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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My barely 3 year old dd is fascinated with pluggin stuff in the outlets.<br><br>
Well with my stupidity, I did not discourage this but rather taught her how to plug things in appropriately and let her plug the vaccumm and blender in while supervised. THinking I am being a good mommy. What a freakin farce!!!<br><br>
Today, I am doing laundry and she comes to me with a washcloth that has stuff on it asking me to wash it.<br><br>
I could not figure out what was on the washcloth until I smelled it and realized it was BURNT and in the shape of an iron.<br><br>
I tore through the house and sure enough in her bedroom, she had plugged in the iron, it was laying face down on the cord and burning a hole in the carpet (the same carpet she smeared gential violet on last week).<br><br>
I calmly freaked out. She is currently serving time in her room. I told her that what she did was bad and could have hurt the whole family. How could she understand the concept of burning down the house??? She is in her room with her lunch. All is quiet.<br><br>
How do I deal with this??? How can I express the magnitude of what she did. I have talked to her but I dont think it really sinks in.<br><br>
Other than putting her in her room for behavior that is potentially fatal, what should I do??<br><br>
I am completely lost on this.
 

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Put covers on all your plugs immediately and explain to her that she can no longer plug stuff in. Apologise for showing her how to do this and explain that you now realise she is too young to do this by herself. She should not be punished for doing this, you allowed her to do this when you shouldn't have.
 

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Chanley,<br><br>
Please don't beat yourself up too badly--I don't think you were wrong in teaching your dd to use outlets safely. We've done the same with ds, 3.5, and he's been fine--just keep stuff like irons put safely away, or go ahead and cover all the outlets just for your own sanity. I can totally understand how scary it must have been to find the iron burning your carpet, but the reality is that the house did not burn down, and no one was hurt, even though your carpet probably looks like crap now. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"><br><br>
And by the way, you ARE a good mommy!<br><br>
Take care,<br><br>
Heather
 

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yeah, i agree with the last poster. just keep the things that are potential fire hazards like irons, curling irons, hair dryers, and other things that get hot up up and away. maybe you could institute an "ask mama" policy if she wants to plug things in and tell her some things get hot and are dangerous.she should ask you first so you can tell her if it's an okay thing (like the vacuum) or a potentially dangerous thing (like the iron).<br><br>
my dd is about your dd's age and she does have some concept of fire and burning things and danger. this is mainly from me burning tostada shells in the toaster oven and making the smoke alarms go off and generally making a big smoky mess and having to get a new toaster oven. dh was pretty um...disappointed in me. dd also loves candles, but we've always impressed on her that the flames are hot and can be very dangerous. i don't know if an almost 3 year old can grasp burning down the house danger, but i'm sure your dd learned that irons can make hurt places on rugs now and you extrapolate on that.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> you're not a bad mommy! it's just a scary way to learn a lesson, but thank goodness no real harm was done!
 

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I also agree that plugging things in is okay, I mean she did plug it in safely. The issue is the iron, not the plug in.
 

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Im new here so I doubt my opinion means much to you but why did you leave an iron in her reach? teaching her to plug things in is an accident waiting to happen,then to punish her for doing something YOU taught her is just insane.<br><br>
A three year old should not be plugging in anything full stop!
 

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Well, I too am new, but to be honest I would never let my three year old daughter near to any plug sockets, purely because she is not old enough to grasp the concept of danger.<br><br>
I am in no way attacking, or 'getting' at you, I just want to put my pov across.<br><br>
I am sure that you have learnt from your mistake and that you are a great mommy.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">
 

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I am a pretty lenient mom so I see no problem in letting her plug things in. My own dd has been plugging things in since she was about 1. I have shown her how and to never touch the metal and to ONLY plug in plugs. She is a very careful child.<br><br>
With the op dd I dont see that she didnt anything wrong as I really doubt she knew an iron got hot and could burn things. I see it as it would be a good time to teach her about fire and that things when they are hot cause things to burn, ie irons.<br><br>
I also dont believe in keeping things out of childrens reach, I believe children ought to learn what they can and cant play with.
 

