Is it "immoral" to lock a 3 year old in their room, even to keep them safe?

@Tatsuya (1149)
United States
March 10, 2007 9:46pm CST
Here's what's going on. My 3 year old gets up in the morning, knocks down the baby gate and gets into stuff. She doesn't wake me up at all, even though I've told her to. So far she's gotten into nail polish, lotion, and a bunch of petty stuff. I'm really worried that she is going to get into something dangerous. So, is it immoral in this instance to lock her in her room? I only lock it when I go to bed, but it makes me feel horrible. I want to keep her safe, but I hate the thought of locking her in there. There is nothing dangerous in her room, just a bunch of her toys. Her plugs are all covered so she can't hurt herself that way, and she can't reach her window blinds because I have them pulled up. So, what do you think?
6 people like this
34 responses
@bluewings (3857)
12 Mar 07
When I read the title of the discussion , I thought I won't be doing such a thing to punish a kid of 3 years, but after reading your post it sounds quite different.If you are doing this to keep her safe and can reach her if she needs your help then I don't think you should be feeling guilty about this.isn't it possible to keep her in the room you sleep ? That way she won't be alone and you won't feel guilty.
2 people like this
@tess1960 (2386)
• United States
11 Mar 07
I understand your dillema, BUT; PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE stop locking her door at night. You have created a very dangerous situation. Scenario: You fall during the jnight and call out for help and you and her are the only ones home. No help will come because her door is locked. Scenario: A fire happens in the house and you cannot get to her, she cannot get out, because the door is locked. Scenario: She needs to use the toilet but cannot get out of her room so wets herself. By 3 she should be potty trained or close to it. But you send her a message it is ok to wet the bed. I am sorry if this response upsets you but the fact is locking a child in a room is not safe. My daugther had the same problem with my granddaughter. We put a cow bell on the outside of her becdroom door. The refrigerator has a lock on it, up high. It is a plastic mechanism attached with sticky and is easily unhooked by adults. The cosmetics should be in a safety drawer put away in your room or the bathroom. These items can be bought at Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Alco and Walgreens in many areas. Another good ides is to put bells on the front and back door. (I still have beels on my doors and my kids are grown and on their own.) Consider the reason you are not waking to hear her moving around. Do you need to set a better sleep schedule for yourself so you don't sleep so hard (soundly)? Good luck with this and may you and her be safe and happy and healthy. Blessed Be!
@Foxxee (3653)
• United States
11 Mar 07
I agree with this. Because you never know when things will happen. That would be awful if a fire broke out and you couldn't get to her and she couldn't get out because of a door being locked. But I'm glad to hear that you havn't done that yet.
1 person likes this
• United States
11 Mar 07
I'm in total aggreement with Tess. Don't lock the child up! If there were any of these scenarios you'd never forgive yourself. Hopefully she'll grow up and out of it. Good luck Cynthia
1 person likes this
• United States
11 Mar 07
I have worked as a case manager and dealt with abuse issues before, and I believe this is very close to crossing the line. It isn't that your intentions are not good, because they are. You're just trying to keep your daughter safe. But a better alternative, in my opinion, would be to get a baby moniter, so that you can hear when she gets up. Also, I would be very cognizant of leaving anything out that she can get into. I would make sure anything that might be dangerous is locked up or out of reach. When you have a child that age, it is important to baby proof the entire house...not just her room. Also, locking her in her room could have very traumatic effects on her if she tries to get out and realizes that she is locked in.
1 person likes this
• Canada
11 Mar 07
I have to agree with you on this, her mother is crossimg the line by locking in her room,expect what if she did that & GF a fire,break-in, the child getting playing with the blinds & getting caught in the line......so many things could happen,even if you THINK & know you child is 100% safe, anyting could happen.
1 person likes this
11 Mar 07
have you tried a stair gate that is screwed into the door so she van not knock it down and then a baby monitor so when you hear her up you can go to her and praise her for being in her room still. my son is just like this and is 3 too so i know what your going through.
1 person likes this
• India
11 Mar 07
well it is totally upto u u r doin a gr88 job by tryin 2 keep da baby safe but at da same time u also need take care tat u don overprotect her remember nvr OVERDO somthin she might get hurt but thn tats da law of nature tell ma who doesnt gets hurt?!??!?!??!?!?
1 person likes this
• United States
11 Mar 07
I think locking her door at night can cause different dangers such as...... if a fire breaks out or something. Have you tried a different type of gate? They have many different kinds, it can run into some money though. The baby moniter is a good idea though. I just wouldn't feel safe with locking my childs door.
1 person likes this
@fatragu (349)
• United States
11 Mar 07
I understand what you are going through. I have a 2 year old that is doing this. Unfortunatly she doesn't have a door to her room only a baby gate in the doorway that she pulls down and then gets out and plays. Someone mentioned setting an alarm to get up earlier than her but if she is like mine it wouldn't work because she gets up at a different time every day. I would have to not go to sleep as she has been known to go to bed at 9 and get up at 3 and decide it was time to be up and about. Other times she will sleep until I come and wake her up at 10. Is till haven't figured out a way to get her to stop but she has only done it once this week. I wish you the best of luck
1 person likes this
@Foxxee (3653)
• United States
11 Mar 07
They have these new alarms out and I am almost positive that Walmart has them. But its a alarm you set in your childs room when they sleep, I think it goes on the pj's of the child and if they get out of bed or have active movement it will go off and wake the parents up to go check and see what is going on. Look into it.
