Just this evening I was on the phone with my mom for a few minutes, and I had a candle on the stove. My ds put a paper towel over it and it caught fire and he threw it into the garbage. He is 5. He came and told me there was fire in the garbage and that his sister did it. I went in to look and there was a black smoking paper towel. I then said, I guess I cant leave a candle on the stove anymore.. and told ds that it was unsafe and that the whole garbage could have caught fire and that I never wanted him to do that again.... (im trying really hard to be gd and so no yelling is on my agenda and no lectures). I said it very calmly and left it at that and then at bedtime I laid next to him and we talked very calmly about it. I told him what can happen when things catch fire and that everything can catch fire and that our kittiees could have and that he could have and that he was very lucky he didnt get burned. I asked him if it was scary and he said "no. I put the paper towel over the candle and it got black and then it went poof and caught fire and I put it in the garbage and put the cover on". we have a wooden garbage can and the inside cover had a black smoke stain on it and it was all hot.
My question is..... well obviously i need to not have candles out.... i just had this one and it was bc our cat had pooped.... but is there another way to handle this? Is there a better non punitive way to get my point across? I was very, probably too honest, bc I told him that people die in fires and that our house could have caught fire and that we could have died.... I hope i didnt tramatize him. I was very calm when I said it, but I just felt like I needed him to understand how dangerous fire is.