Parenting & Family

keeping toddlers in the house

  • Last Updated:
  • May 19th, 2017 10:36 am
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Dec 22, 2014
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Regina, SK
eldeejay wrote:
May 10th, 2017 7:47 am
Thanks for everyone that offered real solutions to the problem I laid out and the rest of you are welcome for being provided a place to vent your projections and insecurities about child discipline and for not being reported as off topic. I'm getting an alarm for his door. That will likely solve the problem.
To anyone that thinks locking the door is a good idea, give your head a shake, or call the fire department and see what they say.
Fire departments might not say much regarding a closed door and might even recommend doors being closed. There are plenty of studies on fire and smoke travelling quicker through open doorways than closed. A closed and (child) locked door might be bad if the fire started in the child's room, but could easily and more likely happen anywhere else. In the event the fire is taking place outside of the room a closed door could potentially save a life. This is not to suggest that closing and locking the door is the best solution to your problem, but it should not be dismissed on the grounds of fire safety because it is completely situational.

You mentioned a concern that the toddler might try and move furniture within the room and try and climb out the window. Make sure to address that too if it is a concern. The alarm on the door will not solve that. Remove access to the window if possible or find a way to lock it that your child cannot exploit. I am not sure what furniture you have in the room that a 2 year old can move around and climb on, but I would consider removing it from the room. I would not like the idea of my 2 year old pushing small furniture around at night and climbing on it if it can be avoided. The only furniture in our son's room is the bed and two dressers (with anti-tip installed) - non of these items are moving.

We had some issues with our child falling asleep initially as the days got longer. He would get out of bed and play with toys. We did a lot of work reminding/telling him to get back in bed and stay in bed. He has gotten better at staying in bed, but we ended up removing toys from his room.

In your case he is waking up in the middle of the night apparently when you are already asleep. If putting an alarm on his door will help you to wake up and provide the necessary opportunity to encourage him to get back to bed than it is probably a good solution. Probably better than staying up all night hoping to catch him in the act.

Getting child locks for the exit doors would be good too. Some parents say their kids figure them out, maybe its the type of child lock combined with certain door knobs, but we have the safety 1st ones that were previously posted and only one friend's toddler could legitimately open them at age 2 and this kid is a giant for his age he looks two years older than he is. Our son's hands are not big enough to grasp the holes and manipulate the actual door knob. They are relatively inexpensive to try anyway.
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Motion detector in his room.

Seems like you'd want to be notified anyways if he's out and about outside of his room/bed, regardless of whether he wants to escape from his bedroom door or window.
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VicRav wrote:
May 10th, 2017 5:48 pm
Fire departments might not say much regarding a closed door and might even recommend doors being closed.
Closed is different than being locked. This CAS guide contains a checklist. Locks on bedroom doors are a safety concern.

bubble.tea wrote:
May 10th, 2017 8:16 am
^ Sadly, you don't even realize parents like you are the problem with kids today.

People in this thread have echoed my comments, pleased to hear. I was wondering if I'd get reported for being *mean*.

Who's parenting who, honestly op.

"My 2 year old is dictating our lifestyle, what do I do?" lol


You should be reported to the Certified Parenting Association...oh wait - there is none...

Moving on...
Woah, that was pretty uncalled for. The guy is actively looking for solutions. He's not the problem. People parent differently. Tolerance & acceptance are good things to teach and to learn as a parent.
[OP]
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VicRav wrote:
May 10th, 2017 5:48 pm
Fire departments might not say much regarding a closed door and might even recommend doors being closed. There are plenty of studies on fire and smoke travelling quicker through open doorways than closed. A closed and (child) locked door might be bad if the fire started in the child's room, but could easily and more likely happen anywhere else. In the event the fire is taking place outside of the room a closed door could potentially save a life. This is not to suggest that closing and locking the door is the best solution to your problem, but it should not be dismissed on the grounds of fire safety because it is completely situational.

