Physically Restraining Your Child
  • chaosmomchaosmom
    Posts: 4,186Member
    I recently read an article discussing this and was interested in your opinions.

    Do you agree or disagree with using them? Have you ever had to use a physical restraint on your child, such as a basket hold? What circumstances warrant these measures or is it never ok?
  • ojibwaymommy
    Posts: 82Member
    I physically restrain my son if he is throwing a tantrum that involves hitting or throwing things.

    I will sit him down on my knee and put my arms around him, so he can't move his hands/arms. I talk very calmly to him, telling him to calm down and stop the behaviour. The first few times I did it, it made it worse. Now when I do it, he calms down within a few minutes, we talk about what he did and why it was inappropriate and then he apologizes and we move on.

    That's about as far as it goes with us. It works, but it's pretty challenging trying to control a seriously pissed off two-year-old.
  • OmgmetooOmgmetoo
    Posts: 579Member
    When I was growing up my mom had a daycare and she had one boy that would occasionally throw tantrums where he would bang his head on the ground and physically harm himself. It would scare the other kids, too. She spoke to the parents about it and eventually they tried bringing his car seat in and when he got this way she would strap him in and keep him in it until he calmed down.
  • [Deleted User]
    Posts: 5,196
    I have stopped my son, and held his arms to his sides while looking in his eye and talking to him about his actions, if was throwing his arms around and such, but that wasn't often.
  • fuegofuego
    Posts: 1,594Member
    My DD used to throw herself on the ground and smash her head into the floor. I tried physically restraining her by putting her in my lap and wrapping my arms around her.. until she smashed her head into my face. Then I would put her in her high chair and strap her in, and sit in front of her until she calmed down. She stopped throwing such horrible tantrums after that.
  • chaosmomchaosmom
    Posts: 4,186Member
    I have actually had to do this with 2 of my kids. Let me also add that they have a lot of anger & anxiety due to emotional abuse from their father. They are no longer in that abusive situation & have been receiving therapy for a while now.

    They have very explosive temper tantrums to the point of bashing their heads against the wall, hitting/kicking everyone, throwing anything they can pick up. My 6yo fought it & it would take 45 minutes or so to calm him down. Now, he is doing so so much better & on the rare occasion he starts up, all I have to do is lay on the bed with him & hug him for a few minutes then he is willing to talk.
    My 3yo has now started it & it only takes about 10 minutes to settle him down. He's not as stubborn!! But the whole time he screams "you're hurting me!" & it breaks my heart :( I know that I am not. I have been trained & performed it in front of 2 separate child therapists.
  • [Deleted User]
    Posts: 2,589
    Most of the time when my daughter throws a tantrum I walk away from her. When she realizes she's not getting the audience she wants she'll stop and walk over to me and put her arms out for a hug. I talk to her and then she's ok. I imagine if or when she decides to throw things or hit I'll sit down with her and tell her why it's not ok.
  • VegasmommyVegasmommy
    Posts: 1,731Member
    Mine too @rosebudsmommy! She usually will cry for a few more minutes when she notices I'm ignoring her. In the rare event that I've had to restrain her I'll just hold her hands and get eye level with her so she knows her current actions are inappropriate.
  • Anonymous
    Posts: 29,074
    I am pregnant, and my son is 3. He is just not understanding about not jumping all over me, like he always has. Several times I've had to push him away, hold him off, etc. My stomach feels like it's gonna bust open and there is no way I can let him jump on it.

    We did leave my sons last daycare due to physical restraints, however. Let me preface this by saying that it is legal in the state of Illinois to restrain children in a daycare setting while they are eating. I would always show up at different times to pick up my son, and several times it was snack or lunch time. Well, they had little kid sized chairs, the stackable kind with the molded plastic seat with the vents in the butt area. After we'd been going there a few months, they started using these little webbed seat belts that they would weave through the vents and belt the kids into the chairs while they were eating. Ok, fine, you have to restrain the kids, go ahead. I didn't like it, thought it was just laziness, but all the kids were strapped in. One day I went in at lunch time, though, and the teachers almost jumped out of their skin when they saw me. When I got up to the table, they had my son tied to his chair with a white scarf. Not kidding. Like something out of Basic Instinct. Turns out my kid had mastered the buckle mechanism on the seat belt. I talked to the director and said that I understood where they were coming from, but it's very upsetting to see my child hog tied to a chair. They needed to find another solution, maybe just turning the seat belt around so the buckle was in the back. Duh, no clue why they didn't think of that before.

