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Unlock your door!

When children are out of control, parents often resort to installing a lock outside a child's bedroom door or conversely on the inside of their own. The locked door, in my mind, symbolizes their powerlessness and desperation to take control. Time Out is not meant to be a punishment or "consequence" for misbehavior. It's a means of physical separation to enable a child - or a parent - to calm down and regain control of their emotions. A locked door communicates rejection, unavailability of support and punishment. It's a home-grown version of authority figures using jail time in pursuit of "rehabilitation." I'm not an expert on prison psychology, so I won't discuss its effectiveness. But I will state unequivocally that leaving a child in a locked room is at a minimum counterproductive and at worst frightening. It can cause panic, with children urinating and soiling themselves, or even engaging in self-cutting. Open that door and seek help for dealing with your "uncontrollable" child.

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