You mentioned a concern that the toddler might try and move furniture within the room and try and climb out the window. Make sure to address that too if it is a concern. The alarm on the door will not solve that. Remove access to the window if possible or find a way to lock it that your child cannot exploit. I am not sure what furniture you have in the room that a 2 year old can move around and climb on, but I would consider removing it from the room. I would not like the idea of my 2 year old pushing small furniture around at night and climbing on it if it can be avoided. The only furniture in our son's room is the bed and two dressers (with anti-tip installed) - non of these items are moving.

We had some issues with our child falling asleep initially as the days got longer. He would get out of bed and play with toys. We did a lot of work reminding/telling him to get back in bed and stay in bed. He has gotten better at staying in bed, but we ended up removing toys from his room.

In your case he is waking up in the middle of the night apparently when you are already asleep. If putting an alarm on his door will help you to wake up and provide the necessary opportunity to encourage him to get back to bed than it is probably a good solution. Probably better than staying up all night hoping to catch him in the act.

Getting child locks for the exit doors would be good too. Some parents say their kids figure them out, maybe its the type of child lock combined with certain door knobs, but we have the safety 1st ones that were previously posted and only one friend's toddler could legitimately open them at age 2 and this kid is a giant for his age he looks two years older than he is. Our son's hands are not big enough to grasp the holes and manipulate the actual door knob. They are relatively inexpensive to try anyway.
Closed != locked
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Jan 2, 2015
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wirebound wrote:
May 10th, 2017 7:53 pm
Closed is different than being locked. This CAS guide contains a checklist. Locks on bedroom doors are a safety concern.




Woah, that was pretty uncalled for. The guy is actively looking for solutions. He's not the problem. People parent differently. Tolerance & acceptance are good things to teach and to learn as a parent.
Just to clarify. locks on doors on the inside of the bedroom is what is the concern, not the outside. The reason is if the child can locked the door on the inside while there are there, they could lock you out accidently (or on purpose) and depending on the lock they may not be able to open it.

If one latches the door on the OUTSIDE of the door, the parent will always be able to get in. This is not a cpncern. It's when little kids accident lock the door while they are there. I know of parents that have had is happened to.

Looking at that list, it also says securing windows above the first floor is important.
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Jan 2, 2015
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In terms of OP parenting, I do think people are being harsh. We don't know if it is a discipline problem, Or wording the op is using to describe his son though. I did ask for clarification which was not provided.

The child is described as ninja who will if locked the room try and escape and climb out the window. He also mentions that the toddler whom is he believes is too young to reasons ith with have the reasoning capability to watch for the code on a lock, and memorize them to break out. This type of problem solving in a two year would be quite amazing. A child who has this problem solving ability would also have the ability to understand not trying to escape a window or exploring outside in the middle of night. Also the comments of the child being sneaky, indicates intent to deceive or that he know he is doing something wrong which requires him to be sneaky. Moving furniture around is actually quite ingenuous and shows curiousith. Doing it quietly so no hears so you escape because your regular door route is closed is something different.

It's hard to tell if it is OPs choice of words or something else. I actually don't see much evidence that the child is necessarily running the house, or that the parent is a bad parent.
On a 'smart' device that isn't always so smart. So please forgive the autocorrects and typos. If it brothers you, then don't read my posts, but don't waste my time correcting me. If you can get past the typos, then my posts generally have some value.
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wirebound wrote:
May 10th, 2017 7:53 pm
... The guy is actively looking for solutions. He's not the problem...
no he's not. He's asking how to keep letting his 2 yr old dictate bedtime rules.

if he's not the problem, then you are.
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My youngest son was a Houdini at that age and there was a brief period of time (can't remember how long, maybe a week or two?) that we did lock him in his room. When he realized that he couldn't get out, he didn't bother trying...not saying this was a proper solution, but we were at our wit's end. Having him was like having twins...anyway, he's just finished his first year university and is a wonderful human being and (mostly) well-adjusted. I like the idea of the alarm.
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bubble.tea wrote:
May 10th, 2017 11:47 pm
no he's not. He's asking how to keep letting his 2 yr old dictate bedtime rules.

if he's not the problem, then you are.
?? Honestly, the parents who aren't trying to figure something out and who are letting their kids roam are the parents we need to worry about. The parents who are on this board asking for help aren't. This is a guy who has a very active toddler, who is trying to make sure their kid is safe. That's a great starting point on the way to a more sustainable solution.