    So, a bit more time went on, and then I came in at nap time to pick him up once. Well, he and another little girl there never took naps. If I ever showed up at nap time before, they were always sitting at a table up front playing quietly. My son has never been a good napper. I walk in, again, the teachers jumped up and RAN to where my son and the other little girl were. They had both of them restrained, and to justify it, had given them a small snack.

    Ummm, no. I went to the director and said to stuff her two weeks notice. She tried to point out that, legally, they could restrain the kids since they were eating. I said "We'll see what the licensing agency says about that, unless you let me out of the contract now." Plus, feeding some kids extra every day just so you can tie them down? Probably frowned upon. I went back when I knew the other little girls mom would be picking her up and stopped her on her way in and told her about it, too. She also immediately yanked her daughter out. The place was shut down 6 months later. DUH!
  • chaosmomchaosmom
    Posts: 4,186Member
    Let me add, I always try to stop the behavior before it gets bad. We talk...a lot. We have a chart that the kids helped with outlining unacceptable behavior. I realize my situation is much more extreme than most! I only restrain them when all else fails & they are starting to hurt themselves or their brothers.
  • crazymommy
    Posts: 776Member
    I've had to restrain DS. He is growing out of it thank god but has tantrums where he will throw himself on the floor and bang his head on the floor, or walls. He has also had fits so bad that he destroyed his bedroom, ripping the drawers out of his dresser and throwing them and throwing toys and stuff. I just wrap my arms around him tightly and wait until he calms down. I tell him to take deep breaths and relax and just say it over and over until he stops fighting me. We are considering though that he might have adhd and I guess that is kind of common with that? Don't know, it's something we have just begun having to deal with doctors and stuff. The pre-school actually suggested we get him tested so we have an appt. coming up with the doctor.
  • irishlassirishlass
    Posts: 7,057Member
    I have all this to look forward to :S DS only recently turned 2 and i can already see a change in attitude, hes becoming more stubborn and whingy, but if it was really necessary i would definately restrain him on my lap. I used to babysit a little girl who had horrific tantrums where she would smash her head off the tiled floors and i used to have to hold her on a beanbag where she would continue to headbutt until she calmed down. It only happened a couple of times with me, but i saw it happen more often with her parents. i thought this was a really good way of handling it, because the girl was able to get out all the frustration she needed to but she was safe, and she didnt try to get off the beanbag, i just kindof sat behind her with my hands gently on her shoulders incase she thre herself forwards.
    Physical restraints in daycare sounds pretty scary! I really think children should be able to control themselves at mealtimes from around 2, and sit in a chair without restraints, but i can understand why they may use them in a day care if its just a little buckle, like a highchair, but to that poster, im glad you got your kid outta there, sounds pretty weird!
    "Be who you are and say what you feel. Because those who matter don't mind and those who mind don't matter." - Dr. Seuss
  • crazymommy
    Posts: 776Member
    I think I would be really mad if I saw that too, the restraint seat thing. Especially if they were doing it and not informing me that they had to by phoning me or something! I would think if a tantrum got that bad at daycare or school where they had to physically restrain a kid warrants a phone call, immediately! I'm glad you got your kid out of there!
  • Anonymous
    Posts: 29,074
    When my oldest daughter was little I used to put her on my lap, facing out, and hold her until she calmed down. Eventually I was able to get her to go to her room until she calmed down. It really helped her learn how to be self-controlled and at a very young age. Now as far as the car seat restraining goes I don't fully agree with it, but if it allows you to get your kid to calm down or prevent them from hurting themselves or others and it works then that's good.
  • ImWendyImWendy
    Posts: 6,529Member
    I've physically restrained my kids I guess. With both the boys, I would literally hold them against me and not let them move. Otherwise they wouldn't stop long enough to fall asleep. Is that the same? And when Tripp was 1.5 he tipped a stool over and banged his head so I took him to the er. It was just a goose egg, but I was worried. In the waiting room, he kept running around and climbing all over the chairs and tables so I sat him facing outward in my lap, crossed my arms over him and grabbed my elbows. Then I sang songs to him like that until we were called back. I got a lot of weird looks but I assumed it was my singing...
