Keeping Locks On....

Bonnie - posted on 02/08/2011 ( 105 moms have responded )

4,813

22

262

So I was watching an episode of Super Nanny the other night and supposedly the couple that she was helping keep locks on the outside of their children's bedroom doors. She outright pointed it out as one of the things they are doing wrong as parents.



What is your opinion on this? Do you think there is a positive side to doing this? Or is it completely wrong and abusive? Do you think it is right or wrong to lock children in their rooms?



Personally, I think it is wrong. A child should not be locked in their room. Even if it is only at night, so they stay in there and not cause trouble. I wouldn't say it is 100% abusive, but it can be if the child needs to use the bathroom or hasn't eaten.

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Mary - posted on 02/09/2011

3,348

31

123

I haven't had to deal with this (yet), but my sister did with her son. He was one of those kids that would wake up in the dead of night and wander. They tried a variety of things, including the knob covers, but at 3 1/2, they proved to be no obstacle for him.

They were awoken one night at 2am by their neighbor repeatedly ringing the doorbell of their (open) front door. Seems my nephew had gotten up, gone outside, and went next door. He rang their doorbell until they answered, and then asked if their son could come out to play.

They put a lock on the outside of his bedroom door the next day. It stayed there for a month, until they were able to install an alarm system in the house (which btw, is not cheap!).

I understand the concern about house fires and the hazards, but honestly, when you weigh the risks - the odds of him being harmed by wandering outside in the middle of the night vs the chances of their house catching on fire - I think they chose the lesser of the two evils.

Lady Heather - posted on 02/08/2011

2,448

17

91

I think if I had an autistic kid I would be more apt to put an alarm on the door so I knew they were out (same goes for sleepwalkers and such), rather than locking them in. It's just not safe to be that confined.

Bonnie - posted on 02/08/2011

4,813

22

262

Honestly I think people need to start having a little more faith in their children. If parents are not doing it for punishment and they are just doing it because their child gets into crap, I think maybe they need to take some time to get them to understand verbally they are doing wrong. Sometimes I feel some parents just look for the easy way out.
Jenn, I completely understand what you are saying. Your situation is a different.

Isobel - posted on 04/30/2011

9,849

0

286

Marissa...this is debating moms...if you wish to read unjudgmental and unopinionated postings, perhaps you should try another group.

This group is dedicated to honest unadulterated opinions and intended to have debates about contraversial topics...not to make each other feel good.

There ARE groups like that though, if that's what you want...keep looking.

This conversation has been closed to further comments

105 Comments

View replies by

Mary - posted on 09/08/2011

68

0

2

It is completely wrong ! CHildren don't come with instructions , Parents to be should have to take parenting classes . Most of the problems with children are self inflicted .

Mary - posted on 09/08/2011

68

0

2

It is completely wrong ! CHildren don't come with instructions , Parents to be should have to take parenting classes . Most of the problems with children are self inflicted .

Marisa - posted on 05/12/2011

11

27

3

Marina: I understand this is a group for debating moms. However, there is a difference between 'judging' and 'debating'. Debating is people putting forth their individual reasons for having a certain viewpoint on an issue and respectfully discussing each other's viewpoints. Judging is thinking everyone who happens to disagree with you is flat-out wrong and calling them names.

I still maintain that CoM should be a site that supports and educates fellow mothers--which can still be done while 'debating.' Being a parent is difficult enough as it is without other parents telling them they're abusive or insane simply for having different techniques. I feel pretty justified in judging bullies, which some of the moms on this thread are. While I have a different opinion on many parenting subjects than other moms, I find name-calling to be in poor taste and not a sound 'debating' tactic.

