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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.

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sashh · 04/04/2017 07:19

In the report the child is 7.

7 year olds don't need baby gates.

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Trifleorbust · 04/04/2017 07:31

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

I don't think there is any question of the OP wanting to hurt her child.

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ClaryBeanHorshAndMe · 04/04/2017 07:37

Well, I mean they couldn't leave the room if there was just the safet gate, so they're "locked" in anyway.

I'd be somewhat afraid I wouldn't hear them in an emergency... But if there's a babyphone in there which you cary around it should be ok, I guess?

But seriously, I highly doubt the locked door was the only reason...


We do have however a "screen" over DD's little bed.

Our cat can open door (and it's loud when she does. DD wakes up, screams etc...) and can obviously also jump over baby gates. And the cat seems to be attracted to the the cot...

if there wasn't the cat screen solution we may have thought about locking the door as well.
But anyhow, the child in question isn't a toddler. They don't need babygates or locks, right?

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Trifleorbust · 04/04/2017 07:39

Yes, locking a 7 year old in is clearly nothing to do with safety.

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BillSykesDog · 04/04/2017 07:40

A seven year old locked in is just wrong. I don't think there is anything particularly wrong with the OPs situation though, it's not much different from baby gates and I think it's just a psychological problem with a lock.

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BillSykesDog · 04/04/2017 07:41

A seven year old being locked in is not being arsed to parent properly by taking them back to bed.

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MiaowTheCat · 04/04/2017 07:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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Marshmalloww · 04/04/2017 08:12

I ask again ... do the kids know they are locked in?

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Spikeyball · 04/04/2017 08:24

Ds sleeps in a sleeping area (not locked room) that he cannot get out of. If he didn't have this he would be at risk because he has no awareness of danger.
I know of other children who sleep in locked rooms because of them also having no awareness of danger. They all have social workers who know about this. The alternative would be residential care.
I do agree that for children without severe difficulties, it shouldn't be needed

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TheElephantofSurprise · 04/04/2017 08:29

How horrific is this society in which we live? Small, vulnerable people are forced to sleep alone, and are even locked in their rooms.

Why not treat our infants with lovingkindness, let them snuggle in with their parents, without locked doors.

To the poster above who despairs - hang in there. There are some gentle parents about.

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DixieNormas · 04/04/2017 08:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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DixieNormas · 04/04/2017 08:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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Trifleorbust · 04/04/2017 08:37

Why not treat our infants with lovingkindness, let them snuggle in with their parents, without locked doors

Most of us don't hold with one extreme or the other - toddlers have own rooms but aren't locked in them.

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NotStoppedAllDay · 04/04/2017 08:43

seven here's a thought for you.... how about the parents keep the children safe instead of 'locks'?

A novel idea I know

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StarlingMurderation · 04/04/2017 08:44

Hmmm. This is making me second guess our situation. DS is still in his cot, but he can't open is bedroom door - it's a fire door with a self-closer thing, and the pull handle is too high for him to reach at the moment.

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splendide · 04/04/2017 08:50

Yes I'm not sure where I fall really Starling.

I think of myself as gentle - breastfed to 2 years old, never done any sleep training and so on. DS is in his own room though, I slept on his floor until he was around 18 months but he seems fine on his own now.

I am really worried about the next stage though. The house is such that there is DS's room then a short hallway then a really steep flight of stairs - we are the other side of the top of the stairs. At the moment he is in a cot but i think we'll need something to keep him from the stairs. I worry about adults who aren't used to them never mind a half asleep toddler. It's hard to describe but there is a sharp turn in the stairs which means it's possible to fall a long way from the top - two up two down type house.

But then the only bathroom is downstairs - no idea how we're going to manage potty training at night. I guess he'll need to call for me and I'll help him downstairs.

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StarlingMurderation · 04/04/2017 08:58

DS goes straight to sleep when we put him to bed so it's not like he's bumbling around in his room... we prop it open during the day if we're all upstairs (stair gate on the top of the stairs) but the light would disturb him if we did that at bedtime. I think when he goes into a bed, we're going to have to take the door closer off and fit a normal handle, and leave the stair gate shut at the top of the stairs.

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Butteredparsnip1ps · 04/04/2017 09:05

I'm another one who feels uncomfortable about locking children in their rooms, although I can at least follow OPs thought pattern and appreciate that her motivation is not unkind.

For me, this thread illustrates a particularly British obsession with early bedtime. There is a dogma that good parenting = early bedtime, which is achieved through a prescribed bedtime routine. The aforementioned bath, pjs, story, quiet time.

Of course this is a successful pattern for many, and for me personally a special, enjoyable part of parenting. But I have 2 concerns. There is a perception that if DC won't go to bed the parents haven't done the routine properly. See upthread.

