Daikona - My son is 11 years old and in the 6th grade. He is a well informed, responsible, and mature kid. Talking to him about his actions and the possible consequences works most of the time but when his actions could cause the death of everyone he holds dear I think (for him) that the lesson he needed had to be a little stronger.
This may not be an approach that worked for you and other parents might have different ideas but for myself and my son, this was effective. For him, making the connection that his actions could really hurt the people he loves was really effective. After this lesson he apologized and went to hold his little sisters, whom he adores.
This was the first and I would bet last time, he ever plays with matches.
And finally, thanks for the compliment. Every once in a while I have fairly fucking brilliant ideas and it’s always nice when someone notices.
Now I return you to your regularly scheduled rant.