Kelli - posted on 05/03/2011

20

5

0

I did use the door knob covers on my daughters room, but only for a short while and only at night. Once she was potty trained we stopped. She is a VERY early riser...likes to get up at 3 or 4 in the morning and is very sneaky. I don't hear her, but I do see all the wrappers or food or toys that she got out when she was wondering the house by herself. I was worried that she would get outside. Her room is right across from ours so if a fire, I would get her. I understand people worried about locking their kids in the room and worried about a fire, but for a young child are you really going to expect them to make it out of the house on their own anyway...you are going to go get them and make sure they make it out. My son is 7 and I still wouldn't expect him to make it out on his own. He isn't locked in his room, but he does have the handle cover on the outside of his room. He asked for it because he doesn't want his sister or the daycare kids I watch in his room. When he isn't home, his door is shut and the kids can't get in there.

Veronique - posted on 05/03/2011

389

17

21

Ok i see many problems with this solution these parents have.....
1st- What is the was a fire? And emergency and they needed to get to mommy and daddy?
2nd- Teach the child to stay in there bed, don't lock them in there room. I mean my first never got out of her bed without permission and my second is still in the crib but i will teach her the same thing as the first.
3rd- Yes i consider this child abuse.

Ann - posted on 05/03/2011

96

11

4

Bonnie - I did not watch the "super nanny" so my response is not to that specifically. As in anything there are exceptions. I have a special needs child who will wonder. He is non-verbal and not potty trained, yet in school. Icould never sleep if we did not lock the door at night. That is when it is used by the way. Not as punishment or control! Safety first! I have it documented in a file for 911. I would have taken your stand before having my son. Since having a special needs, I've learn to respect that people do many things to adapt to their lives that just wouldn't appear normal but are.



P.S. just want to add the lock is just the bed room lock turned around. My son would not know what to do in an emergency and I can get in his room just as fast since it is just turning a knob! A fire would be worse if I had no idea where he was. I guess I need to defend that there are reasons for this since I have had to call 911. Special need children are 24 / 7. No breaks!! The care taker needs to be sure they give their child and family a safe place and keep sharp. For a wonder, a moment of distraction or falling asleep even at night on the care takers part could end very bad. He is not abused!!!! Loved so much I will keep him safe!! I pray he'll learn personal safety and that we can do with out locks. And I'm sure those with the attitude it is 100% abuse would also not want to pay the bill for search and rescue or a nurse to do overnights.

Mel - posted on 05/02/2011

5,539

58

228

I dont think its right no not at all. I had a lock on the inside of my door, but no I never heard of anyone putting locks on the outside

Nikkole - posted on 05/02/2011

1,505

31

49

You should NEVER lock a child in a room for any reason! If a parent locks a child in there room because the parent doesn't want them getting into things or dosent't want to watch/deal with them that IS neglect and why did you have children i mean watching your child is part of being a parent and you can Baby proof rooms so kids won't get into bad things!

Vera - posted on 05/02/2011

110

9

12

I need to add that I am not saying locking a child in a room is good supervision but just saying a mom that may have done that to protect a child from being hurt while they did something as opposed to not watching them... could be considered neglectful.... maybe my situation wasn't a great one but a thought anyway. Still I wouldn't lock my kids in... but I understand the moms reason for doing so.

Vera - posted on 05/02/2011

110

9

12

Deanna just because a parent locks a child in a room doesn't mean anyone will take a child away. Abuse, neglect etc has to fully be investigated and it would all depend on the situation surrounding the child in the room and the length of time a child is locked in there if it is abuse or neglect. If a mom say put her daughter in there for 12 hours with out food water etc and continued to do so over several days - yes, that would be a reason for someone to have a child removed and could be considered abuse/neglect. If a mom put her daughter in there because she was hitting and throwing a tantrum and locked her in there for a hour well then it is different - I think the judge would look and see the difference between both. There is legally something called "neglectful supervision" many people don't realize that if your child were to escape a room, fall down some stairs and break several bones a parent can be charged with that ... so may situations can occur but it isn't just against the law in the entire US anyway.

Vera - posted on 05/02/2011

110

9

12

I wouldn't ever lock my children in a room - if something were to happen panic sets in the darn thing isn't working you are stuck kicking in the door (possibly a child behind it) to get to the child.