OP, have you read The Happiest Toddler on the Block? When my guys were that age, I found it helpful and the strategies in there worked well in eliminating/reducing tantrums. I used the same strategies on my 2 year old nephew last week and poof - end of tantrum... I love it :)

If you must, consider 'camping' outside his door for a few nights - it'll seem ridiculous but at least its better than sitting up right there waiting for him to come out.
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wirebound wrote:
May 11th, 2017 6:16 am
?? Honestly, the parents who aren't trying to figure something out and who are letting their kids roam are the parents we need to worry about. The parents who are on this board asking for help aren't. This is a guy who has a very active toddler, who is trying to make sure their kid is safe. That's a great starting point on the way to a more sustainable solution.

OP, have you read The Happiest Toddler on the Block? When my guys were that age, I found it helpful and the strategies in there worked well in eliminating/reducing tantrums. I used the same strategies on my 2 year old nephew last week and poof - end of tantrum... I love it :)

If you must, consider 'camping' outside his door for a few nights - it'll seem ridiculous but at least its better than sitting up right there waiting for him to come out.
You know what works wonders for tantrums. Ignoring them. Kids learn quick that freaking out won't get them anywhere. Kid throws a tantrum he gets ignored end of story. You watch and make sure they won't hurt themselves but other then that, no eye contact, no words are spoken to them until they calm down.

You know it's amazing how well kids can behave when they learn they will get nothing by acting like a brat. And it's amazing how kids can learn to handle things when they are given the opportunity to teach themselves to calm down. Guess what they learn that the world does not revolve around them.
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Jan 2, 2015
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NubNub wrote:
May 10th, 2017 4:22 pm
Maybe this is off topic, but I don't not do the locked door for my kids/dog because it forces my will on my kid/pet. Forcing my will on them does not teach self control / discipline to kid/dog. It's just an act of cruelty.
My dog does not go up the stairs to the second floor in my house even though there is no gate blocking his way, he just knows the rules of the house. My kid is a different matter now that she's a teen and have started pushing boundaries.
I'd be dead by now if my kid started pushing boundaries at 2.
That's basically it.
I agree that teaching kids self control and discipline needs to be done. It's important to remember that not all two 2 year old can be taught this quickly. Hence, the first priority is keeping them safe at this age. Restricting a child in their (safe) could not be defined as cruelty. Maybe the not the most effective method in learning self discipline, but very effective in keeping them safe. our roles as parents is sometimes forcing our will on our child when they are incapable of making the right decision. i don't think this is cruel but a part of parenting iscoming up with the boundaries and ENFORCING them.

I also wanted to respond about kids and boundaries. My wise colleague gave me this advice as I came in to work looking exhausted that my 2 year old kept coming home it on the middle of the night and I was very frustrated and sleep deprived. I was frustrated about my child starting the play the rules (hence why) I asked OP, and was concerned that my 2 year old kept pushing the boundaries at that age, what the heck would she be like as a teen.

She wisely gave me a different prespective, and it was something along the line of children push boundaries from the time they are babies, it's a good thing. (I gave her skeptical look). It shows that they are growing as a person. Boundaries are set to help the child stay safe and develop as a person. The most interesting thing she said was it's our job as parents to set what we think are reasonable boundaries and it's the child job to push them and help tell us as parents they may be ready for more. That's when as parents we evaluate is there more responsibility and freedom the child is ready for. This shows the child that we are ready to listen and grow with them. It is also our job as a parent if we think are boundary is reasonable and should not be moved, to enforce it. This shows the child that we are the parent and do know what is best (many times) and that they don't set the rules, that there are times when no mean no. This balance is generally easier when they are young and harder as they grow older.

