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Child taken into care for being locked in the bedroom all night...
207

Raisensaretoddlercrack · 03/04/2017 20:31

Today this popped up on my news feed;

www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/04/02/grandparents-claim-child-taken-away-social-services-locked-bedroom/

I imagine the child was already on the radar of social care, however it did panic me a bit because we have a lock on our DDs' bedroom door and it has made me reevaluate.

It's just a small slide bathroom door lock that we use instead of a baby gate to stop our 2 and 3 year old exploring after we have put them to bed. We thought it would be safer than a gate as if they could open the door they would mess about with it and risk getting fingers caught in the hinges. We still use a video monitor as they like to play for a while before going to sleep so they are still supervised. They have never asked us to leave the door open so it doesn't distress them in any way. For context, their bedtime routine is good and they are always happy to go to bed.

When we go to bed we open the door to their room so it is ajar and use a gate at the stop of the stairs in case of night time wandering. We leave our door ajar so they can come in to wake us in the morning with cuddles.

The lock is very flimsy and with a bit of pressure would open easily in event of a fire/emergency ect.

AIBU to lock them in their bedroom in the above circumstances or do I need to take it off? I'm doubting myself now! Thank you.

OP's posts:
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ForTheSakeOfFuck · 03/04/2017 23:49

Ew, no. That's just horrible. That basically makes them into cages. I would hope SS would take an extremely dim view indeed of that.

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Crowdblundering · 03/04/2017 23:50

lovinglola

Shock

That's cages!

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DorcasthePuffin · 03/04/2017 23:50

I think OP has got the message by now. She doesn't need anyone else piling in on her.

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Viviennemary · 03/04/2017 23:51

Just read 'speaking over a monitor'. That is absolutely awful. I'd think this person needs a parenting class.

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BertrandRussell · 03/04/2017 23:54

John hemmings is a well known loon.

But I wouldn't leave a 2 and 3 year old locked in and presumably putting themselves to bed.......

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MyWhatICallNameChange · 03/04/2017 23:54

I used to lock my son in his bedroom when he got put to bed. He also only had a mattress to sleep on and nothing else in his room. This is because he has Autism and had broken his bed and trashed everything in his room.

I had newborn twins so needed to see to them in the evenings and if he were allowed to wander about he would have trashed the other rooms, tried to eat stuff in the bathroom as well as playing with the water and emptying out all the bottles in there.

So he was locked in for his own safety, and the door was unlocked when I went to bed.

I hated doing it, but when you've got a toddler with no sense of danger whatsoever and no speech or understanding along with newborn babies then you get bloody desperate. There was no help - diagnosis and a leaflet about autism is what I got.

Thankfully by then he was a pretty good sleeper (after not sleeping for the first 18 Months of his life) and he was also happy bouncing on his mattress, so it wasn't like he was distressed.

So fuck off with your lazy parenting and sub-optimal parenting comments.

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newdaylight · 03/04/2017 23:55

What's wrong with speaking over a monitor? Odd.

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babyinarms · 03/04/2017 23:55

I've never locked my kids in their rooms, even when threy went through phases of coming into us....we just dealt with that but never dreamed of locking them in.
It doesn't sit easy with me. What if there was a fire and the door swelled and you couldn't open it? What if the kids feel a bit trapped in there at times ?
We had a stair Gate at the top of the stairs to prevent falling down it. You can get taller ones if u were afraI'd they'd climb over it.
There's definitely no reason to lock them in , in my opinion.

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ForTheSakeOfFuck · 03/04/2017 23:56

In that case, so too do I Vivienne. I've responded to my DS over the monitor about all kinds of stuff.

Can I have milk? Sure.

Can I now have biscuits? No. Bedtime. Go to sleep.

Can I have another kiss and cuddle? Fine.

Please bring up the big digger? No. Bedtime.

Can I sing you a story? Sure.

Will you come tell me one more story? Give me strength Fine. Etc. etc.

The mere use of a monitor is not de facto bad. The question is how it is being used.

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babyinarms · 03/04/2017 23:58

Name change. ... that was for your child's safety. I dont recall the op stating her kids have special needs.

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Crowdblundering · 03/04/2017 23:59

I don't think people were referring to children with specific needs.

I also do not think you would put kids with special needs in a locked room together?

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BluePheasant · 04/04/2017 00:07

Agree that there will be much more to this than just the lock that has led to children being taken into care.

However, like others on this thread, the lock the OP describes on her Dc room doesn't sit right with me. I have never even fully shut DDs door as I want to be able to peep in and check and also I want her to feel secure that she isn't that far from us and that we can hear her. I can't imagine locking her in, would feel so uncomfortable. No one should be relying on a monitor that heavily imo.

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EdSheeranswife · 04/04/2017 00:24

Op take the lock off the door, it's not a good way to parent no offence. You have to find another way to deal with bed times.

My son has asd, no danger awareness whatsoever. Bed times can be hard, constant back and for, he likes to climb furniture, pull clothes out etc. When was little I used a monitor and a baby gate. If I heard him, I'd go and settle him down. It could happen many times a night. But that's what it's like for some children! Now he is older I still use a monitor and just shut door and go from there.

It's never crossed my mind to lock him in. Its really not safe at all to lock children in there room.