I don't know why they would lock them in I could see if they were throwing a fit to put them in the room in bed or something and maybe hold the door closed until the child calmed down but not locking them in there (I don't do that just a thought) We have removed all locks on the doors except the master bedroom, office and bathroom (which hubby said he wanted it on there just in case he was in there and someone tried to walk in ... that would be so funny)

I guess on the other hand it is proven that sleeping with the doors closed is safer and if a child were to say wake up at night with out you knowing and get into something... well I might see locking it but again it's down to a safety issue. Not everyone can afford alarms for all doors, and a lot of apartments wont allow things like that so I don't know I'd have to hear their excuse for this one because no matter how I try to argue anothers point - to me it's just unsafe!

[deleted account]

Bonnie - thats what i think or i have one clever little boy he can get latches off the cupboard and fridge too...im hopeless at doing them but he seems able too and the climbing of the safety gates even with two on top of each other. Lucky for me he can't open his bedroom door YET! but i do let him out the minute he rattles the door mainly because sleeping in a bed is a new thing for him so i don't want to scare him and he's slept with the door closed since birth and living in two bedroom unit means the door has to be closed...poor boy his room comes off the kitchen

Kathy - posted on 05/02/2011

7

0

0

what if there is a fire can you unlock a door and get a child out before you are consumed by the smoke absolutely never lock anyone in a room

Bonnie - posted on 05/02/2011

4,813

22

262

Sarah, it's crazy how fast little kids pick up on things. The companies that make these safety items must be doing something wrong because children should not be able to figure them out if they are there to help protect them.

Jaime - posted on 05/01/2011

4,427

24

197

I don't know about anyone else' reasons for using the door knob covers, but I gave my reasons and I don't feel bad for making a decision that I felt was in Gray's best interest. After moving into a new place and having way too many danger zones, I figured it was better to deter him from getting out of his room than to risk him being hurt. I don't think locks on doors, or knob covers or gates should be for long-term use because it's not going to teach a child to stay in their bed...it's merely a deterrent. I have since removed the knob cover from Gray's door because my apartment is unpacked and I'm not worried about him being hurt if he does get out of his room and I'm upstairs in the kitchen cleaning the supper dishes.

Bonnie - posted on 05/01/2011

4,813

22

262

I don't know if I had mentioned this earlier, but we used the door knob covers with our first child, not on his bedroom door, but ended up removing them because he figured out how to use them.

Shannon - posted on 04/30/2011

208

28

45

In some cases the locks are a terrible idea... About a month ago, my mom called me and asked if i had heard about what happened with a lady i used to work with when i said no, she said watch the news, well it turns out that her 3 yr old twins FELL from their SECOND story window, she had them locked in their bedroom unattended. This is her idea of parenting. She has since lost custody of her 4 kids and Childrens Services is investigating. IMO the locks in this particular instance would have to be looked at as a form of abuse, or even torture.... so sad. However there have been times i would like to duct tape my children somewhere for a few moments when i am being pulled in a million directions.... Not that i would but i can always dream :-P

~♥Little Miss - posted on 04/30/2011

21,273

9

3058

But on that note, while I can understand the idea behind locking your child in a room...it makes me uncomfortable. Like locking a kid in a closet for less than steller behavior. I know it is a far cry from the same thing, but that is how it makes me feel. My sister locks her kid in the room, and it is definitely borderline abuse.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 04/30/2011

21,273

9

3058

Marissa, this is a great group for sharing alternative views and debating them. While I don't think you should just leave....you may need to understand that this is a community built to debate different thoughts. A first handed impression may be judgmental, but your experiences actually can provide a different side of the perspective.



I would suggest not judging us, simply because you may feel judged yourself. I hope you stick around and find enjoyment in this community.....cause after all, it is pretty damn good!

Isobel - posted on 04/30/2011

9,849

0

286

I also don't see the difference between locking the door from the outside and putting child-proof knob covers on, by the way...if the kid can't get out, they can't get out.

I don't know any particular reason that it bothers me...it just feels wrong for some reason.

