My Daughter Lock Herself in the Room When Gets Angry
March 01, 2011
Monterey Park, CA
My daughter is three-year ten-month old. When she gets angry, she will run to her room, slam the door, lock it and refuse to open it no matter who knock on the door. I am afraid it won’t do her any good, but I don’t know how to deal with it properly. I don’t want to yell at her to force her to open the door, please help me.
Locking the door is inappropriate for her age and inconviniet for you, but it's not the real problem. The real problem is, she's upset and she wants to show you she's upset. Help her learn better ways to deal with that. Teach her that it's ok to be upset, we all get mad/angry/frustrated (it's really important to help her name the emotion), but we have to find better ways to deal with it.
When our daughter started shutting the toy room door (to keep her baby brother out) we just removed the door. There is NO NEED FOR HER TO BEHAVE THIS WAY. If you want it stopped, you need to do something. REMOVE THE DOOR.
She can go to her room when she is upset. We all need a place to go for some peace and quiet some times. But locking herself in there and refusing to open is NOT okay.
You are the parent. Set the rules. stick to them. And discipline if they are not followed!
Hello, This is an easy one for me. I would take off the lock. We didn't allow our kids to have locks on their doors for safety reasons. We always knocked and waited to be told to come in, so there was no reason for the locks. In fact, my oldest daughter had a habit of slamming her door. One day, my husband (who really didn't discipline much) walked into the hallway, tool in hand, told her to open her door, and when she did he proceeded to take it off. Every time she wanted privacy, she had to lay the door in place. He left it that way for about a month and then replaced it. It only happened once after that (that I can remember). Lesson learned.
Good luck with your precious little girl.
reverse the lock on the door. Turn it so it faces out side of the door so she can not lock it. Why does she get so angry and slam the door? Does any one in the house have a bad temper? You need to get a book to read with her about emotions. One book that is good is talk to your children so they listen to you and so they talk to you. They also have books by Mo Wellems that deals with emotions and they are stories about a pigeon. Good luck.
Get a key lock and you keep the key on a nail above her head so you can always unlock it.
As soon as she realizes it does no good to lock it she will not do that anymore. She'll just shut her door and that's okay. Locking herself in may be okay too as long as you can unlock it when ever you want.
Pardon me for stating the obvious, but why don't you just remove the key so she can't lock herself in? Believe it or not "time-out" is a time-honored tradition of disciplining children ... and she's doing it to you! First remove the key, then let her go to her room and slam the door when she's angry. DO NOT go after her (after all that's what she secretly wants). Just go make yourself a cup of tea, or grab a book ... whatever helps you calm down, and IGNORE HER COMPLETELY!! Believe me, she'll come out of her own accord as soon as she realizes you're ignoring her. Also important to be consistent and tell the other members of the family to pretend your daughter isn't there when she's closed the door to the room. "This too shall pass" ... until the teen years when it happens again! :) Good luck!
You are not the only one in the same boat! My 3 year old daughter did the same thing. So, I switched out the door knob. She now does not have a door knob that locks and that has solved that problem!
It sounds like she could be mimicking behavior she has seen. As her parent, you could always take the lock off her door or remove her door completely. She is still little and you will want to get control of her now. Show her you are in charge not her. Let her know it is OK to be angry but storming off and slamming her door is not an acceptable behavior. If she wants to cool down in her room that is OK, but no "violence".
You are letting a 3 year old slam and lock doors? Are you serious? She is only 3 years old and you already dont know how to handle her. You are in trouble. Because the older kids get, the more problems come about. Please dont let her run all over you in the future. Take control. YOU ARE THE PARENT, SHE IS THE CHILD. She has to do what you say, regardless. Because you are the adult and she is the child. There is no reasoning with children.
Your daughter has devised an effective method of dramatizing. Slamming doors is a time-honored (I didn't say a GOOD) way of demonstrating anger, and locking the door is icing on the cake.
As everyone else has said, disable the lock. Replace the door handle with a non-locking mechanism. I'm about as mechanically-minded as a marshmallow, but I hear that it's not difficult to do.
Can you come up with another way she can deal with her angry feelings? I raised my children a generation ago, so I always remember a Mr. Rogers song (anybody here remember Fred Rogers?). Part of the words are: "What do you do with the mad that you feel when you feel so mad you could bite? ... What do you do? Do you punch a bag? Do you pound some clay or some dough? Do you round up friends for a game of tag and see how fast you go?"
Your little girl is almost four. You can talk with her about her angry feelings, and figure out what she CAN do when she's angry and what she may not do. (What do you do when you get mad?) Come up with some ideas for her, and she may come up with some good ideas herself.
Either take off the lock or take off the door. She is way too young for that. My daughter is 8, if she gets mad and goes in her room fine. But if she slams the door I calmly go in and make her keep re shutting the door until she's not slamming it. Also, doors are NOT allowed to be locked what so ever.
Here is our rule, daughter is 4 1/2 years old and has been going to room anger since 3 years old. We allow her to go to her room, it is ok to "cool off" when angry but no slamming door and no locking it. Now with our doors you can easily use a flat head screw driver to unlock it (no speical key needed). So never a fear I can not get in if needed, but still the rule is no locking doors. If she slams the door she has to re-close the door nicely if she wants it closed while angry otherwise it has to remain open. After she cools down we talk about why she got so mad/sad/angry to help work through her feels.
