How do you deal with a sneaky child?

My soon to be five year old daughter is always getting into things, usually the moment my back is turned or late at night. She steals food from the kitchen, takes my phone when we are all sleeping to watch YouTube, she goes into the bathroom and plays with the soaps, I am at a loss! I am losing sleep worrying that she will get outside or hurt herself doing something she shouldn’t. She has started handing her sister ( 2) things off the counters or telling her to go do things she knows is wrong. Even if I am distracted for a second she is off doing something mischievous. We have a baby on the way so my attention is going to be Stretched enough. How can I help her? I have explained to her about the dangers of her actions. She is not lacking in attention as I give it to her alllll day long. I just don’t know what else I can do!


Put an alarm on her door… $10 Walmart


Put a lock on your phone for one… :woman_facepalming:


I’d change your phone password & get one of those latch locks on the door and put it high enough that you can reach it, but she can’t & then you don’t really have to worry about the really dangerous stuff. As for her behaviour with the 2yo I’d just try having a conversation with her to figure out why she does it

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There is no such thing as stealing food from your kitchen and just lock your phone


I am sort of confused about the steals food from the kitchen…but then again I grew up in a house where being old enough to help myself was considered a milestone and encouraged. Taking your phone and using it to play games/YouTube is very normal behavior for younger kids.if it bothers you lock your phone.


Have you actually disciplined her so that she learns her actions have consequences? I understand explaining why she shouldn’t do it, but she needs to learn accountability.


Your wording bothers me, a child can’t “steal” food… If it bothers you so much keep a little shelf in the fridge with snacks like fruit veg yogurt cheese & flavor water that she knows she’s allowed to eat whenever without asking.
As for the sneaking from her room, a baby gate could help or maybe a door alarm.
And definitely lock your phone or any tablets in the home


If you are losing sleep how is she doing this all?!


I wouldn’t call it “stealing food” as its suppose to be their food too. My 5 year old gets into the snack cupboard in the middle of the night. I’ve just started buying healthier options and putting the sweeter stuff where he can’t get to it. Them eating doesn’t bother me, the sugar at 2am does. Lock the tablet and phone btw


Sounds like my son. Ive always said he is so hard headed and doesnt want to listen that he is gonna have to figure out life the hard way. But as for the outside, get an alarm or something.

My daughter sneaks candy, danimals and puddings when it’s not snack time. Shower time usually is when she strikes. She sees and opportunity and goes for it and attempts to hide the wrappers sometimes. My daughter is almost 3 and she likes to feel independent I think. She does other things besides the snacks. But the sneaking is what bothers Mom not the actual snacking I’m sure.

Lock the phone, use discipline, at the age of five a naughty chair should be great for five minutes. But after the five minutes you have to explain why they are there and talk about it, also about how to avoid going back there, she needs consequences for her actions and also how to know to change the behaviour.


I keep a tall baby gate up to separate our rooms from the rest of the house so my 3 year old son cant go searching for anything. My house is set up that I can put the gate up to the living room so he has access to both our rooms and the bathroom.

Baby gates, put snacks and treats out of the way and give her something to do that will occupy her time. A messy station with glue paint glitter etc one day, then bring all her dolls down the next, then all her teddy’s for a " tea party’ it must be difficult with 2 and one on the way I really feel for you. It maybe a little jealousy if she hears you talking about new baby a lot. Maybe try and have a bit of one to one time with her, if you can get your 2 year old to nap, have a hot chocolate and cookie hour with her and let her help mix the chocolate put marshmallows on, just so she feels like it’s that special time with you and her x

I put locks on the pantry and refrigerator. Put a password on your phone and lock the deadbolt at home. I used screen time as punishment and reward. He eventually stopped


Put her behind in school she will learn then …

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Lock your phone.
Put up unhealthy food. Have fruit for her if she gets hungry at night.

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The food thing, she may just be hungry. Try feeding her. The rest, maybe discipline or behavioral therapy?

Should could be going through a growth spurt as to why shes getting into the groceries.
If shes getting into the refrigerator put a child lock on it…would hate for her to climb in and shut the door (yes ladies they will do this…just like they do with dryers.
Get a small box or clear a shelf and put things like raisins…dried fruit…etc let her know its hers and its ok to get that.
Ladies phone locks dont work. Most phones these days have an emergency 911 button on it and when they try to gwt into the phone for videos…they will push that…3x cops showed up at my house…put it out of reach or hide it at night…