Jaime - posted on 04/30/2011

4,427

24

197

I have used the door knob covers a few times since moving to my new place because the set up is a bit different than my old place and I'm not always able to sit downstairs for an hour to wait for Gray to fall asleep before doing the things I need to get done before I go to bed (in total I used the cover for about a month). I don't use it for his bedroom door anymore because now that things are unpacked and there aren't any danger zones around the apartment, I'm able to dedicate some time to teaching him about staying in his bedroom when it's bed time. So far it takes about an hour or more for him to finally get to sleep...but such is life. I don't really see the difference between the door knob covers or a baby gate because they both serve as a deterrent. I would have preferred a baby gate, but since Gray can now climb them...not a safe option.

Marisa - posted on 04/30/2011

11

27

3

This is the first time I've posted on Circle of Moms, so perhaps I'm out of line. But, I have to say that I'm extremely disappointed with how many people here are so judgmental, rude, and downright nasty. I joined CoM thinking it was a friendly, informative and supportive place for moms--not a place to be called insane, crazy, abusive, etc! I will tell you that I lock my 3yr old's bedroom door when he's sleeping. He is extremely tall and engineering for his age, so he was climbing out of his crib before 2yrs old, locking himself in his room, and wandering around the house quietly. I started by turning the doorknob around so he couldn't lock himself in. I also tried the childproof knob covers-no luck. He figured that out in a heartbeat. We have a monitor in his room and I'm a light sleeper, but he was still able to be stealthy enough to sneak out and roam the house. I live in a 100yr old house with steep stairs, low windows, and as much as I would like to it's impossible to 100% child-proof your entire house. He can climb furniture, use the phone, unlock the front door, etc. etc. etc. He's not naughty--but he's curious--and I'm not willing to run the risk of him getting hurt, getting out, etc. Whomever thinks 2 gates stacked on top of one another is safer in an emergency than a simple keyless doorknob lock hasn't tried it. We have, and it took FOREVER to get thru (not to mention he can climb it). It takes us literally 1 second to unlock his door. He has a comfy twin bed, a lamp, a nightlight, toys, books, drink cup, music--everything he needs. If he needs to use the potty or needs more water he calls us thru the monitor and we're there immediately. I am NOT an abusive parent. I am NOT insane. I am a loving, intelligent and practical mother who has tried everything and determined that locking his door during sleeping hours is the safest option we have. He does not feel threatened or imprisoned. It has help teach him that his room is the safest and best place to be for bedtime. I don't know if I'll ever post again knowing how many nasty and judgmental mothers are on this board.

Michelle - posted on 03/23/2011

105

14

11

i lock my son in his room with a hook and eye latch, i put him in there by 7 and lock it (when i didn't he was out till 3am and i couldn't get any sleep) the doctor was the one who told me to put up a gate and leave him there and not go back in but a gate wouldn't fit so i put hook latch on there i put him to bed now he goes to the door knows
he can't go out cries for 3-5 minutes and goes to bed and gives up. As soon as he is asleep i unlock the door. My son will be 2 next month i started this about 4-5 months ago and i wouldn't change a thing!

Nikki - posted on 03/23/2011

5,263

41

574

I feel uncomfortable for locking my daughter's door, however I really don't have any other option at this stage. I am more worried that there might be a fire and she has wandered off into the lounge room to sleep, and then I wouldn't be able to find her. We can't use a baby gate because she can climb over them, yes I would possibly hear her through the baby monitor however I would rather not take that risk of not hearing her or ending up with a head injury from falling.

Stifler's - posted on 03/23/2011

15,141

154

604

Yeah I've never heard of anyone locking their kid in his/her room before to be perfectly honest.

Charlie - posted on 03/22/2011

11,203

111

409

I feel very uncomfortable with locks on the outside of anyones door .....

Johnny - posted on 03/22/2011

8,686

26

322

We used a baby gate. I might not hear my daughter if she was locked in her room and to me that is a serious safety risk. I generally don't use the gate to even keep her in her room, but at the top of the stairs to keep her from exiting. That way she just comes into our room if she needs us or can access the bathroom.

