I am working on my Master's in counseling, currently in an inner city internship placement. I am trying really hard not to judge people, but I am sick of seeing parents that don't do their jobs!!! Today, I am listening to a parent who's child is fascinated with fires. She has torched a bed, been caught smoking, and set a piece of paper ablaze. The parents says " I keep putting my cigarettes and lighter away, but she finds them." The kid is 5, and has other serious issues as well as the fire affinity. The parent is ready to have the child committed for 30 days to be observed. ( probally a good thing due to other issues). BUT, part of the solution is obvious. If you fear for the family's safety and want to feel safe at home, get rid of the lighter and matches, and heaven forbid, the smokes. When this little kid set the mattress on fire, the entire family could have perished, it was at night. Another obvious solution? MONITOR your child. The parent caught her smoking in the bedroom and she threw the cig. under the bed. It took the kid time to get the smokes, light up, and get caught. Where in the heck was the supervision????? BE the parent. Check up on your kids. The older they get, the more you schould check. BE a role model. If the 5 year old is smoking, realize where they got the idea from. A five year old isn't just born with the idea to light up and smoke. They see the behavior modeled.
I love working with kids, I will never get tired of that. It's the parents that sometimes frustrate me.