"In the eyes of a child, parents are "mean" when the child discovers that they mean what they say. "

Longing for a peaceful home

Question

What is your advice for a child who refuses to stay in their room? Up until recently we had been locking our daughter’s door when she had lost all her tickets on the ticket system.

This last week we stopped locking the door because she is almost 6. She now refuses to stay in, or even go to, her room. We ignore her and treat her as though she were still in her room but it’s become very difficult. She has started wreaking havoc all over the house. She steals food from the kitchen, goes outside for long periods without permission, calls us names, yells at the top of her lungs, hurts her siblings, makes messes on the carpet with food, makeup, toothpaste, wakes her sister up from naps and refuses to go to bed. One night she spent an hour screaming and jumping on our bed in the dark after we had gone to bed.

Do you think we should go back to locking her door, ignore her behavior or assess another penalty for not going to her room (if so, what would that be since she won’t stay in her room)?

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