2 people like this
• United States
11 Mar 07
I would not lock her in her room. Instead, I would buy a better baby gate that she can't pull down. I would also use a baby monitor so I can hear her when she gets up. 3 years old is old enough to understand that she should call for mommy when she wakes up.
1 person likes this
@gabs8513 (48716)
• United Kingdom
11 Mar 07
Never lock her in her room as anything can happen. There could be a fire, or she might be able to open the Window one Day because she can't get out the door. What about if someone gets through her Window she can't get out. You need to set your Alarm for about the time she gets up. I have always been a light sleeper where my Kids where concerned, but please do not lock her in her room, find a different Solution. Leave your Door open so you can hear her
1 person likes this
• United States
11 Mar 07
no
1 person likes this
• United Arab Emirates
11 Mar 07
YOu need this site: http//www.parentsurvival.org/blog for tips for Trouble brewing b/w you and your kid! (LOL) So literally Parent Survival Key!
@arunna (32)
• India
11 Mar 07
its definitely immoral because 3years is a very young age to lock a child.this is the age where the child needs parent's protection and care.i dont think any mother would do that.children never know what they do?they might do something dangerous...which could harm them............so.....i dont think its a good idea to lock a three year old in their room?children must must have a flawless upbringing where the mother has to give proper attention to the kids and guide them in the right way at every particular age.....
1 person likes this
• Singapore
11 Mar 07
baby moniters are cheap... just buy 1...
1 person likes this
• United States
11 Mar 07
I understand completely what you are going thru, my son is now grown with children of his own. But as a young toddler he was diagnosed adhd and with a sleep disorder, he could not sleep more than 2 or 3 hours at a time, which created a real problem. We had to screw the windows down and lock his door at night, put away toys that might cause harm if left unattended with, such as small toys, crayons,anything that might come apart and create a choking hazard, added baby monitors also, I toddler proofed the whole house, closing off electrical outlets, applied locks to all drawers and cabinets, used baby monitors,applied locks high out of reach of little hands for all outside doors, smoke detectors everywhere in the house,put away things that you feel may hurt the child high out of reach and or locked up, This has to be an on going effort on your part, but remember it is only til your toddler grows to understand not to mess with certain things. It will get better, and you can rest assured you are doing all you can to keep your child safe, that is being a Good and Loving Parent.
• United States
11 Mar 07
Whoa, that is child endangerment and neglect these days. And what about the bathroom? Is she potty trained? You need to come up with a better form of discipline than that. At 3 years old I am sure she can talk. In many cases of abuse or injury, the child is personally talked to by law enforcement or child safety organizations without the parent being present. If for any reason she was in that situation, and was severly injured in her room, (and you had to seek medical attention for her) if she were to say she was locked in her room, she would be taken out of your home. (I had a friend who did that too, and I told her immediately!) You may need to make a bed for her in your room, or you may have to make a bed for yourself in hers. You need to discipline her strictly-not for getting into things, but to the root of it all-WAKE ME UP! Or....she will have a time-out, or have her things taken away. Just be very careful with locking her in there. It could dish out a lot more problems than what you are dealing with now.
1 person likes this
@earthsong (589)
• United States
11 Mar 07
My sister had this problem with my twin nieces. They would wake up before she got up and get into EVERYTHING. She would wake up to stopped up toilets, everything inside the frig scattered all over the kitchen and livingroom, etc. She finally got one of those motion sensor things that you put in a doorway and you turn it off before you go to bed for the night. Its makes a really loud noise if she leaves her room so you know she's out wandering around. Its a safer alternative to locking her in her room, and would probably make you feel better since you feel so guilty for doing so.
1 person likes this
@Thoroughrob (11750)
• United States
11 Mar 07
I am not saying it is wrong, but we had someone in our town that did that. Someone turned them in and the kids were taken away. They ssid they were endangering their lives because if there was a fire and you couldn't get to them, they wouldn't have a chance. I don't know what you could do other than that. You would probably be in the same situation if she would get burned on the stove or something. It is a decision only you can make.
1 person likes this
• United States
11 Mar 07
More than anything I think you have a fire risk. What if God forbid a fire started and your daughter couldn't get out of her room?
1 person likes this
@moochie (24)
• Canada
11 Mar 07
I don't think there is anything "immoral" about keeping your daughter safe at all times,esp while you are sleeping. Locking her door may not be the wisist decision because if anything should happen & CPS gets ahold of the fact you are "locking her in room" they will hang you out to dry, no matter what the reason. Lock up everything that is dangerous & i mean everything, put it way out of her reach & if you have to get rid of things that are dangerous until she stops getting into things.
1 person likes this
@tammytwo (4304)
• United States
11 Mar 07
I would say try a baby monitor or leave your door open at night. Maybe then you will hear her when she wakes up or set your alarm and get up early.
1 person likes this
• United States
11 Mar 07
Hi! 3 years old could be handy sometimes and I can understand your need to keep them somewhere safe when you have other urgency. For me, the important part is that you put her into a room that is comfortable for her, where she is not afraid and you have minimized the dangerous. So, i think it's ok. As long as she is not left alone for a long period of times cause she might get bored, try to do stuffs far away from your imagination which can be dangerous. But, I think is best if you can talk to her. I believe she can understand your worries. You can simplify the talks or make it interesting for her. Such as, collect your morning kiss from me, right after you wake up... something like that. Make her want to come to you once she is awake. I have once taught 3 years old and to my surprise they are smart and able to understand what they have been asked. Best of luck :)
1 person likes this