My 6-Year-Old Has Been Caught Sneaking Out Several Times: What Can We Do?!

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"My 6yr old was cause 2nd time sneaking out. within a month. 1st time she snuck out took her scooter and went to mcds cause ‘she was hungry’ this was at 1030pm. some stranger saw her and this lady walked her home. it's about a 10-15min walk…I went to the school guidance counselor for advice and I brought her in and we talked with her about the dangers of what COULD have happened. also had a school cop talk to her and he basically told her there's people who will take u and make u do awful horrible things. .and you'll never see mom and dad again. this morning at about 2 am. my husband came running upstairs panicking asking where she was. I woke up and ran outside with him. we found her at my car with my car keys…brought her inside and I talked to her some. she said she wanted her headphones out of the car. she had my husband's old phone in her bed and was on Spotify looking up kids' sleep music. Friday night she didn't go to sleep till probably 130am. woke up 7-8 am Saturday she got sent to bed early like 630 pm. had a fit and tried explaining she wasn't in trouble she just needs to go to bed cause she was overly tired. well, that was a fight in itself. she has ADHD. on meds for it. but they only help for about 8-9hrs. cause it's a stimulant medication. we recently moved states. she misses her friends but has friends at her new school. I'm trying to get therapy for her but everyone has a really long waitlist or doesn't take her insurance. has dr appt Monday morning going to try to talk to the pediatrician. but I need advice on what to do. cause my husband and I are at a loss. I'm going to get door alarms once I find good ones. I got the ones from $ store but they don't fit on our door right so they weren't much help."

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The following top answers have been selected by a moderator from hundreds of responses to the original question.

"We put alarms on all of the doors, we had the same problem when my oldest was about 4. He would usually go to the neighbors house and sit with them while they had morning coffee. Regardless we didn’t know where he was and anyone could pick him up passing by."

"Sleep meds and lots of child safety locks and devices. Cameras with motion detection. Home security."

"Most kids on adhd meds need something to help them sleep at bedtime. You need to alarm all doors and windows."

"Door alarms are helpful, but your doctors should have discussed the fact that sleep disorders and ADHD go hand in hand, especially in those who are medicated. It’s often recommended that a sleep aid be taken in addition to daily amphetamines."

"Get a security system with window and door sensors. Set the alarm to go off at a certain time every night and it’ll set it off loudly. That’s what we have! Extra locks up high on every door and window that she CAN NOT REACH."

"Lock everything. Alarm everything. Make sure she knows she can come to you or dad if she needs something or is hungry. And will NOT be in trouble for waking you’s etc."

"Alarms. You can also get tracker bracelets and anklets that many special needs kiddos have that are runners. I would 100% go this route. Also call and talk to your police station. Tell them you have a six year old that is a runner and leaving your property. They can have the info on file and can activate and track the bracelet. This is definitely not a normal behavior and you need the Dr, counselor and law on your side. Your school social worker can hook you up with the resources and many qualify for free."

"Have you tried melatonin for children, it is all natural and really works. Not sure how effective with ADHD medication though. Also, maybe one of those alarms that detect movement when she comes out of her bedroom?"

"Also she probably can’t sleep from the stimulant medication. Although the focus from the meds might least 6-9 hours stimulant effect will make it hard to sleep. For example when I take my ADD meds I can’t sleep like at all until I stop taking it"

"My younger sister would try this my mom put a double bolt lock on the front and back door and gave everyone a key and we put security alarms on all the window and one of the bedroom door"

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