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Safety, my 5 year old is scaring the heck out of me

Posted by on Apr. 4, 2013 at 11:32 AM
  • 21 Replies

Keeping my son safe is my first priority, but boy he doesn't make it easy! Do you remember in Jurassic park where the raptors kept testing the fence for weaknesses? That is my kid. A year and a half ago he got out of the house while I was away for a business trip, he decided to "look for mommy" in his underwear, dragging his blanket. Two teenaged girls found him two blocks from home. He scared the hell out of my husband and older kids. We put high flip and chain latches on the doors that weekend and we lock each other in and out of the house so Vaughn is always secure inside with whoever is watching him. Last summer he figured out he could pull the barstools around in the backyard to look over the fences, we threw out our outdoor barstools after he flipped over into the neighbor's yard. they have an open pool, we have a pool behind an iron gate, no more barstools. A few months ago he figured out how to open the windows (they're not easy) he opened the window to his 2nd story bedroom, pushed the screen out and scared my 13 year old daughter and her friends to death. Two girls came running in the house to tell me while two stayed under the window thinking they could catch him? We put locks on every window that weekend. Yesterday he got our side gate open and let our dogs loose in the neighborhood, the padlock was threaded but not popped shut and someone noticed. After getting the dogs back and checking all the padlocks I went to make the kids lunch while Vaughn jumped on the trampoline. Suddenly he was knocking at the front door!!! He climbed a big blue barrel trash can to get over the fence, a 5 ft high block wall! He had a balloon in his hand, where's the ballon from Vaughn? He took me next door to our neighbors house where their front door was open but no one was home? Apparently they don't lock their doors, now I'm going to be worried about them too. He went in their house and found a balloon in the living room... Shut up. At 10pm last night my husband installed a key lock on our sliding glass door so Vaughn can't get in the backyard anymore. We'll have to use a key to let our dogs in and out... But what else can we do? I can't risk finding my kid at the bottom of my neighbors pool, at the bottom of my pool, hit by a car or abducted out on the street. In 15 years of motherhood nothing as ever had me this scared. He's too smart with too little common sense.

by on Apr. 4, 2013 at 11:32 AM
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by Member on Apr. 4, 2013 at 12:58 PM

I'm so sorry! That's a very scary thing. My 2 year old gave me a scare last week. We were at church and I turned away for 5 min to do something and he somehow finds the only door in the church that's open and walks out. I went into a panic and eventually found him playing in the parking lot. I've looked into GPS trackers for him or even something to alarm me if he were to cross a certain border. I've also read a little about the autism service dogs that are trained to find their kid. In the mean time let all your neighbors and police officers in the area know. Hope this helps some:)

by on Apr. 4, 2013 at 1:16 PM

I wish I had answers but I don't my 3 1/2 year old is also a wander and it makes us feel somewhat jailed. For them we must. Wishing you answers.

by on Apr. 4, 2013 at 1:29 PM

I am so sorry sweetie, my 4 year old is a little escape artist as well. He managed to get out of my cousin's backyard and walked about 7 houses down and was playing in their sprinklers in the front yard. Luckily the neighbors had seen him and one followed him and the other came and told us. This was all in less than 5 minutes. Fortunately he hasn't figured out how to turn the doorknobs yet. All I can say is just keep trying, do let your neighbors know. I've read about those dogs and they will train a dog specifically to your son's needs, but they cost upwards of $10,000.

by Gold Member on Apr. 4, 2013 at 1:40 PM

I feel for you, I had to deal with my son running out of the door when he was 3-4.  Now he he will be 5 in June and runs to his bedroom when angry or sad.  He has done this change all by himself.  You can tell your child to go to his bedroom when angry or sad.

by on Apr. 4, 2013 at 1:49 PM

It's hard to tell when he'll wander, it's not usually when he's upset. It's more happy/curious? Yesterday we had a long talk after the incident letting the dogs out and then he was drawing himself a "blueprint" of our house with labels for where he was allowed with and without an adult, 20 minutes later he was over the wall. It's a bummer, we live in Southern California and we spend a lot of time with the doors open going in and out of the house but I just don't feel like I can trust him if I'm not right in the yard with him.

by on Apr. 4, 2013 at 2:35 PM

you, my dear, have your hands full! not only are those situations scarey but how do you do anything around the house when you have to keep your eyes on this kid every second! your stories are scaring the heck out of me, i think i would seriously be in the hospital from a break down if i was experiencing those for real. but like you said what are you going to do...just keep on locking things up and working with him on what is acceptable and i pray for your family that he begins to understand those boundaries.

by on Apr. 4, 2013 at 2:49 PM
1 mom liked this

Thank you. It is terrifying. We have a very busy house with four children and I run a business from home, it's hard to keep my eye on him every second. So far today we are good, he cannot get out and he's tried. He did make a mess with some peanut butter and unrolled a whole roll of toilet paper, but that I can live with. I adore this kid and all his antics would be funny if they weren't so terrifying.

by on Apr. 4, 2013 at 3:41 PM
1 mom liked this

So I know that he knows he shouldn't go out.  But sometimes I feel like our kids are just COMPELLED to get out.  So maybe putting PECS style strips of the "steps to go outside" on all his escape routes might help him interrupt the NEED to be out and think "oh yeah, I should go get mom" kind of thing.  I take no credit for this idea, I saw it on the show SuperNanny where a 8 year old with Downs Syndrome was the escape artist.  She put a long velcro strip on every door with three BIG PEC style pictures - the first was a stop sign, the second was a picture of the word WAIT (so for non-readers maybe just skip that one) and then the third was a picture of the kid talking to his mom to ask to go out.  Worked like a charm for that family, who knows? 

by on Apr. 4, 2013 at 3:51 PM

That's not a bad idea at all. I may set something like this up for him, thank you for the suggestion.

by Darby on Apr. 4, 2013 at 3:55 PM

Hugs mama!  

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