    deus ex machina
  • ImWendyImWendy
    Posts: 6,529Member
    Oh with the boys it was when it was bedtime.
    deus ex machina
  • redneck_momredneck_mom
    Posts: 281Member
    One of mine has bipolar disorder, and yes, we've had to physically restrain her many, many times. Her physical therapist taught us how to do a therapeutic hold, and her counselor gave us instruction as to when to use it. Haven't had to restrain her in a while, meds have evened her out pretty well. But when she was smaller, she would slam her head into the floor, punch and kick people, bite. Mostly now the worst of it is biting herself. Sometimes it's out of anger or frustration because she can't express herself (same child who also has a dx of moderate mental retardation). There are times when she has physically hurt us, ALL of us. Tiny little 35 pound ball of fury is far stronger than you'd think!
  • Anonymous
    Posts: 29,074
    I keep seeing a bunch of toddler posts in this thread, but no teens. My 13 yo DD has some serious anger issues. Lately she has been trying to hit me. I've now had to learn to physically restrain a 13 year old who is now taller than me...no easy task physically, mentally, or emotionally. BTW...yes she is getting help, but in the meantime it's really been taking its toll on my mental health.
  • ImWendyImWendy
    Posts: 6,529Member
    Aww. Hugs mama.
    deus ex machina
  • PrincessEPrincessE
    Posts: 39Member
    I worked in a facility for Teens and Children with "Behavioral Health" problems and had to restrain kids almost daily. When done properly it can prevent self-harm and property damage. Sadly, I had a lot of co-workers that later bragged about "taking a kid down" like they enjoyed it. That was the hardest part of my job (and I'm not just talking about the bruises and lost hair) and can not imgine having to do that to my own teenager or DSS when he gets older.
    Anon- I feel for you and hope that you are also seeking help for yourself through this process. I know that here in TX we have MHMR that provides counseling based on income if you don't have the financial resources/insurance to at minimum, get some counseling for yourself as well. There are resources out there in almost every state. Take care of YOURSELF!!
    ((Hugs!))
  • OtakuHimeOtakuHime
    Posts: 357Member
    I have had to because when my son was younger (he is special needs) and he would get upset he would bang his head into the wall or kick it over and over, even if he wasn't wearing shoes. It's something the doctor taught me to do to keep him safe. I haven't had to do it in years tho.
  • carriecarrie
    Posts: 3Member
    when my kids got out of control i would sit them on my lap a cross their across their chest and cross my legs over their legs
  • mamason
    Posts: 1Member
    Can you restrain your preteen Who is bipolar and has oDD and will hurt himself and others at my wits end
  • Emmasmom04Emmasmom04
    Posts: 268Member
    I think if the situation arose I would surely do it.  ODD is a tricky thing. I had it ( I don't know if it goes away, but no problems anymore) when I was a young teenager.  When someone with it get's going it's best to just leave them to calm down, they find strength they never knew they had and it's scary.  Have you tried counseling?  they can usually give you some tips to deal with it. If he/she is hurting himself or others tho, it might be best for them to get some help outside the home. a counselor would surely be able to point you in the right direction tho. good luck♥
  • chaosmomchaosmom
    Posts: 4,186Member
    I had forgotten all about this thread! It's unbelievable how much has changed since then. I posted this because I felt horrible having to restrain my son but it is now part of daily life. My ds7 has since been diagnosed with bipolar & while things are better, they sure aren't great. You CAN restrain older children if you have the strength & know proper techniques. It is much more difficult though. @mamason, do you have your child in therapy & receiving psychiatric care? With bipolar, it is really impossible to manage without proper medication & they also have to learn coping techniques. Therapy for you is also a great idea. I'm sorry that you are in this frustrating situation. I know how hard it is & hope you have a good support system in place. Please feel free to talk/vent/ask questions here.
  • Rachely
    Posts: 54Member
    some children need to be physically restrained to keep them from hurting themselves or others. in cases like that i think its what is best for everyone. 
  • justkeepswimmingjustkeepswimming
    Posts: 780Member

