Keeping Locks On....

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

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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.

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Amy - posted on 02/10/2011

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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

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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.

Alyssa - posted on 02/09/2011

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My boys sleep in bunks in the same room. My 2 and a half year old was going through an attention seeking phase where he would repeatedly come out of his room up until 2 hours after he was put to bed. I tried ignoring, timeout, and firm talking to but it was all exactly what he wanted....attention. So, I put on of those handle covers where my oldest (6) is able to open the door but the little one can't......WHAMMO - It took 2 nights and he stopped getting up and i removed the cover.
Do I feel bad about "locking" him in...hell no. I knew my oldest could open the door if he needed to and it solved the problem!

Meghan - posted on 02/09/2011

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My son's room is the only room in the house that doesn't have a lock. Even if it did I would never use it. I see his room as his safe place. He sleeps there, so I don't want any more stress or anxiety put onto his bed time routine. He can go to his room and escape and have some privacy.
If we are talking about a lock to keep them in for punishment...thats why MY door has a lock, so I can get away and hide hehe

Natasha - posted on 02/09/2011

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My husband and I put a hook and eye lock on our son's door when I opened my day home. It was not used to keep anyone in the room, merely to keep the older kids OUT when the babies were sleeping. Because it was my son's room and he was only about 18 months, he didn't understand at the time that when the babies were asleep he wasn't allowed in his room.

We do however have a lock on both the inside and outside of our bedroom. We keep our room locked all day to keep the kids out, and occassionally when we want to have alone time ;).

Kate CP - posted on 02/09/2011

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I had a "lock" on the outside of my daughter's room to keep her in when she was a toddler. It wasn't really a lock, just a hook and eye latch that we installed to keep her from opening the door. She wasn't potty trained at the time so needing to use the toilet was never an issue. She still had a baby monitor in her room so I could hear everything going on in there. There are fire alarms in her room and right outside her room that are checked monthly so I wasn't worried about fires. Her room was very safe whereas the rest of my house wasn't safe for a young toddler. I don't see a difference between using that and a baby gate or a doorknob cover, honestly. Does it look bad? Yea, it can. But I think that every family has individual needs for safety and that should be considered before bashing a parent for how they keep their kids safe.

Now that my daughter is nearly five I sometimes WISH I still had that latch on her door for when she throws a massive fit and won't stay in her room. But that's another issue. :P

[deleted account]

Generally it is a big no for me, it is lazy parenting to lock your child in a room because you don't want to deal with teaching them to stay there at night. However, there are always exceptions to the rule, children with special needs and children who are sleep walkers etc because we need to balance safety issues and do the better of two evils. I strongly disagree that children should ever be locked in their bedrooms (or anywhere else for that matter) for punishment purposes.

Angela - posted on 02/09/2011

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Keeping locks on the outside of you child's door and Using that method all the time when your children are misbehaving is just being Lazy.

Jodi - posted on 02/09/2011

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Yikes! I new some neighbors that would do this with there toddler girls. It was meant to keep them in the room, so if the parents wanted to leave the house to go out to the barn or go 4 wheeling in the fields the girls couldn't get into trouble.
My issue with it is that it's very dangerous! What happens if there was a fire in there room or even the rest of the house? They would have no hope of getting out.
Anyways No it's not okay!!

[deleted account]

I know it may not seem like a difference. But to me im not ok with locking a child in but i dont think there is anything with the doorknob covers. . . .

Jenni - posted on 02/09/2011

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When my son was 2 years old and had just moved into a toddler bed I awoke to my son screaming and the smell of something burning. I found him standing on a chair in the kitchen playing with the burners on stove. There were papers on the stove beginning to light and he had burned his hand.



Another time we had just gotten home from a nature walk. I was 8 months pregnant and resting on the couch. My husband was in the kitchen getting dinner ready. My son left and walked into the kitchen. The next thing I knew there was a knock at my door and a man was holding my son in his arms. He told me my son had ran from my backyard and across the street. I live on a main road and it was really busy at the time. How he managed across the street without injury was nothing short of a miracle. I cried and cried and had nightmares for months. It still haunts me and always will that my beautiful boy may not be here today.



I do have covers on my front and back door and a cover on the inside of his room out of fear for his safety. He is now 2 1/2 and only recently have I started becoming comfortable about the idea of removing the one on the inside of his door.



You can call it abuse, neglect that I just don't want to 'deal" with him but I think there MUST be other parents like me out there who do it out of fear for their child's safety.



Edit 2 add: I have never locked my son in his room as a punishment. That's what the naughty corner is for.

Laura - posted on 02/09/2011

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I put one of those covers on the inside of my sons' door. Then when we when to bed we opened the door so there was no safety issue. Call me lazy whatever it worked. Now my 2 year old can get the covers off in like 2 sec and my 4 year old still can't. :) so they are obsolete

[deleted account]

Yea locking kids in their room big NO NO usually i dont like to judge unless i know the situation but i can honestly say that i would never do that. Its just not smart

Tara - posted on 02/09/2011

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There are always going to be exceptions.

Having an autistic child is difficult and in most cases none of the "normal" rules apply.

One of the families we did relief work for had locks on all doors from the outside. Their son was not able to get into any room from the outside.

The keys were all hanging above the light switches to those rooms. However they did inform the fire department of the layout of the house and told them her sons room is locked at night for his safety. They drew a diagram and posted it on the outside of their garage with her sons room marked in red.

So yes there are going to be exceptions, night wanderers and special needs children and I'm sure others as well.

But I think most people form a generalized opinion based on "normal" scenarios and "average" children.

LaCi - posted on 02/09/2011

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I have several locks out of my sons reach on all the doors that lead outside. I didn't want to be that parent who was asleep and the toddler was found wandering along the highway in the middle of the night :/ There was quite a bit of that going on when I was pregnant. So I got paranoid. He's pretty well behaved though, he very rarely messes with the exits. Just in case though, he can't reach all the locks at this point. I've got a few years on that one.

Speaking of locking kids in rooms though, when I was 16 I shut a boy in his room. he wasn't my responsibility, I was just present. He was a horrible kid lol. He kept hitting people and screaming and shit and he went to his room and kept slamming his door over and over and over, and I held the door shut until he cried, then I let him out.. But hey, he calmed the fuck down ;x I was 16, whatever. He was like 7 or 8, he knew better.

Shauna - posted on 02/09/2011

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Nicole!!!!! omg that happened to my sister!!! so maybe yes in circumstances let the parent decide!!!!! my little nephew when he was 2 or 3ish knew how to unlcok the from door too!!!! once he got up in the middle of the night and no one heard him he walked out into the street!!! she lived in a rough part of town..... she got a knock on her door at 3 am by 4 hispanic guys who couldnt speak english holding her son. She was lucky they looked out for him ... that could have been a very bad scenario!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Vegemite - posted on 02/09/2011

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i would not lock my child in with the door shut only because i'm a heavy sleeper and wouldn't hear him if he needed something. I still have a baby monitor for my 18month old because he's still in a cot and when he's not in the cot he can't reach the door handle to open it. I do have a gate in front of my three year olds door so he can't get into anything in the kitchen if he was to leave his room. I just worry because my husband and i are deep sleepers and if they can't open the door we wouldn't hear them or if the got up in the night, left their and got into trouble we wouldn't hear that either.



All he has in his room is a bed and sofa so i use it as time out too, as he's only 3.5 he only gets 3.5 minutes in there and he can have the door open too. It always does the trick.

Mary - posted on 02/09/2011

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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.

Ez - posted on 02/09/2011

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Situations like Tracey's, Nicole's and Jenn's just go to show that while we may have a strong opinion on something based on our own children, we can't always apply that to everyone. I don't like the idea of children being locked in their bedrooms overnight, for many reasons, and I certainly can't see myself doing it. But I don't have a child with special needs, or a kid who likes to bolt out into the street. There is an exception to every rule.

Tracey - posted on 02/09/2011

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I have combination locks on my kids doors to keep my autistic son OUT of their bedrooms, if they want to open it from the inside they just turn the knob.

When my son we younger cut his door in half so he couldn't climb over but we could get him out in case of emergency and we could see what he was doing at all times and he could see us. He is double incontinent so the bathroom was not an issue. We have 5 locks on each of our outside doors so he can't get out. We have 2 fire escape routes planned from different parts of the house and smoke alarms in every room as my son has started fires several times.

Nicole - posted on 02/08/2011

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ps: if they need to use the washroom, put a potty in the bedroom.



Leave water and a snack



It is safer than having them get outside.



My son can operate the front door and elevator and f**ked if I let him do so while I am sleeping

Nicole - posted on 02/08/2011

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My son (4) can unlock our front door to our apartment.



I installed a lock on his bedroom door and I am glad to have done so.



No it is not abuse!





It is for his safety, I cannot risk him waking at 4am and leaving our apartment.

Johnny - posted on 02/08/2011

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I'm not sure what the problem is with those door knob covers either? I don't use one, but they sell them at the "Safety Station" in our children's hospital and if you really need on, they'll hand them out at the public health office. I'm almost certain they wouldn't do that if it was at all a safety concern, quite the opposite.

[deleted account]

After reading all of the replies, I see that some of you are even against the door knob covers on the inside of a door. Where we used to live (when I used to do the knob covers), there was no way to block off the front door, which was access to the parking lot and a road where the speed limit was 50, but people did 60. His room was on one side of the apartment and ours was on the other side. My husband and I are both heavy sleepers. My way of looking at it was that if he woke up and I didn't hear him on the monitor immediately, he'd sit there playing with his toys. I'd hear him and go get him out of his room. To me, this was a much safer option than him possibly getting outside and hurt. And if there had been a fire, what good would it have done for my one year old to have been able to get out of his room? It made more sense to me that as long as I could get to HIM, he'd be safer. I know a lot of you can't and won't see this line of reasoning, but it is what it is and I still don't think it was wrong. It was for his safety, not because I worried about him getting into stuff. Trust me, my house has always been almost OVER child proofed. There wasn't anything for him to get into. I just didn't want him getting into the outside is all.

[deleted account]

I don't think putting an actual lock on the outside of a kid's door is a good thing at all. Not only is it a safety issue (fire), but it's just....wrong...my gut says no.



BUT...when my son was at the age where he could work a door knob but not safely wander the house alone (from about a year old to 18 months) I did used to put a door knob cover on the inside of his door. I'd sleep with the monitor on and as soon as I'd hear him up playing I'd go get him. I mainly did it because there was no way to block off our front door and I didn't want him getting outside. And if there had been a fire, with the door knob cover on the inside of the door, it wouldn't have prevented me getting to him in any way.



With older children though, it's just not right. What if they need to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night?



Edit: After reading Jenn's post, I can see in that case it would be ok. Something like isn't anything I thought of when I initially thought of locking an older child in. Sorry Jenn! I'm out of the box! LOL

Johnny - posted on 02/08/2011

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I would not do this with my child. Although I do use a baby gate to keep her in her room and the cat out of it at night, because she gets upset when the door is closed. Then in the middle of the night she wakes up when the cat scratches under her bed and thinks it's a ghost. So the gate works.

However, I have cared for kids who need to have locks on their doors (on the outside) for their own safety. Parents who do this should have a fire safety plan that accounts for it. But for several of these kids, it was way way more likely that they would bolt from the house and wander off with no consideration and understanding of the outside world, including traffic, than that there would be a fire. It's all about managed risks when you're dealing with kids who have special needs and issues.

If it's just done for punishment, or because a parent wants to keep the kid out of their hair for a few hours, I'm not too supportive. The way Veronica described what her mom did sounds alright to me, just a few minutes and the kids knew what was going on, but I could see in some families it could be a very bad scene.

Veronica - posted on 02/08/2011

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We had an accidental bathroom lock in -- my kids locked themselves in - and the only way to get in, was to stick something like a wire hanger in, that pushes that button -- and i had to have my landlord come and open it -- when we got it - omg! the site was unforgettable -- they dumped everything out from baby powder, to soaps, to creams - it was two-nightmares in one! LOL

[deleted account]

No, I wouldn't lock my child in her room.



However, I'm with those who have had a child lock herself in! The first time it happened, my husband picked the lock to get her out. Then we taught her how to lock and unlock the door, so that if she accidentally locked it again, she could get out. Now she has fun playing with it. She also knows how to lock the doorknob to the backdoor. I've been locked out because she plays with it. Giggles at me through the window for minute, then lets me back in. Silly girl.

[deleted account]

Actually in America it is a matter of fire code. It is against fire code to lock your child in their room as it can pose as a safety hazard. I don't, and never have done something like that. I never will either. Even if you were to lock the doors there is still at least one window they can get out of. Even if you have bars on the windows or it is a 2 story drop your child WILL get out if they want to.

Lady Heather - posted on 02/08/2011

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I only suggested an alarm because I've seen it used successfully before with autistic kids. If it doesn't work for you, you can just say so and not be offended for no reason.

Bonnie - posted on 02/08/2011

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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.

Shauna - posted on 02/08/2011

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No i dont agree with it simply for safety reasons. If anything i would take my childs door down, not lock them in!!!



Edit to add: my little cousin was adopted by his aunt. They would lock him in his room the said "because they feared him and waht he would do during the night" but instead of getting him help if they really feared him they would lock him in his room. It made him crazy! He now lives with my grandmother and has so many mental issues.



But everyone has diff situation. and in the case of autisim , if that works than fine. But for the average kid i wouldnt lock them in their room "overnight" that is. for safety reasons such as fires etc

~Jennifer - posted on 02/08/2011

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I've locked my son in his room....many times.

He has Autism.

I can tell you right now...the lock is more appropriate than the 'door alarm'. My son is scared of loud noises - it crushes his mood. He physically and mentally cannot deal with 'alarms' (or vacuums, blenders, lawn mowers, leaf blowers...etc.) He would drop to the floor and bang his head off of a wall if an alarm went off when he tried to exit his room, and would never want to go in to the room again.

I have double sided key lock dead bolts on all of the doors that lead outside, or he would just open the door and wander off with no thought of the danger. He has no idea that anything 'out there' could potentially be dangerous.

I can see reasons for locking a child's door from the outside....as long as there were considerations.

My deadbolt keys are on a hook over every door....I have security monitors in his room (with sound) so that I can see from anywhere that I may be (on my laptop) what may be happening with him...I take my laptop to bed with me for monitoring...it stays on the nightstand.



There's always a reason that people do the things they do...and not all of those reasons are "abusive' or "100% wrong".

Some of you really need to step out of the 'box' before you type.

Veronica - posted on 02/08/2011

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The way my mom did it - i wouldnt classify as abusive - she didnt leave us in our rooms for hours - maybe 15 or 20 minutes - and back then, we didnt have tv or video games or computers - so it wasnt a luxury either. She used to lock us out of the house too - we'd be fighting and causing havoc and she'd make us go outside to play - and she'd lock us out. We didnt care - we played all day out there - so it was good for us to get out of the house, and mom to get some sanity back too -- p.s. we did live in a fenced in community, so we were "locked out, into a "locked in" backyard. Some things need to really be looked at on a case by case basis, instead of directly shouting "Abuse!" all the fricken time..

Veronica - posted on 02/08/2011

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When mom put us on timeouts in our bedrooms - she would lock us in, with a hook lock. Mainly just to keep us in our room, and out of her hair for the time being. I dont feel damaged by it at all. Now, locking kids in their room overnight, is a whole different scenerio -- We used to sleep til 7:30/8am in the morning, until our kids started getting into everything under the sun, while we were sleeping -- how did we fix this? we didnt lock them in their rooms - we got up earlier!! Its called responsibility. I dont know if I would call it abuse - i just dont think its right, and if there was a fire or another emergency - it could def. turn dangerous.

Melissa - posted on 02/08/2011

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Well cant really knock it untill I have been in the positon of why they did that...but for now I can say I hdont think I would ever do that....it sounds soo wrong to me locking your kid in a room...uumm dont like the sound of it at all!

Kerri - posted on 02/08/2011

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We have turned the door knobs around when the kids were younger (2-4) not to lock them in, but because they kept locking themselves in. I have never felt so panicked and helpless as I realized my child had locked the door accidentally and was freaking out that she couldn't get out.
However I would never EVER lock my child in a room. I agree completely agree with the rest of you on that. Just want to inject a little opposite opinion.

Stifler's - posted on 02/08/2011

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My grandma's toilet used to have a lock on the outside because once a burglar came in through the window so she locks it when they go out. All of us used to lock each other in there for fun. I can see kids playing with it and scaring each other.

[deleted account]

I'm with the 100% wrong crowd.
That said, there was a brief time that my son's door had a lock on the outside :P He locked himself in his room and I had to call a locksmith to get him out. Luckily, he lived in my neighborhood and got there right away. I told him to fix it so that it would never happen again, but his solution was that the lock was on the outside--NOT what I wanted! Then he went on vacation, so I had to wait three weeks for him to get back and fix it.

Maybe it was something like that? I hope so, I couldn't imagine actually locking him in there.

Katherine - posted on 02/08/2011

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NO way!!!!!

As someone else said, what if there is an emergency? That is a huge fire hazard. I can't believe she suggested that!

I would NEVER lock my child in his/her room, how scary!





Edit to add: The child must be scared out of their mind too.

Kylie - posted on 02/08/2011

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Sounds demented to me. I think it's horrible how some people treat their children like a problem that needs to be managed and controlled.

Stifler's - posted on 02/08/2011

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We had this alarm system in the dementia unit at work where you switch it on when you close the door and if they wander out at night the buzzer and our pagers went off and we knew they were wandering around the facility and who it was and could escort them back to bed. They are probably really expensive though.

Stifler's - posted on 02/08/2011

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It's dangerous and completely unnecessary. How are they going to get out if there's a fire or they need to pee?

Bonnie - posted on 02/08/2011

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I agree that an alarm is so much more appropriate than locking a child in.

Lady Heather - posted on 02/08/2011

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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.

Rosie - posted on 02/08/2011

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um, no, not unless the child is autistic or something. my friends child is autistic and he has been known to wander out of the room and get into everything in the house, who's to say he wouldn't go out next time and go outside?

but for "normal" (sorry for lack of a better word) children it is unnecessary and IMO cruel.

[deleted account]

Wrong. Like you mention... there is the bathroom issue, but also... what if there is a fire at night? Locking your kid in their bedroom could very well turn into a life and death issue.

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