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To padlock my sons hands together

(15 Posts)
Thebestusernamesaretaken Sat 25-Jul-15 18:44:20

My 5 year old son has just set fire to the dining room. I was in the garden when he walked out of the house, I turned and saw 6 foot flames at the window! I didn't think and just tore back in, fortunately it was a box I was able to grab and throw outside, the only damage is a scorch to the fridge and back door and the house stinks (but at least I know the smoke alarms work!)

He won't tell me why he did it, he just says he doesn't know and he just seems to have no perception of danger, how can I get through to him?

TheSpottedZebra Sat 25-Jul-15 18:47:06

Yikes! Is it just fire related or does he do other stuff too? Maybe the fire brigade have courses to stop wpuld - be arsonists in their tracks?

afreshstartplease Sat 25-Jul-15 18:49:18

What did he start the fire with

DamsonInDistress Sat 25-Jul-15 18:49:21

How on earth did he have access to anything that would produce a flame? Matches, lighter etc?

MrsGentlyBenevolent Sat 25-Jul-15 18:49:46

How did he even start a fire??

QueenQueenie Sat 25-Jul-15 18:52:08

He shouldn't be in a position to be able to start a fire aged 5 op! What happened? What did he do?

LokiBear Sat 25-Jul-15 18:54:24

How did he start it? You need to think about the safety precautions you are using. My brother did a similar thing at a similar age. My parents put all matches and lighters on a high shelf, which seems very sensible. My brother climbed up and got them, took them to my mums bedroom and almost burnt the house down. They went into a lockable drawer after that. You might also be able to find some fire safety videos on YouTube. You must also issue a consequence: next time don't leave him alone in the house and explain to him why you are making him go with you. You must be really shaken up. wineflowerscake I think you need all three.

reni1 Sat 25-Jul-15 18:55:39

Is he a very young 5 and you need to still keep your house toddler-proof, op?

BertieBotts Sat 25-Jul-15 19:02:49

I think most five year olds are capable of climbing on furniture to get to high placed items they aren't allowed. I don't think this is a failure on OP's part, lots of children experiment with fire. He does need a very strong reminder of why it's dangerous, though! Fire stations definitely do tours and fire safety talks so that might be something to look at definitely. But I really doubt at five he would have thought "I know, I'm going to set this on fire", he probably wasn't really thinking and it was just a "I wonder what happens if I do this".

What a shock it must have been. How is he now? Was he frightened or did he think it was all great fun?

Thebestusernamesaretaken Sat 25-Jul-15 19:03:30

He's climbed in the kitchen and picked up a bbq lighter that I use to light the log burner, it's now on top of a cupboard. We actually had a talk about fire and the damage it does only days ago, he just doesn't seem to understand danger sad

BertieBotts Sat 25-Jul-15 19:06:39

As in any kind of danger, or just in regard to this incident? If he has no concept of danger at his age, it might be wise to speak to your GP, because by now he should have and it might be that there's something going on which needs to be picked up on.

Flisspaps Sat 25-Jul-15 19:08:07

5 year olds don't tend to have great danger perception. They're not always able to foresee consequences - as you've learned.

Which is why adults have to do all the risk assessment for them. You need to keep on drumming the danger/safety advice into him, and he'll eventually get it.

Thebestusernamesaretaken Sat 25-Jul-15 19:08:35

Even seeing the remnants in the garden doesn't seem to have got through. After he's started it he just walked into the garden and didn't say anything.

BertieBotts Sat 25-Jul-15 19:16:25

No, not great danger perception, but at five years they should have some sense of danger.

I would not expect him to understand that pretty flames can destroy a house and kill people, even if he did see them destroy a box. But he should understand things like hot things can burn you, high edges and water are a danger for falling off, (possibly not water if he is comfortable with swimming) not to run into roads, and anything that he's been hurt by or seen someone get hurt by should compute as a danger for him (e.g. falling off something at the park, items being thrown around, possibly sharp things like knives/glass)

Soundofsettling Sat 25-Jul-15 19:25:09

My dh did this at a similar age, apparently it's quite common - he also went to some lengths to get the materials to start them.

If you Google child pyromania and see if that provides any insight?

DH saw a counsellor for a time which seemed to stop the fire setting.

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