My youngest has been known to do that. Not the slamming, the locking. However, I don't view her quietly locking the door as a horrible thing. She's removing herself from fighting and tantruming with the rest of the family. She's taking steps herself to cool off and calm down. I let her do it. However, I can easily take a shish kabob skewer and poke the lock open from the hallway. She knows this, but she still likes to lock herself in when she's very angry sometimes. She's not really in any danger, because I can "unlock" it at any time. It's basically her way of saying "leave me alone" so I give her her space. I agree with those who say take off or turn around the lock, if she slams the door, remove the door.
Change the door knob so that she can no longer lock herself in her room. Also might be good to tell her that it's okay for her to got to her room when she is upset so that she can have some time to cool down but that you have an open door policy in your house so she must keep her door slightly jar when she is in there.
I'm okay with my daughter going to her room when she is upset but I wouldn't allow her to lock herself in there, especially when she is that young (potentially unsafe). If she goes to her room when she is upset and the door is not locked or is slightly ajar, let her stay there until she is ready to come out and talk to you about it calmly. If you chase her in there and try to make things alright again (rescuing her from her emotions or fit), then she will never learn how to handle her own emotions, how to work things out calmly, and how to be respectful of other people's boundaries (your's).
I hope this helps you understand how to troubleshoot this situation better.
How about changing the door knob so she doesn't have a lock? It's not just an issue of control -- it's also a safety issue. What if she locked the door and there was a fire or she became ill and you couldn't get to her? I don't see any reason a child should have a lock on their bedroom door.
Tell her she stops it or you will remove her doorknob. She is 3. My 3 1/2 year old daughter locked her door during nap the other day and our au pair explained how if something should happen like she falls or gets hurt in her room, someone needs to get in quickly. Once I got home from work, we explained that if she ever does that again, she will lose the privilege of having a doorknob. This is not a time-out thing to me...it is a safety issue. I like to have the locks there IF WE ever need them but they are not for use by small kiddos on purpose.
Do you have a key? If so, learn how to open it. I installed my doorknobs (which are turn locks rather than push button) and thus I know how to unlock them as well. Keep a key handy but out of kids' reach. Unlock the door and take away some other privilege or follow your normal discipline routine. Don't let her bully you.
what do you mean you dont want to force her to open the door? YOU are the parent - she does what YOU tell her. I would tell her the rules i.e. "we do not lock doors or you are not allowed to lock the door and lock mommy out". If she does it again, I would immediately take the lock of the door and replace it with a knob without a lock. It is dangerous for her to lock the door, she could get hurt or something (or do it in the middle of the night and be locked in her room when a fire or earthquake happened).
I am not trying to be rude, please dont be offended. But children need parents, not friends (its not that you cant be nice, but you need to be firm and not let her dictate the household behavior). You set the rules and she follows. If you let her do this now, how will things be when she is 10, 13, 15?
She's allowed to be upset and you can respect that, but you need to teach her not to slam the door. Fix the knob so she CAN'T lock it. you can get a doorknob at home depot that doesn't have a lock. You might even be able to do something to the lock on the knob you have so it doesn't lock.
I would just unlock the door and make it so she can't lock it (I would turn the door knob around). My kids have done this and I just unlock the door, and tell them it's fine to be mad but it's not ok to slam or lock the door. My kids would slam the door repeatedly. I have removed the door when they have chosen not to listen. They don't like this, and although the behavior hasn't stopped completly, it doesn't happen as often.
Well I have two sons:) When they did that I changed the door know to a no lock system:) as they got older they earn the right to have a lock. but if they didn't do what was expected of them the lock went away:) when the became teen agers I had some trouble but I fixed it by taking the door down and they got my point:) good luck:)
Sounds like me when I was a kid ;)) I would tell her that this is not acceptable and she has some big decisions to make. First of all, we all get angry but this is dangerous way to deal with it and therefore not allowed. So if the behavior stops, she gets to keep the lock. If it does not stop, the lock goes. If it still does not stop after that, the door goes. But, you understand sometimes she gets angry and so when she gets angry she will be allowed to do x,y, or z - something that is safe but still lets her get her anger out. IE stand on back porch and scream for 1 minute, bang something on the outside porch for 30 seconds, sit quietly in your closet for 3 minutes etc. Whatever you think would work but be safe. Good luck!
An option to removing the lock or the door (especially if you're renting) is to put a folded bath towel or small blanket over the top of the door a few inches from the hinge side. This will prevent a slammed door. This is a quick fix (no slamming) so you can spend your time helping her to learn self control.
We did this to prevent our oldest from closing the door on her little sister's fingers. Worked like a charm. We kept it there until she learned to control her emotions and actions. It didn't take long. ;)
It only gets worse when she is a teenager. Tell her that it is OK for her to have time away from everything to just calm down. Locking the door is not an option and slamming it is just not acceptable. She has seen this behavior somewhere. It could be a family member or even TV. She is way too you to have an attitude like this. My daughter always had an attitude and people would ask me how I dealt with the attitude. I just replied that she always knew that I had a bigger attitude. This little attitude problem is not bad she just needs to be taught to direct it in a positive way. I would take the door knob off and if she slams it still then I would take the door off.
Take the lock off the door. This is a safety issue. When she slams her door shut, don't follow her or knock. PROVIDING YOU KNOW SHE IS SAFE, the best thing to do is ignore her. She will calm herself and return. When she does, ask her if she feels better. Tell her that you are glad she has a way of calming down and that as soon as she feels ready to rejoin the family she is welcome to do so. Oh, the joys of a strong willed child!