aamk asks:

My 8 yr old sneaks candy

My 8 yr old adopted son (we got him when he was 4 yr old) has adhd and on meds for it... NOW he has started sneaking candy under his p.j's he also climbed up and got the magnet to open the locked cabinet and got a cold ease cough drop my husband caught him when he went to tuck him in...and my son denied it then my husband got him to open his mouth..we got cough drop back... but i dnt know what to do (first hide locks) but after that i dont know,it seems the more i track him the more he tries to sneak HELP any ideas.......
In Topics: Discipline and behavior challenges
> 60 days ago



Boys Town National Hotline
Dec 14, 2010
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What the Expert Says:

You are probably correct in your observation that the more you track him the more he tries to sneak. It could be somewhat of a game to him now. He also receives attention for it, even though it is negative attention. Getting into candy is one thing, but sneaking into the medicine cabinet is scary. Thank goodness he only took a cough drop and did not get into any liquid cold medicine!

Maybe you can have him earn sweet treats as rewards for having a good day and following directions. Think about reducing the amount of candy you give him and replace it with fruit and yogurt. Even cookies are better than candy. These sweet treats are also harder to hide under PJ's!

If you want to talk about this or any other parenting issue, our counselors are available 24 hours, 7 days a week. We help parents and children of all ages, in many different situations. Take care and best wishes to you and your family.

Cynthia, Counselor
Boys Town National Hotline

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Additional Answers (1)

aqblickley writes:
Hi aamk,

I'm so sorry to hear that you're experiencing this tough situation! It sounds to me like your son may be more tempted to sneak sweets because you're going to great lengths to hide it from him.

Another approach might be removing the sweets from the house (at least temporarily) or moving them to a place within reach - and setting hard and firm limits on how much candy he's allowed to have (and when).

Come up with a reasonable consequence for breaking the candy rules, whether it's taking away TV time, not having dessert (or candy) after dinner), or taking away play date privileges.

I'm hoping that the lure of finding the hidden goods will go away if they're more out in the open. If that's not enough, perhaps weighing the consequences of his actions will persuade him to stop sneaking candy.

Below, I'm linking to a similar question asked by another member. The answers there might be helpful to you as well.

Good luck, and I hope this helps!

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