There are cases where I do understand using a lock though. In particular, some children with special needs require a lock for their own safety. Different families, different kids, different requirements. But in our case, my doing so would be at best lazy and at worst abusive.

Nikki - posted on 03/22/2011

5,263

41

574

Just like to add, I hadn't planned on moving her to a single bed this early because she is not ready; hence why I have to use the lock. I just had surgery and I can't lift her into her cot, so we had to switch her. Also she has a baby monitor and I can hear if she tries to get out of her room and of course I attend to her straight away. I don't just lock the door and leave her too it.

Nikki - posted on 03/22/2011

5,263

41

574

We just put a lock on the outside of my daughter's door. It's only a simple latch and the only reason we have done it is because she has just moved from a cot to a single bed. She can get out of her room and I was worried that she would escape during the night and get herself into trouble.

She is only 16 months and I will remove it as soon as I can but at the moment it's in her best interest to keep her wandering around a dark house of a night.

I don't however agree with locking children in their rooms once they are older and need to use the toilet etc.

[deleted account]

In the U.S. it is actually considered abuse and can result in having your children removed from your care.

[deleted account]

wrong! yeah sure kids come out of their rooms but putting them back or simply ignoring them does work. there are many many many reasons you shouldn't do it one being if there's a fire and you forget to unlock the door...how guilty would you feel if your child perished because you locked them in?

Desiree - posted on 03/21/2011

910

17

13

Never mind that it just not right to lock a child into a room but its a safety risk. Heaven forbid there is a fire or some other emergency how does anyone at all get in or out. That is just plain stupidity.

Alexis - posted on 03/21/2011

632

21

21

my mom did that to us when we were little so that when we got up we had to stay in our rooms until she got up....I hated it and did feel like I was in a cage. It also didnt help if you had to pee in the morning. I also feel that it could be a safety issue, it closes off the main escape route for your child. The only doors that require a lock on the outside out of reach of your child are doors leading to the outside and bathroom doors, to keep them out of the bathroom. There are many ways to teach your child to stay in bed at night, it just requires being a parent and getting off your butt to do it. However to be fair we have put my son to bed before and close his door (he cant open doors yet). But we open his door before we go to bed so that he can come get us at night if need be, which he normally doesnt. IF your worried you child can get into something while your asleep then put that stuff away where they cant get to it. Yes my son could make a mess of the house while I am asleep but there is nothing he can get into that will harm him.

Alexis - posted on 03/21/2011

632

21

21

my mom did that to us when we were little so that when we got up we had to stay in our rooms until she got up....I hated it and did feel like I was in a cage. It also didnt help if you had to pee in the morning. I also feel that it could be a safety issue, it closes off the main escape route for your child. The only doors that require a lock on the outside out of reach of your child are doors leading to the outside and bathroom doors, to keep them out of the bathroom. There are many ways to teach your child to stay in bed at night, it just requires being a parent and getting off your butt to do it. However to be fair we have put my son to bed before and close his door (he cant open doors yet). But we open his door before we go to bed so that he can come get us at night if need be, which he normally doesnt. IF your worried you child can get into something while your asleep then put that stuff away where they cant get to it. Yes my son could make a mess of the house while I am asleep but there is nothing he can get into that will harm him.

Alyssa - posted on 02/11/2011

231

0

18

Krissy, Wow I can't believe what you just wrote!

**I do NOT believe in locking children in their rooms. You are the parent... not the door. Locking a child in does NOTHING but intimidate them and bully them. Makes you appear like... "You are going to do as I say or else.."... while I get tough on my kids and do believe in spanking... I think having to resort to locking them in does nothing but get them to fear your authority rather than respect it.**

I used a door knob cover so I DIDN"T feel the need to resort to spanking.

Next time you spank, have a look at your childs face and tell me they aren't fearful.......

Jenni - posted on 02/11/2011

5,928

34

393

Krissy, wow that was an oxymoron!



I do NOT believe in locking children in their rooms. You are the parent... not the door. Locking a child in does NOTHING but intimidate them and bully them. Makes you appear like... "You are going to do as I say or else.."... while I get tough on my kids and do believe in spanking... I think having to resort to locking them in does nothing but get them to fear your authority rather than respect it.