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it's all well and good to tell someone they screwed up, and ou wouldn't do what they did, but that's not the issue here.<br>
she DID teach her daughter to use the sockets and plugs.<br>
her daughter DID almost cause a fire.<br>
she's asking what to do NOW. she can't go back and unteach her about plugs. time travel is not an option.<br>
how about offering some constructive, real-life solutions to her scary situation?<br><br>
chanley, i am so sorry she scared you like that. i think you're right that she can't yet grasp the concept of the whole house burning down and people getting hurt because of something she did.<br>
i think i would do a couple things. 1) get those outlet covers that one step ahead sells where you replace the entire plate and not just cover the plug holes. you actually have to rotate the sliding cover and insert the plug simultaneously in order to use them.<br>
2) gather up everything that could catch fire and lock it away.<br>
3) get her some kid-sized tools (iron, ironing board, washboard, etc.) that she can play with without the electricity. and 4) get in the habit of shutting doors to rooms you aren't in so she's limited in her play choices. at least then you can see her if she sets something afire.
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">I also dont believe in keeping things out of childrens reach, I believe children ought to learn what they can and cant play with.</td>
</tr></table></div>
She is three years old,you really risk letting your child burn him/herself because you want them to learn what not to play with?<br><br>
That is a risk I could NEVER take,we are talking about a dangerous object here not a toy
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;"><i>Originally posted by pepsi</i><br><b>She is three years old,you really risk letting your child burn him/herself because you want them to learn what not to play with?<br><br>
That is a risk I could NEVER take,we are talking about a dangerous object here not a toy</b></td>
</tr></table></div>
I really doubt that my children would get burnt because I am always telling them "its hot dont touch" we need to be careful with xyz. Children arent stupid, they feel the heat coming off the iron/stove/oven most wont touch because of that. Its no risk if I am teaching my children saftey around certain objects. Its safer if the child is aware of an dangerous objects and knows how to behave around such objects instead of sheltering the child so that they are totally unaware of danger.<br><br>
The thing about irons thats so dangerous are the ironing boards, being so tipsy it takes barely anything to knock them over.
 

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Chanley,<br><br>
If I were you, I would focus on the damage that was done. For example, I would say "this iron is a tool for grown-ups. It is not safe for a child. Do you see how it hurt the rug?"<br><br>
I know it was really scary for you. And, there are so many possible disasters that could have come from this incident. The fact that everyone escaped unscathed is amazing. However, I think that is all too hard for her to understand. And, maybe too frightening for her to even try to understand.<br><br>
Maybe you can go on a proactive mission. Do as others have suggested and cover outlets. Plus, put all dangerous electrical items out of reach. In the end, the one who probably has been effected most is you.<br><br>
~Laura
 

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I apologise if my original response was terse. I should have given it more time.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;"><i>Originally posted by Chanley</i><br><b>I told her that what she did was bad.</b></td>
</tr></table></div>
But this statement really bothers me. Yes, what she did was not good but you showed her how to do it. Give yourself one slap on the wrist (just one!) and set about fixing it. Don't waste any energy beating yourself up, just fix it. And most importantly learn from the experience, as should we all. (where is that iron....?)
 

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I keep all my outlets covered, because at the age of four *I* was still naive enough to think that if I stuck Mom's car key in an electrical outlet, I just might be able to "start up" the house. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/scared.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="scared"><br><br>
My three year old is also suddenly fascinated by plugs and outlets. She knows that they can be dangerous, and that the covers are there to keep her safe.
 

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Your child already knows about plugging stuff in and you can't take away that knowledge (and btw, I think it's *good* to give kids honest info. about things they're interested in). You could tell her that any time she wants to plug something in, she can, but you want to be there to help her do it safely. If she continues to have this interest, invite her often to plug things in for you (the toaster, a fan, the vacuum, etc.). Talk about shocks and how electricity can be dangerous. Show her what the appliances do and what might happen if they're not used correctly. Look at these situations as a wonderful learning opportunity. Knowledge is good!
 

