My daughter can read and I'm worried - Mothering Forums

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Old 12-09-2012, 12:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My daughter can read but she is only four and too young to stay out of mischief. She can read the caps on medicine bottles that tell how to open them, etc. and knows how to open baby proof latches. I thought she was mature enough to stay out of mischief, but apparently, I was wrong. She has been getting out of bed in the wee hours of the morning without waking us up and getting into things. How can I big-kid proof the house? We don't have any high shelves or anywhere to keep unsafe things. Are there big kid-proofiing products?


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Old 12-09-2012, 06:18 AM
 
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Baby proofing products are usually for kids who are exploring and not TRYING to find things to get into.  If your daughter is actively trying to get into thing she knows are dangerous, at the very least I'd lock up the cleaning producst, medicine, and whatever other things she keeps going for and put a chime on her bedroom door so you hear if she leaves her room when  you're sleeping.

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Old 12-09-2012, 10:50 AM
 
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I agree. You need to find some way to actually lock up things that will be dangerous for her. Also have a lot of serious conversations with her about what she can play with when she's awake at night and can't sleep. 

 

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Old 12-09-2012, 12:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Mahalo! I don't have anywhere to lock stuff up. I guess I should start thinking about lock boxes or something. I think Wal-Mart sells metal lock boxes. We don't have anything in our home that closes or locks. It's pretty minimalist. :(

 

Last night we found out that she got into hubs' office and wrote all over everything with a red Sharpie he had in there. I'm about to lose my mind with this child!
 


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Old 12-09-2012, 12:46 PM
 
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can you get her something more interesting to play with ?

some puzzles maybe? and put them inside her room so she finds them before she reaches the door

make them a surprise for her to wake up to

or a pet ?
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Old 12-09-2012, 12:52 PM
 
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You could hang bells on her door or get a door alarm.

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Old 12-09-2012, 02:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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She doesn't have a room. We all sleep together. She has a busy book, puzzles and a dress-up doll in there, but the lure of mischief seems to be too great. :(
 


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Old 12-09-2012, 03:10 PM
 
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What are her awake-hours like? Does she have the time and ability to explore and get into mischief then?

 

Two approaches come to mind, and both come with potential consequences:

 

1) "stage" mischief for her through the day- give her medicine bottles and containers with tricky lids, and boxes inside of boxes, and zippers, etc. and let her get that discovery/mastery of stuff out of her system in a safe way

 

2) make sure you're not making things "forbidden"....and by that, I don't mean let her guzzle a bottle of window-cleaner, but instead maybe teach her how to USE the window cleaner, that if she wants to explore it ask you (and show her and let her), or give her her own "stuff" to use. I've never babyproofed ever, and have never needed to. Things were just where they were for their intent and purpose. I know every kid's different though, and you do need to keep her safe, but also figure out where this desire's coming from.

 

Why do you think she's doing this? What does she get out of it?


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Old 12-09-2012, 03:13 PM
 
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they are good ideas eirual
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Old 12-09-2012, 04:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by eirual View Post

What are her awake-hours like? Does she have the time and ability to explore and get into mischief then?

 

Two approaches come to mind, and both come with potential consequences:

 

1) "stage" mischief for her through the day- give her medicine bottles and containers with tricky lids, and boxes inside of boxes, and zippers, etc. and let her get that discovery/mastery of stuff out of her system in a safe way

 

2) make sure you're not making things "forbidden"....and by that, I don't mean let her guzzle a bottle of window-cleaner, but instead maybe teach her how to USE the window cleaner, that if she wants to explore it ask you (and show her and let her), or give her her own "stuff" to use. I've never babyproofed ever, and have never needed to. Things were just where they were for their intent and purpose. I know every kid's different though, and you do need to keep her safe, but also figure out where this desire's coming from.

 

Why do you think she's doing this? What does she get out of it?

 



She's incredibly mature, much too mature to be interested in "fake" mischief stuff. I used to not make things forbidden but it got to be a huge problem because she thought that if she could do something when she was with me, then she can do it any time she wants. Case in point: I tried teaching her to sew and now all of my needles are gone and found all throughout the house. Same with the scissors. I'm going to find the couch cut to pieces one morning. :( It seems that making certain things forbidden keeps her from getting in trouble less than usual, but not entirely. I used to forbid her to enter her father's office and she never went in there at all. She was great about it. Then my husband started letting her in there while he was in there and now she won't stay out for one second when we aren't around. She seems to find that room fair game all the time now that he lets her in under supervision.

 

I don't know what she's getting out of it other than she wants to explore forbidden things simply because they are forbidden. But these aren't things like a bottle of fake pills she can get into. These are really destructive things. I don't think she's doing it on purpose (other than when she purposefully hid and cut her hair). The really awful thing is that she's doing stuff I don't even imagine her doing - things I can't seem to guess in advance, like destroying our new TV with the nail clippers. WTF?!! Next thing I know, I'm absolutely certain I'll wake up and she'll have flushed something large or valuable down the toilet. I'm at my wit's end here. We're thinking of making a room just for her and disallowing her to leave that room in the mornings. She'll have to shut the door and stay in. A bigger problem is the baby. Once he wakes up, he's up for good and that basically ruins everyone's day, so if I put a chime/alarm on the door and she gets up at 4 am (about every third day she seems to do this) and opens the door, that's the end of it and I'm angry Mama for the next week. :(


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Old 12-09-2012, 04:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Actually, the more I think about it, the more I realize that she has been having an incredibly hard time lately. For the last couple of weeks that this behavior has been going on, she has also been super moody. EVERYTHING makes her cry. This is not normal for her at all. She cries over absolutely nothing, the same way she would when she was teething when younger or when she's just about to get really sick. I keep waiting for her to get super sick thinking she's coming down with something, but nothing happens.

