there quick. I would be like 5 climbing on the counters for whatever I needed.

Bonnie - posted on 10/03/2011

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Sorry Marina, but I have never seen or heard of any child climbing on top of a fridge.

Bonnie - posted on 10/03/2011

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Maybe the lock just needs to be changed. One with a combination or something that they can't pick.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 10/03/2011

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Infact, when we were kids, we would climb to the top of the fridge....and just sit there....sometimes throwing stuff at eachother. Kids do shit like that.

Bonnie - posted on 10/03/2011

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If you keep them on the top shelf of a cupboard or on top of the fridge at the back, it is out of their reach. They don't even need to know where they are put.

[deleted account]

It actually was not matches but a lighter you use to light a grill or something like that. They were also in a locked closet which they know how to get into.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 10/03/2011

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Bonnie, nothing is out of an 8 and 9 year olds reach. Teaching them proper safety of dangerous household items is the safer bet.

Bonnie - posted on 10/03/2011

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Why are matches even around them? They should be kept in a place out of their reach.

Christy - posted on 10/03/2011

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GROUND THEM FOR A MONTH FROM PLAYING W/ OTHERS, GAMES, TV, ETC. You don't want your house to burn down, or someone elses'!

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