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My kid took my keys!
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amother




OP
 

Post Thu, Jun 10 2021, 3:17 am
He took my keys and hid them somewhere. Said he did this to punish me/teach me a lesson (I don't take his things away as a punishment) and says "I won't tell you" when I ask for them back. What should I do next? I don't want to get into a power struggle with him. But I want my keys. And I don't want this to happen again.
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salt




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Jun 10 2021, 6:39 am
Find out why s/he was upset with you? What were you being 'punished' for. Maybe you can make amends/apologize, in return for getting keys back. Even if you didn't really do anything that bad.

And then explain that we don't do that. We tell mummy when we are upset and we talk about it. That's a bit hard to justify if their teachers confiscate things as punishments though.

I would also try bribery - if they give it back you'll give them their favorite treat. And then obviously keep keys OUT OF reach!
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imasinger




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Jun 10 2021, 6:45 am
I hope by now you have them back.

I would also first address what was upsetting him, and talk it through. Then, gently but firmly explain how taking your keys was not safe, because if there were an emergency and he had them hidden, there would be serious trouble. Insist that he return them immediately, in order to keep the family safe. And make a plan together about safe ways to express anger.
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amother




Saddlebrown
 

Post Thu, Jun 10 2021, 6:57 am
Does he even remember where he put them?

Last edited by amother on Thu, Jun 10 2021, 6:57 am; edited 1 time in total
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trixx




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Jun 10 2021, 6:57 am
Turn it into a game to find it together. Like you're a dinosaur, or hot cold, something really silly that gets him giggling. Connection + no power struggle
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mommy3b2c




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Jun 10 2021, 6:59 am
How old is this child? If he’s 3, these answers might be appropriate. If he’s 12, you need serious help.
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imasinger




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Jun 10 2021, 6:59 am
trixx wrote:
Turn it into a game to find it together. Like you're a dinosaur, or hot cold, something really silly that gets him giggling. Connection + no power struggle


I like this!
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trixx




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Jun 10 2021, 7:02 am
mommy3b2c wrote:
How old is this child? If he’s 3, these answers might be appropriate. If he’s 12, you need serious help.


It's posted under preschooler
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amother




OP
 

Post Thu, Jun 10 2021, 8:15 am
Still haven't found them. I was hoping to find them myself and then he'd realize that hiding them doesn't get him anywhere.
I can't remember what triggered it. I think I told him that it was time to take a bath, get into pajamas, or something like that. Or maybe he wanted me to buy something and I said no.

We've discussed how to behave when angry. We've done joint problem solving (with pen and paper, listening to each other). We've talked about stepping into another room if you need a break. (I sometimes do the same myself and tell him.) We've discussed hitting a pillow, tearing paper, instead of hurting people or property.
I've tried teaching him words to describe his feelings.

Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to affect his behavior when he's angry and wants to punish me.
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amother




Peach
 

Post Thu, Jun 10 2021, 8:23 am
I had a child like that. I write “had “ because we’re finally passed this stage.
He once took my husbands work cellphone. It was horrible. I found it under his mattress.
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amother




OP
 

Post Thu, Jun 10 2021, 8:32 am
Pp, what made him grow out of it? Or did you do something to make it stop?
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amother




Powderblue
 

Post Thu, Jun 10 2021, 9:12 am
Don’t have any advice on the parenting aspect BUT if you want to prevent not being able to find your keys again you can put a tracker on it like Air Tag if you have an iPhone or Tile brand if you don’t have an iPhone (I’m sure there are other brands too)
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amother




Goldenrod
 

Post Thu, Jun 10 2021, 9:15 am
I would definitely give him a consequence that makes him think twice about doing such a thing next time. He needs to understand that you don't take Mommy's things, period. Not acceptable behavior. Boundaries are important for everyone's safety.
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FranticFrummie




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Jun 10 2021, 9:18 am
You've tried being reasonable, you've tried being empathetic, it's not working. He's enjoying this way too much, and knows this entertainment can go on indefinitely. He needs to know that you are not going to be his puppet.