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sadsquid · 04/04/2017 00:37

Oh fgs, there's nothing wrong with occasionally using the monitor to communicate with happy comfortable children. Up to the age of 3 DD wanted to get up for an hour at midnight and play with me in the living room. Sometime after she turned 2 I tried to wean her off this by, yes, lying in my warm bed and chatting to her over the monitor rather than getting up. Eventually it worked and we all got more sleep. I still got up to her if she was distressed, as the OP does. DD's 7 now and doesn't seem to have been traumatised by my cold lazy parenting.

She also had a safety gate in her bedroom doorway until well after her 3rd birthday because I was worried she'd go wandering and I wouldn't wake up to supervise - and I wasn't happy with a gate at the top of the stairs for trip hazard/climbing over reasons. I know I've read MNers frothing about the idea of even older children getting up before their parents and how unsafe that is. Are we somehow happy about this happening in the middle of the night now?

I've also always heard that a closed door is better in the event of a fire because it slows the spread of fire and smoke. In fact I've always felt uneasy about not closing the bedroom doors!

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SafeToCross · 04/04/2017 00:38

I bet if you just stopped locking it they would not even realise and you could have a seamless transition, rather than have them notice and play up?

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AndKnowItsSeven · 04/04/2017 00:43

My ds had a needs assessment as a disabled child. The social worker advised us to put a small barrel lock in his door as he could climb over his gate. My dh has autism and was unsafe leaving his room at night.
It is no different than a stairgate if the motive is purely to contain a child for their own safety.

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BadKnee · 04/04/2017 00:51

Always had locks on the doors. Flimsy bathroom slide locks. Open plan landing with stairs that you couldn't put a gate across at all. Safer. Once kids could get out of cot they needed to be kept safe. They would both yell if they wanted out!!

As soon as they were safe with stairs the lock was not used.

Ridiculous stuff about "Locking in is inhuman" - stair gates, front doors, car seats, straps on pushchairs, front doors even. Kids are kept safe by these things.

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NotStoppedAllDay · 04/04/2017 00:54

Thank god majority agree it's bad idea

But as an aside, john hemming was a mumsnetter I believe?

Be aware, he could return under a name change

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BadKnee · 04/04/2017 00:56

When I said they would both yell - I didn't mean my kids yelled their heads off in "prison" I meant that there was no way a child who wanted to get out of his room would sit quietly. My room was next door and a cry was all it took for me to be there. They were both terrible sleepers - and still are, (teens now but both up now by the way).

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AndKnowItsSeven · 04/04/2017 00:56

Why not stopped? Would you rather a child injure themselves falling downstairs than have a flimsy bathroom lock to keep them safe?

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drspouse · 04/04/2017 03:21

We don't have a monitor any more but our bedroom is right next to DD's. She can hear us if we talk to her from our nice warm bed. Again, she wakes up and needs reassurance, she doesn't need someone to come in with her - a reassuring chat does just fine. Is that better than talking to her over a monitor?

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Natsku · 04/04/2017 06:39

Natsku and anyone else with a front door that children can open - if you're capable of putting a slide lock on a child's bedroom then why not just put a slide lock high on the main door? Or an extra chubb lock higher. If that's the door you're worried about them opening at night, then secure it

I didn't actually have a lock on DD's door, I used a safety gate on her door as I was living in a rental and wasn't allowed to put locks on any doors (so no high up lock on the front door, which actually would be more dangerous in a fire situation as it would be much smokier higher up and so more difficult and risky to find the lock so you can all get out. So for me it was either safety gate in DD's doorway (which was the only door in the open-plan flat apart from bathroom door) or then turning her handles the other way round so you had to pull them upwards to open them but the gate worked fine. Going out the front door wasn't the only risk, she could also get into the kitchen and get into all kinds of trouble there. Again, social workers saw the gate and had no issue with it, even after ex-FIL reported it to them saying this must be some kind of "terrible strict British parenting!" (I live in Finland)

DD has had sleep issues since birth (lack of melatonin production I think as melatonin works wonderfully for her now) so once she reached toddler stage I couldn't stay with her until she fell asleep as it was literally hours every night so I did the bedtime routine (cuddles and lying her down while I sang to her and then saying goodnight and leaving) and two minutes later she'd be out of bed and playing, not upset just not able to sleep. And occasionally she'd fall asleep mid-play (e.g. on the floor) so then I'd have to sneak back in and put her into bed!)

I took the gate off when she was 4 and could climb over it and one morning she sneaked outside and was walking down the street in her nightdress, luckily I woke up before she had got too far and was able to go get her.

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wherethewildthingis · 04/04/2017 06:48

Social worker here- we don't like locks on bedrooms. I've got out a couple of times with screwdriver in hand to remove locks. Usually because a school has referred in telling us the child is talking about being locked in at night and not liking it! If the locks are the only issue that's the end of our involvement. It's a misguided parenting decision.

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gammaraystar · 04/04/2017 07:03

I literally despair. Why do some of you have children in the first place if you just want to lock them up or hurt them? I feel sick with this site at the moment.

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brownmouse · 04/04/2017 07:08

I did use a cabin lock with mine so the door was ajar by three inches - because the cat kept trying to sleep on the dc but she couldn't get through the door with a cabin lock on.

It wasn't ideal but I couldn't think of another solution. Open plan house etc.

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