Please explain to me how spanking is not ruling out of fear and isn't bullying. And no i'm not saying locking your child in a room as a punishment is much better. IMO having to RESORT to spanking does nothing but teach them to fear your authority rather than respect it.





So in cases of domestic abuse it's ok for a husband to beat his wife because it's teaching her respect but if he's locking her in the bedroom THEN he's bullying her and teaching her to fear him.

ok i get it now............ ummm not.



I'm not trying to be all high and mighty here. I too have spanked as a last resort. My sons eyes welled up with tears and I knew I had hurt him but it was more emotionally than physically. Hurting anyone whether it be physically or emotionally is teaching fear. Not respect. I felt so guilty I held my son after as he cried and when he finally could speak through his sobs he said "Mommy no hit Ben" and then I started to cry. Because here I am trying to teach him not to hit and I hit him. How is that not do as I say not as I do?

Krissy - posted on 02/11/2011

232

0

19

Ok, I'm talking about a fairly "normal" child. (I hate using that word).... not a child that is mentally challenged where they do things that hurt themselves.

I do NOT believe in locking children in their rooms. You are the parent... not the door. Locking a child in does NOTHING but intimidate them and bully them. Makes you appear like... "You are going to do as I say or else.."... while I get tough on my kids and do believe in spanking... I think having to resort to locking them in does nothing but get them to fear your authority rather than respect it.

Bonnie - posted on 02/10/2011

4,813

22

262

I agree with Tara.

And you can baby proof and your child can still get into things. Some children figure out quite easily how to remove baby proofing items.

Tara - posted on 02/10/2011

2,567

14

114

Well.... the difference is when you shut the door, the child can still leave to use the bathroom etc. when you lock the door the child cannot.
I do not think locking a child in their room for safety is abusive, locking a child in their room as punishment can be abusive if that child is denied the use of the toilet, denied food or water etc.
But to say that locking and closing are the same thing is well... dumb. Do you lock your home when you leave or is shutting the door the same thing? What about your car? Shutting the doors as good as locking them? I thought not.

User - posted on 02/10/2011

71

0

1

HAHAHA!!!! Locking a child in a room is not abusive. Is it abusive to shut the door,no...so why would locking it be?



Smacking your child IS in MY opinion abusive. I would NEVER lock my childs door though. That's just me.



If your the parent you should be smart enough to baby proof the house first so they don't get into things their not suppose to.

[deleted account]

I agree locking a kid in their bedroom is too far, worried about messes and dangers babyproof everything else then. I have alarms on the doors that I set at night. Also the goal is to teach them not just confine them, if the kiddo is waking up without you maybe you need an alarm clock sometimes I do.

edited to add: special needs and sleepwalkers are different I agree. My son is technically special needs but a lock on his door is not neccessary he does get up in the middle of the night but he either stays in his room or comes and wakes us up.

Amy - posted on 02/10/2011

352

9

33

I've changed the doorknobs around on my kids doors...but not to lock them in. My son likes to lock doors, and I was terrified that if there were an emergency, I wouldn't be able to get in there quick enough (I'm also too cheap to buy new knobs...lol)...When I need to keep my kids in a room I like to use the baby gates...then I can see them and know they aren't getting into trouble, and they can see me and know they haven't been abandoned.

Cyndel - posted on 02/10/2011

754

24

54

As of right now we have one of those knob covers on our front door, and our son gets in a lot of trouble if he ever touches the lock with out mommy or daddy right there telling him he can. The first time he unlocked the door after being told never to unlock the door we spanked him because could be a potentially life-threatening situation! He needed to understand the seriousness of leaving the door locked!
Anyway we haven't had trouble since. And I'm not that worried, he hasn't figured out how to take the cover off the handle yet. We'll cross that bridge when we come to it!
I am not with the 100% crowd. I've known a few kids and situations where a lock was completely necessary, with careful thought and planning.

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms