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Help! I Just Found Out That My Friend Locks Her Toddlers In Their Rooms At Night And For Naps!!!!!! - Page 5

post #81 of 236
I've got a sleepwalker. He gets out of bed and does wierd stuff about once a week. Most nights I hear him, get up and redirect him to bed. Occasionally he needs help going to the bathroom, then back to bed. He's 6.

I've never locked him in his room. I make sure our house is safe (no objects lying on the floor he could step on, etc) and I lock all exterior doors up high where he could not open them and get out.

The thought of locking him in his room never even occured to me. I understand wanting to keep your child safe, but that's going too far. And to lock your child in a room to give you a break? Unacceptable, IMO.

FTR, We only co-slept to age 2 and I transitioned ds into his own room, own bed. I'm not a fanatical co-sleeper, but I can't fathom locking a child in it's room overnight. Sad, no matter your reason.
post #82 of 236
Honestly, I would much rather be locked in a room than in a crib/cage. At least in a room the kids have room to move about and play. OP, what makes you think locking a kid in a cage is preferable to locking the door?
post #83 of 236
I would not report her at all. What I would do is encourage her to get as much support as she could. It's horrible to feel so overwhelmed you don't know what to do, and the kids are safe in there. And like you said, cio is not considered abuse by most people. If it bothers you still, you could kindly offer to take her kids once a week and give her a break. Not to stop what she is doing, but it sounds like it would help and who knows, if she had some help and more time to herself she may just stop doing it. Hugs to you.
post #84 of 236
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sasharna View Post
Same here.

People always bring up the fire hazard, but I don't think that's anywhere near as likely as a kid playing with knives in the kitchen or running out into the street. I find it prudent to take precautions against the more likely risk. A person knows when she is the mother of a "runner" or an "escape artist" and it would be neglectful to give such a child access to an environment in which it is likely he will get himself hurt.

Cosleeping isn't a good solution for this problem in every case ...and a child who is at risk for bolting at night has probably learned to scale a baby gate before he turned a year old.

OP, it must be very rough to have a friend who seems to have adopted a harmful parenting practice for a trivial reason. Do you think it's possible that she may not have been forthcoming with you about her real reasons, if you have clashed in the past? I know I tend to avoid sharing the whys and wherefores of my actions with people who have criticized me a lot.
This, I agree with. Like loitering, I have two runners. My three yr old is a runner and sensory seeker and gets into everything. She's figured out the cabinet locks, the drawer locks and even the front door locks (slider lock at top, she'll drag a chair to it to throw the slider lock open, with deadbolts at mid-door, she knows how to do those too). She's an exceptionally smart little girl. I do not ignore her when she calls, I do not lock the door until after she's asleep (even if that means I get to bet at 2 or 3 am which is usually how it goes every night). Like my oldest who is also special needs and was a sleepwalker, I know she's going to somewhat "outgrow" this stage of her special needs issues. She'll still be a sensory seeker and autistic but the runner stage may very well subside and if not I will do everything in my power to protect her and keep her safe. Locking a child in the room (as a last option when all other options are exhausted) is very much like putting a young child in a crib they can't get out of (or playpen) and closing the door.

When I used gates, she climbed them, when I used locks on cabinets and doors (ie : backdoor, front door of house) she figured them out very easily. I've exhausted every option and yes she was coslept - all my babies were coslept. Now a days co sleeping is not an option, she doesn't sleep if she's in the same bed as us and will roam the house and that is dangerous for her. I have a set of knives that were given to me that are so sharp that just touching the blade can inflict a cut (many a time washing them by hand I've done this to myself just by simply having my hand pass by the blade in the sink of dishes) and I can't fathom her ever getting a hold of those and it not being my fault if I had not taken the extremes I have. I don't like it but it's for her own protection and her own safety.
post #85 of 236
Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post


There's a $10 solution: Door alarms
If I had a climber and an escape artist, that would be my first choice. Locking the room would be a very distant second.

We always put the chain on the front door (it's too high for a toddler to reach).
That wouldn't work in our household. Hubbs is a heavy sleeper and wouldn't wake up and I'm hearing impaired (quite significantly too), I wouldn't hear it. I did think of this but they aren't loud enough for either of us to hear. My older kids are all heavy sleepers as well so I doubt they would come get us either.
post #86 of 236
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamakay View Post
Aren't cribs and beds for toddlers supposed to pass pretty strict safety criteria nowadays?

ETA:
and I'm not really seeing how locking them in their room is supposed to be more cruel than just getting a kid-sized crib.



Yes, the cribs do have to pass safety tests. Mike, the one who cstomizes and builds the cribs, knows all of the regulations. This is why when you call, you state what the crib will be used for so he can tailor it. There are certain regulations, such as to the design and how far the bars can be spaced apart when it comes to children and mentally challenged adults.

I think that a crib is much better than locking a child in a room for many reasons. After all, a crib is used to contain a baby and keep it out of danger. It can also be used for the same reasons to a wondering child or a mentally challenged person. It just seems more humane in my book.

I've seen experiences personall when mentally chalenged people got severely hurt when they were locked in rooms One busted out the window--kids could do this also--another hurt himself pretty badly, and another made a disasterous situation by deciding to put something in his mouth and choking. If they are in a crib with the door open or closed whatever works best, that is okay.

Please keep in mind that I'd only do this is my tot was one who wondered or had a chance of doing so. If he was good about staying in bed, or if he slept with me, I'd not eve consider it. If you want more of my reasoning behind why I believe what I do, feel free to check out my blog. I'm glad you inquired about the safety issues. If you have any more questions, keep them coming.
post #87 of 236
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by philomom View Post
I agree. What if there was a fire? Or a terrible fall behind closed doors?


EXACTLY my reasons why locking a child in a room should be illegal. This happened to a mentally challenged boy of about nine years of age. He decided to jump on his bed and have a jolly time but fell backwards and busted his head pretty bad. So many safety issues are involved as to why I'll NEVER lock a child in a room. The crib option is much better, as it will prevent many things from happening. And think of it this way, nobody would lock a baby in a room. He'd be in the crib if he is not cosleeping because it would be dangerous. In my book, and I'll never sway from this, it is equally dangerous for a tot or young child. So many things can happen behind that door, and you'd not necessarily hear them. In the crib, it is much safer, and there is less of a chance bad things can happen. I could name a long list of what could happen as a result of being locked in a room.




I never understand folks who are this selfish... why did they even have kids?


Me either. Why did they bother? They should have left the kids in God's memory and not brought them here if they are going to traumatize them and be mean to them and not give them the highest level of nurture needed for good development. And you wonder why some people turn into infantilists?... Thank their parents for them developing such a pathology. Poor souls.
post #88 of 236
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deer Hunter View Post
Yes, the cribs do have to pass safety tests. Mike, the one who cstomizes and builds the cribs, knows all of the regulations. This is why when you call, you state what the crib will be used for so he can tailor it. There are certain regulations, such as to the design and how far the bars can be spaced apart when it comes to children and mentally challenged adults.

I think that a crib is much better than locking a child in a room for many reasons. After all, a crib is used to contain a baby and keep it out of danger. It can also be used for the same reasons to a wondering child or a mentally challenged person. It just seems more humane in my book.

I've seen experiences personall when mentally chalenged people got severely hurt when they were locked in rooms One busted out the window--kids could do this also--another hurt himself pretty badly, and another made a disasterous situation by deciding to put something in his mouth and choking. If they are in a crib with the door open or closed whatever works best, that is okay.

Please keep in mind that I'd only do this is my tot was one who wondered or had a chance of doing so. If he was good about staying in bed, or if he slept with me, I'd not eve consider it. If you want more of my reasoning behind why I believe what I do, feel free to check out my blog. I'm glad you inquired about the safety issues. If you have any more questions, keep them coming.
The only thing in my daughters room are stuffed animals (teddy bears), toys that cannot be choked on (big, bulky toys with no small pieces) and her bed. I've had to remove everything else because of her sensory issues and monkey butt status (I say this with love, she truly is my little monkey butt lol). The window is secured with security latches, covered over with a thick heavy blanket (and higher up, weird way they built this house) stapled and nail guned into place. The staples and nails were then hammered down to create a smooth surface where nothing was sticking out to jab her or anyone. We've even contemplated boarding that window due to issues she has but the heavy, thick blanket seems to have done the job so far.

We've "dead boxed" all the outlets, covered them with outlet protectors (the ones you have to slid the clip back with the prongs and lock into place), removed the phone jack and patched that closed with drywall, locked the closet door closed and l-bracketed her bed to the floor and wall (yes, it's that bad). This is who she is, we have had to adjust ourselves to her and accommodate her needs for safety, even if that means going to the extreme.

She has no concept of safety (even at 3 yrs old), she has no concept of "that will hurt me" even when we have been redirecting over and over - she is a sensory seeker - she seeks it out whether it's bad for her health or not. I've already had a scare with cleaning products with her in the past before we took extreme measures and I will not do that again. I must be responsible for her safety, it is my obligation (and privilege) as her parent to do so.
post #89 of 236
Quote:
Originally Posted by lovingmommyhood View Post
I think you're WAY over-reacting. Babies sleep in cribs in their own rooms. Door open or closed they can't "get out in case of a fire" either. Just sayin'.
And for fire safety reasons, all bedroom doors SHOULD BE CLOSED at night--call your local fire department and ask about it, if you don't believe me. Don't you remember fire safety lessons from childhood? (Remember how to check your doorknob to see if the door is safe to open? That presumes the door is shut, because the door should be shut.)

Bedroom doors have a level of fire retardation built in (building code). Open doors allow a fire to travel through the open spaces in the house very, very quickly. Closed doors prevent fire spread and help keep the smoke down in each bedroom space.

Firefighters will focus on the obvious bedrooms first if called to response to a middle of the night fire. Keeping bedroom doors shut means that you're more likely to survive for rescue.
post #90 of 236
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailor View Post
Most of the parents that I encounter do what the OP's friend does. They find it perfectly normal. They take everything sharp, harmful, etc., out of the child's room. Then, for the night, the place them in bed, turn off the light, and close the door. If their child cries - they cry. Eventually, they fall asleep.

One of the parent's kid would fall asleep on the floor, exhausted from crying. She'd go in there, once he was out, put him back into bed, and go back to her bed.

It doesn't seem weird or wrong to any of the parents I come across.

So, as sad as this sounds ... unfortunately, it's not uncommon.


Wow! Many parents actually do this?...

I'm so glad I'm not their child because I'd probably be traumatized, panicked, and God knows what. I always slept with my parents when I was a child for these reasons. I had a lot of anxiety and still do, especially if I know I can't get out of somewhere such as a locked room.

My aunt did this to my cousin when I was little. I found out about it and ran home to my mother. Boy was she angry. I agree with her. How could someone do this--lock the child in a room and let them cry. They are obviously crying out of fear, panick, and for many other reasons. I know I"d be the stubborn type, as I'd probably lie there and kick the door. I've always been one to stand up against things I did not like, and I do things until I get a result or a change. I don't give up. Anyone that knows me can tell you of my severe stubbornness. I don't see that trait going any time soon.

I was the type of child that would make a person's life miserable if they did something to scare me or something that upset me. That is Aspergers for you. Children and adults with this tend to act out in extremes. It would be a horrible thing if these parents have an Autistic/Aspergers child, as the consequences of their actions could be severe.
post #91 of 236
I always thought the safer thing to do was keep the bedroom doors closed at night in case of a fire (in another area of the home). It would slow down flames/smoke from entering the room? *shrugs*

Anyway, I don't know if it is locking the door that is the issue so much that it is the kids being left to scream and cry behind the door. That must be very frightening. I can't imagine doing that to my kids.

My kids each have their own room (by their own preference). My little one is in the crib. And I put a baby gate in my son's door (he has a full sized bed). He will go to the gate and yell for me. I don't like shutting the doors because I can't hear them that way. My son can push the gate out if he really wants too, but has only done it once or twice.

I have locked BOTH of us in his room when he is super exhausted and doesn't want to settle down. I lay in the bed (the full size is extremely convenient!) and read books aloud or play his little electronic phonics game. He does throw a fit and it upset the door is locked but in a few minutes he lays down with me to read/play and I stay there until he falls asleep.

It would terrify me to be locked in a room against my will. I think it would be even more terrifying for a child.

So I guess the issue isn't locking the kids in the room but doing so when they are upset by it. If the kid is fine with the door being shut (and locked) I can't imagine it being a real issue.
post #92 of 236
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drummer's Wife View Post
This reminds me of the house we lived in after #2 was born. It was very old and had sliding locks way up high on the two bedroom doors. They could only be locked and unlocked from the outside. My uncle, (whom we were renting the house from) said as a kid his mom locked he and his brother in the room that way. The locks were specifically installed to keep them in.

I think it really depends on why toddlers are being locked in their room. If it's for safetly reason's, I don't see how it could be much worse than putting them in a "cage" aka crib (including those awful crib tents). If they are being locked in their room because they are a nuisance and mom doesn't want to deal with them, then obviously that's a whole other issue and more likely neglect.

I don't have much I could do to keep my 19 month old contained in a bedroom. He can easily climb out of a play yard and crib and will scale a baby gate in half a second. Also, he figured out how to turn the lock on the door handle the 2nd time his bro locked him in a room. Maybe I should have DH install those high up locks oh wait, he'd probably find a way to jump out the freakin window to escape!! seriously, he's figured those out as well.


Exactly why I feel that locking them in a room is unsafe, very unsafe. I was opening windows perfectly at the age of two. I'd become so scared if I was locked in anywhere, and that probably would have been what I'd have done. I'd think that I found a way out, not realizing the danger, and jump. I have always been, and still am, very impulsive, especially when feeling threatened and/or panicked. That just agrivates it more and causes me not to think, as I'll just act on instinct. I've always been this way.

If my children were using the crib, I'd more than likely keep the crib in the same room I'm in so they can see me at all times. If they were okay in their own room, and they'd not cry and feel scared, they they can be in their own room. But, if I see that they are not okay with it in the smallest bit, I'm not going to force them to sleep alone.
post #93 of 236
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mistymama View Post
I've got a sleepwalker. He gets out of bed and does wierd stuff about once a week. Most nights I hear him, get up and redirect him to bed. Occasionally he needs help going to the bathroom, then back to bed. He's 6.

I've never locked him in his room. I make sure our house is safe (no objects lying on the floor he could step on, etc) and I lock all exterior doors up high where he could not open them and get out.

The thought of locking him in his room never even occured to me. I understand wanting to keep your child safe, but that's going too far. And to lock your child in a room to give you a break? Unacceptable, IMO.

FTR, We only co-slept to age 2 and I transitioned ds into his own room, own bed. I'm not a fanatical co-sleeper, but I can't fathom locking a child in it's room overnight. Sad, no matter your reason.

I agree with you two hundred percent. I wanted to say these things, too, but I could not find the nicest way, so I did not say them. I figured I'd come back and revisit it and find a way to say that, as I don't want to offend anyone here. After all, I came for help.

You said everything I wanted to say. Thank you.

I still support that it should be illegal. Sorry, parents, but I do.
post #94 of 236
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by luckysam View Post
I would not report her at all. What I would do is encourage her to get as much support as she could. It's horrible to feel so overwhelmed you don't know what to do, and the kids are safe in there. And like you said, cio is not considered abuse by most people. If it bothers you still, you could kindly offer to take her kids once a week and give her a break. Not to stop what she is doing, but it sounds like it would help and who knows, if she had some help and more time to herself she may just stop doing it. Hugs to you.


We already talked about that. I just said to her, "I'd like to help you out and come to stay with you." I thought that this would help rather than offend. I have an infamous amount of patience when it comes to kids. Perhaps, it stems from what happened to me when I was a child?...
post #95 of 236
Quote:
After they are asleep, I open their doors and if they get up, they get up. I
I just went to a training in fire safety and the firefighters really stressed that everyone should sleep with their doors shut (not locked). They said that doors save lives- many times the only thing that keeps kids from death is that their door is shut and the fire takes longer to get in.
post #96 of 236
Quote:
Originally Posted by MissinNYC View Post
I just went to a training in fire safety and the firefighters really stressed that everyone should sleep with their doors shut (not locked). They said that doors save lives- many times the only thing that keeps kids from death is that their door is shut and the fire takes longer to get in.
That's why I see all these suggestions of putting a gate in the open door of a prone-to-escape toddler as dangerous . . . people have to think about how fire is going to "flow" through their house. If a fire starts downstairs in a typical two story house, it's going to flow up the staircase into the upstairs hallway, and in a typical house setup (in the US) blocking all bedrooms from one another. The upstairs hallway is the death trap.

Doors shut in that situation means best chances for survival. Locked does make it less safe--it cuts off one escape route, although in the case I've described, nobody is escaping via the upstairs hallway anyhow--not still not as unsafe as open doors.
post #97 of 236
I had to resort to locking my daughter's door when she was between 1 and 2. She had learned to climb out of her crib and would get up/sleepwalk all during the night. We tried gates, sleeping with her, sleeping outside her door on the floor and nothing worked. I also had a 3 and 4 year old at the time and needed some sleep at night, besides being worried I wouldn't hear her get up and she would get hurt and try to get out the doors. We put bells on all the outside doors and the panic you feel when you hear those bells in the middle of the night isn't easy on a mother. She finally learned how to settle herself for the night and we could unlock her door. She still sleptwalked (is that a word?) until she was a teenager, so the bells stayed on the doors. She is now 26 and not the least bit traumitized by having her door locked. I think most parents do the best they can for their situations and I don't feel locking their doors (as long as you respond when they really need you) is abuse at all.
post #98 of 236
Quote:
Originally Posted by all in green View Post
I would absolutely call CPS on her. It's a safety issue as well as one of neglect.
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post #99 of 236
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailor View Post
Most of the parents that I encounter do what the OP's friend does. They find it perfectly normal. They take everything sharp, harmful, etc., out of the child's room. Then, for the night, the place them in bed, turn off the light, and close the door. If their child cries - they cry. Eventually, they fall asleep.

One of the parent's kid would fall asleep on the floor, exhausted from crying. She'd go in there, once he was out, put him back into bed, and go back to her bed.

It doesn't seem weird or wrong to any of the parents I come across.

So, as sad as this sounds ... unfortunately, it's not uncommon.

That's not the same as actually locking the door, though.
post #100 of 236
Quote:
Originally Posted by primjillie View Post
I don't feel locking their doors (as long as you respond when they really need you) is abuse at all.
I've had my kneejerk reaction to locked doors modified by reading this thread, and I think this sentence now summarizes my new position (although I would remove the qualifier "really"). Children are different and require different safety measures I guess. A locked door is an unnecessary danger, unless an unlocked door is more dangerous--as it might be in some cases. I do still think what the OP's friend is doing is abusive.
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