When they are babies they ,any press the boundaries by climbing out of their cribs. This may be a sign that they they are ready to to move into a toddler bed, or not. Two year olds are growing so much, so they will test the boundaries a lot in terms of if they can explore in the middle of the night. Toddlers that start thpwrong food on the ground to see what the reaction is, that's also a boundary. Young kids who want to stay up a little later. It becomes less black and white as my tween would like to read/watch things that I think are too old for her.

The Point is children pushing boundaries is what they are supposed to do, and it's not bad parenting. Parents need to set boundaries, enforce m, and know when to move the boundaries. I see that OP is trying to keep the child safe, and that's the first priority. Whether or not he needs toteach more discipline is unclear.

Calling him an unfit parent (
(not you, others) is pretty harsh. Implying the child may turn our a brat, may or may not be true. We don't know what the rest of the discipline is during the day. I admit at 3 am I was not always role modelling the most patient parenting.
Last edited by Macx2mommy on May 11th, 2017 9:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
On a 'smart' device that isn't always so smart. So please forgive the autocorrects and typos. If it brothers you, then don't read my posts, but don't waste my time correcting me. If you can get past the typos, then my posts generally have some value.
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And if a child is not old enough to know and have the ability to get out of the house on their own in an emergency the safest place for them is in their room. Unless the fire starts in their room it's safest to be in there with the door closed. If they can get out and wonder around the house they could end up where the fire or emergency is, or they could hide making it impossible for you to find them and get them out of the house. So from a fire perspective it would actually be safer for your "ninja" to be locked in his room so you can go grab him and take him outside. And btw my source is a family friend who is a fire fighter.

The biggest danger to little kids in an emergency is them getting scared and hiding somewhere.
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Dec 22, 2014
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eldeejay wrote:
May 10th, 2017 9:32 pm
Closed != locked
I am pretty sure I was clear that I am talking about child locks to prevent your toddler from leaving the room and being a danger to themselves. This would not impede or prevent you (the parent) from getting into the room.

The information you have provided suggests that this huge problem that needs to be resolved fast. You fear that your child is resourceful enough to escape the house, but have you considered the other dangers within the house. What if he manages to climb up on the stove and turn it on and burn himself at 3 am?

If all you got out of my first post was "Closed != locked" it becomes difficult to determine how serious you are about resolving the problem. Posters are asking questions to better understand the situation and you are not providing answers. You are cherry picking points to fit your own narrative. There have been several tips provided and not any single one of them is going to work on there own. Any mechanical or environmental change to the house will still require an active parenting component. Expect tears, tantrums, and fear induced panic attacks as likely responses to any of the possible changes. Your son currently views his nightly ninja excursions as normal - it is very likely going to be a rough adjustment period as you try change this behavior.
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It amuses me when people believe that all children are the same. Yes, the OP needs to set rules and enforce them. Absolutely no argument there, but if you believe a 2 year old will always follow the rules, you're delusional and/or you got lucky with your children. There's a reason they call it the terrible 2's. So yes, set rules and enforce them, but also have a safety net in case the rules are broken. After all, kids do break rules. Install an extra lock very high up on the door. Install an alarm on the doors. Have child proof locks. There's lots of simple solutions and you can even go with a couple of them at the same time, no reason to limit yourself to one of them.

Most important is making sure your child is safe. Only you know your child. If you know that your kid will break your rules no matter what the consequences are, then your first priority needs to be ensuring your child is safe while you're sleeping. After you do that, then you need to work on getting your child to follow the rules.

As for locking a 2 year old in their room being unsafe, I strongly disagree. A 2 year old is not old enough to safely evacuate a house in an emergency. You need to be the one that removes your 2 old from the house; therefore, you need to know where the 2 year old is at all times, especially in low visibility situations. Your 2 old is absolutely safer locked in his room then being able to get out.
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