Secondly, the mantra that good parenting = prescribed bedtime routine, can stop otherwise sensible parents making the right decision for their children. The OP here has 2 young children, close in age, sharing a room. They appear to be somewhat reluctant to go to bed. No shit Sherlock. Hmm

My starting point would be to ask if they need to be in bed so early. Yes they need around 12 hours sleep, but it doesn't have to be 6 - 6. For some families keeping small children up later would remove this battle.

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Trifleorbust · 04/04/2017 09:17

Secondly, the mantra that good parenting = prescribed bedtime routine,

I agree with this. Some posters comment as if a bedtime routine is an end in itself, not a means to encourage healthy sleeping. If your toddler will sleep 9-7, with a couple of naps, I see no problem. On the other hand, I quite like an hour or two on the evening to eat with my DH, have a bath, watch something I want to watch on the TV, so I totally understand why parents want bedtime to come as early as possible!

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Raisensaretoddlercrack · 04/04/2017 09:21

Wow lots of replies and some strong opinions. As I said before I will take it off today. I doubt they will even realise as they don't ever try the door. They are usually content at bedtime and if not we go up. When they do realise there will probably be a few days/ a week of having to keep returning our youngest until she gets the message. They have always had full access to us overnight and will come into our room in the morning or over the night of they have a nightmare etc. This was in my OP however I think some people may have missed this point.

I am suprised there are so many people that consider talking over a monitor cold. Our DDs will shout up if they need a wee for example and we will take them to the toilet or ask for a particular teddy they have left downstairs. It is not done instead of going up at all but in addition to which maybe I didn't make clear. Sometimes I may have to ask them to stop doing something disruptive such as chucking teddies about. Usually however they play nicely eg teddy bears picnics, "reading" eachother stories, singing etc. They have the full bedtime routine before this and will get in their beds themselves when they are ready usually before 8pm. If they need settling one of us will go up again and do another story. They like to play in their room before bed and ask to. Sometimes if it is a late night we say no and usually they will stay in their beds. Explaining this now has made me realise that we don't really need it there as usually they do behave.

Initially we did have a gate but the door was opened (old door - doesn't close very securely in its frame - easy to open) and teddies chucked over and then cried for, the light from the hall and noise from downstairs disrupted them and we were worried about fingers and hinges. They are older now and so the above should be manageable. My DDS have both been able to climb out of the cot from a very young age so it would have been dangerous to keep them in a cot. We have enough bedrooms for them to have a room each which we are well aware would make bedtime easier. They love sharing so we keep them together even though it is more work for us due to them sometimes disrupting eachother.

I used to cosleep with my eldest (didn't work with my youngest), there isn't a lack of love and affection in our house! I won't however sit in the room until they are asleep as pp have sugested as it just doesn't work for us. I got into this habit with my eldest when I was heavily pregnant with my youngest and it caused her to rely on one of us being there to fall asleep. It took ages to break the habit gently so we dont want to go back to that. I think it's good for them to be able to self settle and have quiet time on their own as long as they are not distressed etc.

I described my 2 year old as wild because she has a more boisterous/feisty personality than my eldest but maybe that was too strong a term! She is in the midst of terrible twos but overall is a good girl, doesn't anyone else affectionately described their kids as little wildling, little monkey, monster etc?! She just hasn't reached the stage where she is more aware of dangers yet. Our 3 year old is much more careful, predictable and aware of what she can and cannot do.

Thanks for the responses. It's always good to get some perspective on things. AIBU is harsh but that's the whole point isn't it!

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splendide · 04/04/2017 09:23

The bedroom routine as sacred always irritates me - I think it is useful for older babies/ toddlers (or it is for mine, he likes to know what's happening next) but I've seen people suggesting it for newborns as if they'll even notice.

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DixieNormas · 04/04/2017 09:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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Raisensaretoddlercrack · 04/04/2017 09:24

Also a pp mentioned concerns over them playing unsupervised for an hour - they are supervised via video monitor (and going up when needed) and we only put teddies and books in their room so no choking hazards etc. We believe that the bedroom shouldn't be too stimulating so calm play is encouraged rather than energetic play. They are however 2 and 3 years old so obviously that sometimes needs reinforcing!

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LakieLady · 04/04/2017 09:42

VU of me, but the upside-down cot made me lol.

I can just imagine the frazzled of the mum who did that.

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ithakabythesea · 04/04/2017 10:00

A (late) great granny of ours said she used to leave her youngest in a upside down cot in the garden all summer, while she did her housework. Passers by would stop and chat to her and she was 'brown as a berry' by the end of summer. Different times Grin

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