 

So there must be something actually wrong with her no that I think about it. She doesn't seem tired. The only thing that I can think of that has changed is she doesn't get out of the house much. It has been so hard for me to take her anywhere lately because the baby freaks out in the car. I have to figure out how to do this without him freaking out much. I can't do it really safely, but I'll see what changes I can make. Maybe she just needs more sunlight and exercise. That seems to make sense so I'll try it.


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Old 12-09-2012, 06:16 PM
 
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5 yr molars coming in?


Outside and exercise sound good too!

 

Could tell her exactly what she NEEDS to do when she gets up. e.g. "if you are getting up, you need to be watching TV or colouring at your craft table and that is all you may do until Daddy or I are awake". Or start a "wake-up" basket. Before you go to bed put one activity/thing she may do when she wakes up into this basket, or obviously into the middle of the floor?


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Old 12-09-2012, 06:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Those are great ideas, eirual!


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Old 12-09-2012, 07:06 PM
 
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In your shoes I would start by locking up - in a safe if that's all that works - anything dangerous like pills. Then try to get her more exercise, it sounds like she has pent up energy and/or she's bored. I would probably get a trunk that a combination padlock can be attached to to start. It would be big enough to fit dangerous things like medications and matches as well as things like pens and stuff you don't want colored on or destroyed.

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Old 12-09-2012, 11:57 PM
 
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Normally I'm against locks on bedroom doors.  But, if you're all in the same room, is there a way to lock you all in so she can't get out and get into stuff?  I'd either do that or put an alarm on the door so you know when she leaves.  And yes, padlock in a box or something anything super dangerous (as in could be life threatening if she gets into it and misuses it). 


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Old 12-10-2012, 11:12 AM
 
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Yes, absolutely, lock your bedroom door.  And not just a hook-and-eye thingie.  Turn your doorknob around so that she can't get out without a key or the little pick that comes with the knob. 


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Old 12-10-2012, 11:34 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay, we are having problems with this. I used to keep her in the bedroom before, but she will sit and make a TON of noise, poke the baby, get in bed and jump around to wake us up, etc. She's getting up really early and doing these things because she knows I'll get angry and tell her to go sit and watch a show or something. This is getting super frustrating. :(
 


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Old 12-10-2012, 11:55 AM
 
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What if you just gave her all-time permission to go watch TV as long as she goes quietly?  Will she park herself and stay happy til sunrise or will she get bored and go trouble-making after a few minutes?

 

Can you maybe shift around the sleeping arrangments so your DP is in the room with her, safely locked in, and you and the baby are elsewhere?


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Old 12-10-2012, 12:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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She already has that privilege. Apparently it only lasts for a few minutes. I don't know if she's doing the TV watching first or the mischief first, but she's always watching a show when I get up with the baby, so it must be the initial wake-up that tempts her.

 

DD will not sleep in bed without me, so I'm stuck. :(
 


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Old 12-10-2012, 12:14 PM
 
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I'd get a box with a combination lock for the prescription meds.  Today.

 

I recently had to do a round of big-kid childproofing myself.  You have my sympathies - it's a pain in the neck, undoing all the stuff that worked for little kids (and you can't undo all of it, because you still have a little kid) and redoing things so that they're safe for imaginative kiddos who climb.  But you really have to do it, especially with the meds.

 

In terms of her getting up in the morning:  for the next bit, you may just have to get up when she does.  More exercise might push her waking time back.  It's also possible that she's ready to stay up a little later, maybe a shift in bedtime would help.

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Old 12-10-2012, 12:30 PM
 
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Is she acting like this because of the new baby? She's jealous maybe? Try spending more one-on-one time with her.

 

Do you hear her get up in the morning? There's no way my kids, who sleep in another room, can get up or out of their room without me waking up at the littlest of sounds. I'm a very light sleeper since becoming a mommy. If you do hear her, you may need to just get up with her.


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Old 12-10-2012, 01:51 PM
 
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. She's getting up really early and doing these things because she knows I'll get angry and tell her to go sit and watch a show or something. This is getting super frustrating. :(
 

Some thoughts:

 

A) positive re-inforcement ("I'm sorry we haven't had much time together, I love you very much and I don't like to feel angry. Can we work together now, please? No more crazy messes, just snuggles and love.")

 

B) Is she verbal. Can you ask her what her deal is and what she needs?

 

C) I think she's old enough to understand consequences too. If you've tried other positive, pro-active things, it may be time to consider a concequence (If you're exploring before mommy's out of bed again, ......there will be no t.v. for the rest of the day......you won't get dessert..... or something you find appropriate...NOT something she needs. If she needs attention don't send her to her room, or whatever, don't make it harder than it has to be, this would only be to show you mean business).

 

D) There's something like this too, maybe you could make a rule that she cannot get up until the sun is up or until the clock says so...http://www.lussobaby.ca/Gro-Clock-Glow-Screen-Childrens-Clock-HJ012.htm

 

E) Maybe your expectations are too high, and as much as it sucks, she needs someone to get up with her? What time does she go to bed? Does she nap?


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