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I agree with Elphaba on this one.<br>
Those are the steps that I personally would take.<br>
I don't think it's a bad thing to allow kids to explore with "dangerous" things, but I think that sometimes we forget that their minds are really not developed to understand cause and effect the way that an aduts is. Or that kids are all different. My 7 yr old cna't yet differentiate dangerous from not, or control his impulses. It's hard, but persistence is the only thing that works.
 

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LIZ<br><br>
IMHO I think your original response was right on the mark. A 3 yr old DOES NOT have the maturity to handle something so dangerous as electricity.
 

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I don't think the question is about whether or not Chanley should have let her dd plug things in. I think that all of us allow our children to do certain things with supervision that we would not want them to do alone. My dd is allowed to help me cook, but of course she is not allowed to turn on the stove by herself!<br><br>
I agree that the best solution is to clarify the rules about plugging things in - tell her that she is only allowed to do it when you are present. And then put all potentially dangerous items out of her reach, like the iron and the toaster and anything else like that. Also, don't leave her unsupervised for extended periods of time. I found age three to be a little tricky - it's a time when they play in another room alone and this feels like progress, which it is, but on the other hand it's important to check on them now and then to make sure nothing is wrong - especially when they're REALLY quiet! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"> My dd is almost five and I still try to know what she's up to, even when I'm not in the room. Impulse control is a tough thing to master.<br><br>
Be kind to yourself! We all make mistakes and learn from them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
First of all, thanks for the replies.<br><br>
I did not leave the iron within her reach. EVERYTHING is within her reach and I am not joking. This is the kid I have found ON top of the refridgerator when she was not even two. Her nickname is Sir Edmund.<br><br>
Until now, the iron has sat UNUSED on top of the shelf which is nearly at ceiling level above the dryer behind a TON of other stuff. I cannot access this shelf without the aid of a stool. My stepmother was here helping me with the newbaby and ironed a shirt. She saw my step mom use the iron and was trying to do what Nani did. However, she did not notify anyone that is what she was doing. While I was tending the baby she got the iron to her room and was "playing" with it.<br><br>
Yes what she did was bad and I will not "slap myself on the wrist" for that. My issue was not with plugging something in, it was with using something she did not have permission to use. She and I have been over the issue of her getting tools down (I keep the misc. tool bucket on that shelf too and she went through a brief period of getting the hammer and trying to knock in a few imaginary nails after she saw me do this with a few nails in some trim that were sticking up).<br><br>
I guess the real issue is that when the iron was being used, nobody explained it to her. I usually do that when I use somethign that is potentially dangerous, I talk about it while I am using it.<br><br>
Ok chaos is breaking out....
 

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For right npw i would not focus on the iron incedent so much with her as drilling in the rules about what she may touch without permission and what she may not touch uinless you re there. At the age of three I think that would be anything that isn't her toy. (I learned the hard way with a pair of sicissors - not fire but the results were poretty sad and someone coupld have gotton hurt.) My first response was that you shouldn't have tought her to plug in stuff. But you said she was obsessed with plugs and she was going to plug things in whether you let her or not. At least she didn't elctricute herself before she burned the house down. I would cover your outlets, perhaps take away her plugging priveledges for a while and each time she asks to plug something remind her to ask you before she plugs anything in. I think noiw would be the time to start talking about fire saftey (if you haven't already) and how no matter how much trouble she thinks she might be in she should always get a grown up if she is in danger. In the mean time lock your cupboards, tie down the furniture, perhaps install a climbing wall and perhaps a nice high gloss paint will slow her down while she is climbing the walls. And hey, get rid of your iron. Who needs to iron. And look at all the pain and misery it almost caused. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1">
 
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