The time for negotiation has passed.

I would take away whatever he values most, and hold it hostage until you get your keys back. If it's his favorite stuffed animal, then so be it.
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trixx




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Jun 10 2021, 9:28 am
amother [ OP ] wrote:
Still haven't found them. I was hoping to find them myself and then he'd realize that hiding them doesn't get him anywhere.
I can't remember what triggered it. I think I told him that it was time to take a bath, get into pajamas, or something like that. Or maybe he wanted me to buy something and I said no.

We've discussed how to behave when angry. We've done joint problem solving (with pen and paper, listening to each other). We've talked about stepping into another room if you need a break. (I sometimes do the same myself and tell him.) We've discussed hitting a pillow, tearing paper, instead of hurting people or property.
I've tried teaching him words to describe his feelings.

Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to affect his behavior when he's angry and wants to punish me.


At 3-4 all your techniques should be enough and this doesn't sound typical anymore.
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amother




Goldenrod
 

Post Thu, Jun 10 2021, 9:32 am
Are they your car keys? Tell him you can't go to wherever you normally take him in the car because you don't have the keys. Make it so that he's punishing himself, I.e. a natural consequence.

If it's your house keys, effectively ground him by saying you can't take him outside because you can't lock up.

Etc.
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monseymom25




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Jun 10 2021, 9:38 am
Op this sounds like it needs to be addressed further but for the short term... can you try not being bothered at all. Forget about it and plan a trip to do some errands and include a stop for something extra fun or exciting or special for him. Then on the way out the door you can “remember “ about the keys. Ask him if he wants to get them now and go or would he rather stay gone and you’ll just go later in Daddy’s car. No big deal to you either way. When it becomes his choice he may just go get them.
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FranticFrummie




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Jun 10 2021, 10:37 am
monseymom25 wrote:
Op this sounds like it needs to be addressed further but for the short term... can you try not being bothered at all. Forget about it and plan a trip to do some errands and include a stop for something extra fun or exciting or special for him. Then on the way out the door you can “remember “ about the keys. Ask him if he wants to get them now and go or would he rather stay gone and you’ll just go later in Daddy’s car. No big deal to you either way. When it becomes his choice he may just go get them.


So he learns that he can get rewarded? Can't Believe It

Maybe OP needs to go to work, or an important doctor's appointment, or they don't have a second car.

I can't believe how everyone is tiptoeing around a tiny tyrant. Take back control of your household! Who's the adult here, anyway?

If he thinks he'll get ice cream for stealing your keys, it will be your cell phone next, I guarantee it.
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naturalmom5




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Jun 10 2021, 12:38 pm
FranticFrummie wrote:
So he learns that he can get rewarded? Can't Believe It

Maybe OP needs to go to work, or an important doctor's appointment, or they don't have a second car.

I can't believe how everyone is tiptoeing around a tiny tyrant. Take back control of your household! Who's the adult here, anyway?

If he thinks he'll get ice cream for stealing your keys, it will be your cell phone next, I guarantee it.


Thats this generation FF
How long have you been on imamother

And this little boy grows up to be the man in the other thread
Who wants a get today and a one night stand the next
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amother




Cadetblue
 

Post Thu, Jun 10 2021, 12:53 pm
amother [ Goldenrod ] wrote:
Are they your car keys? Tell him you can't go to wherever you normally take him in the car because you don't have the keys. Make it so that he's punishing himself, I.e. a natural consequence.

If it's your house keys, effectively ground him by saying you can't take him outside because you can't lock up.

Etc.



^^^^^^ This.

Remind him that when we're angry, we use our words to discuss it.

But now Ima can't go to the store to get his favorite cereal, so he'll have to eat something he doesn't like as much. And we won't be able to go to the park, or wherever he likes. Its the natural consequence of not having keys.
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