We're buying 500 matches for difficult child

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by TerryJ2, May 20, 2008.

  1. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    ...on instructions from the child psychiatric.
    This weekend we're making difficult child light every single one. One by one. :devil2: If he STILL thinks it's fun after that, we make him light 1,500.
    Considering his reaction to kicking the back of the carseat for 1/2 hr a few yrs ago, I think this is going to work.
    I was going to do this on my own, but didn't know much about boys and lighting matches (or burning pencils) so I waited for the psychiatric to suggest it. Yay! He said it is more of a boy thing, for whatever reason, and he knows my difficult child well enough to know this will work.
    He also regaled difficult child with-3 real-life horror stories of pts of his who burned their parents' houses down, and one who accidentally killed his grandparents. difficult child got the picture.
    It was weird hearing these horror stories of heat, smoke and flame, while it was pouring rain, thundering, lightning and hailing against the windows. What a strange session we had today. It couldn't have been better if the psychiatric had dressed up as Alfred Hitchcock or Vincent Price!

    We're also supposed to teach difficult child how to make a campfire from scratch, outside. I've been having him help me light fake logs in the fireplace at Christmas but the psychiatric said that's not good enough. It has to have detail and a fair amt of work to be educational.

    I'll let you know how it goes.
  2. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    FWIW, my difficult child had the same obsession with fire around this age.

    The psychologist told me to just let it run it's course, and not play into the drama that difficult child so much wanted when he did things like light a pencil on fire. I know it sounds completely counter intuitive - but I did it. I kept a close eye on him, and I always knew what he was doing, but I can safely say that at age 17, this phase has completely passed.

    I wish you luck! And hugs.
  3. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Good luck. I have to say that you're a braver woman than me.
  4. Dara

    Dara New Member

    Good luck. I hope all goes well!
  5. amazeofgrace

    amazeofgrace New Member

    eeks I can smell the skorched finger tips now.
  6. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Good luck!
  7. fuddleduddledee

    fuddleduddledee New Member

    A few years back my son was playing with fire. One night as I was cooking dinner and my back was turned junior took a paper towel and put it on a burner that was on high. Flames started to shooting up from the paper towel and he then dropped the paper towel onto the floor. Panic stricken I ran for the fire extinguisher and got the fire put out. Next I turned my back to get the things necessary to clean up the mess and darling mister grabbed the fire extinguisher pulled down on the lever and..............poof I thought a I was part of the movie "THE FOG". Powder was everywhere, in the air, on the floor, finer than talcum powder, what a mess. I thought about it for a few days, and then I called the Fire Department and spoke to their Fire Safety Officer. She told me that they offered some classes for teenagers and I explained that difficult child was special needs and would not benefit from a group like that. She then set up our very own little class just for difficult child and me. We saw a movie about fire and how quickly a whole house could become engulfed, and how very few seconds you really do have to escapse, we also got to see the fire equipment and ambulances and we met the firemen working there. Our little field trip did seem to impact on difficult child and I haven't really had a problem since.

    Good luck with the matches.
  8. Christy

    Christy New Member

    Good Luck. I hope this works for you. I guess I'm wondering about whether it is a fascination about lighting a match or about watching things burn (like the pencil). The campfire allows for an opportunity to see something burn in a controlled environment. Focus on fire safety and watch him like a hawk.

    I like fuddleuddledee's idea about contacting the fire dept. as well.

    Let us know how it goes!
  9. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I like this idea!

    She then set up our very own little class just for difficult child and me. We saw a movie about fire and how quickly a whole house could become engulfed, and how very few seconds you really do have to escapse, we also got to see the fire equipment and ambulances and we met the firemen working there. Our little field trip did seem to impact on difficult child and I haven't really had a problem since.
  10. oh my goodness! kinda reminds me of the parent who (in the 80's) threatened to make her teenager smoke a whole pack of cigarettes in one sitting if she caught her smoking again!
    Wow! I hope this is successful. I'm sure your therapist knows what he is doing. Good luck!! Let us know how it turns out!
  11. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Good Luck!!

    Please let us know how it works. I know with some behaviors making the child do them for a set time period or to a certain point works. In the daycare Wizard and Jess went to, the director (an awesome and wonderful lady!) would give kids who spit a dixie cup with a line drawn on it. They had to fill it with spit up to the line before they could play or do anything else besides lunch and potty breaks. It really worked!


  12. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    I WAS the 5 yo whose Adopted Dad made her smoke a pack of cigs... he tried at least, until I was throwing up!!!
    You know what, I started smoking a 9yo old!!! DUH... he also tried to do it again to me at 13 with a bottle of vodka and a carton of cigs. This time I laughed in his face and said "What do you think I am stupid?" I had to leave the house shortly thereafter...

    But he never actually sat me down and explained why any of these things were bad, or why I should not be doing them, and he was doing them... and smoking pot to boot!
    So I think you have a much better chance at nipping this in the bud...

    I now have the song, "The house, the house, the house is on fire, we don't need no water let the mother-f'er burn, burn mother-f'er, BURN"!!!

    and good luck
  13. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member


    This sounds like a plan to me!!! I hope it works!!! I'm eagerly awaiting your update. WFEN
  14. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    LMAO tot...I made Cory sit down and smoke an entire pack of generic non-filtered cigs when I caught him smoking at age 10. He was gagging and coughing and puking up a lung. Oddly enough it didnt stop him at all. He has been smoking steadily ever since.
  15. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    Yikes. Wishing you well.
  16. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Janet, your is the first case I've heard of where that didn't work! Leave it to a difficult child.
    I'm off to buy the matches today ...
  17. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Make it two- it backfired in my family, too! (My mom made me do it and I started smoking.)
  18. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Rob was a fire setter from the time he was a little boy. When he was 5 his psychiatrist recommended the same thing so we bought him 500 matches and he sat and lit every one of them, then dunked each of them in a bowl of water.

    And when it didn't stop his obsession, we gave him 1000...

    ...and then 1500.

    Nothing worked.

    For as long as he lived at home he snuck matches and lighters into the house. Shortly before he was arrested and moved to an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) (age 16) I found him in the back of our house with a "campfire pile" of unlit match books....I caught him just as he was about to strike the match to set the pile of matches on fire.

    And the pile was only about 3 feet from the side of our home.

    Oh, and he had all of those match books because he'd burglarized our next door neighbor's home 3 times and was stealing the matches (among other things) from them!

    I guess my point to you is that not all kids are "cured" with overkill on something. Like some of the smokers have recounted, this seemed to only feed Rob's interest in fire and destruction.

    Never let your guard down. At least for a very long time.

  19. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Suz makes a very good point.
    My difficult child has been a fire setter (and, strangely, an egg-smasher) since he was a little boy, and shows no sign of slowing down at nearly 19.

    The only thing that has worked is to keep the matches under lock and key, and to keep the key around my neck, even when I'm sleeping.

    Hope it works Terry, but don't let your guard down.