    I'm ok with it at any age if necessary. I think most people know the boundaries that shouldn't be crossed, just like most people would never let a smack on the but turn into an all out beat-a-thon. Sometimes reason doesn't work in the moment, that's all.

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  • ProudPalsyMamma
    Posts: 1,273Member
    My son has behavioral problems even at 20months I have to restrain him so he does not hurt himself
  • peach27
    Posts: 126Member
    My daughter has autism and when she gets mad she throws things and runs around. She flails her arms and I have to hold her still so she doesn't get hurt. Deep pressure is also soothing for an autistic child. Yesterday she kicked me really hard in the face and I got a fat lip. I'm just glad she didn't get hurt, I can take it. 
  • bluemom
    Posts: 176Member
    "Holding" can be very useful for kids with RAD or attachment disorders, These kids have to learn that they are not in control before they even have a chance to learn to trust and attach. Gentle, non-aggresive restraint, can work wonders in these kids.
  • crazybroad
    Posts: 91Member
    My DS8 has bipolar disorder and I have to restrain him when he goes into a full on rage/meltdown.  If I can just get him into his room so he can have his moment great, but if he starts to attack his sisters or me, throws things, or starts kicking walls I have to restrain him until it passes. It sucks, but it has to be done in order to protect himself and others in the house.  He is on meds and just started therapy and Ive had to do it less and less which is a nice change of pace.

  • flowerchildren
    Posts: 66Member
    I did this when my son was younger. I would sit on the floor and hold him tightly, when he lost control. At first it was very hard to do, then it got to the point where I would be able to ask him if he was ready to be let go. He would actually alot of times say no. When it was done, I would kiss him, tell him I loved him, and that he got through it okay. It really helped, I did it every time he needed it.
  • roobear8408roobear8408
    Posts: 59Member
    I think it has to be done to stop the child from harming themselves or others. But if you are home and its just you and your family I dont see the need in it.
  • Dragonbabyx3Dragonbabyx3
    Posts: 1,467Member
    DS5 is autistic, so I HAVE to physically restrain him to keep him from hurting not only himself but other children.  It usually involves hold him tightly, with his legs entwined with mine and me wrapping my arms around his in a "hug".  Problem with this... is he has managed to break my collarbone 6 times due to him slamming his head back onto it.  
  • chaosmomchaosmom
    Posts: 4,186Member
    @dragonbabyx3, I had to put a pillow between me & ds7 because he kept slamming his head back. Once he gave me severe bruising to my jaw, I had to modify the hold. Now...I just have to lay on top of him. I can't even get him in a hold anymore. He thrashes around so violently & I have been bruised more times than I can count!

    @roobear8408, at home is where I have to restrain the most!! He tries soooo hard to be "normal" when he's out in public. At home, he feels safe & let's it all out that he's been holding in. It's tough.
  • Kenb
    Posts: 84Member
    I never had to restrain my children. I guess some kids will need it, if their a danger to themselves or others
  • MorganD
    Posts: 3,436Member
    If any of my boys were a danger to others or themselves, I would do it. But I've never had to do more than keep them still in my lap at the doctor's office or church.
  • morgaine
    Posts: 44Member
    I have to swaddle my son very tightly when he's having a colicky fit so he doesn't hurt himself with his own hands - he tends to scratch his face and eyes. But I think physical restraint in older children is okay too, but should be used more often for safety or discipline, rather than decorum.
  • BeachChairMama
    Posts: 60Member
    We are trained to physically restrain kids at work. I will say we are NOT allowed to do basket holds any longer as they can restrict breathing. We are trained to do a different one-man hold for kids younger than 10 and our psychiatric units have to use a completely different system for therapeutic holds since they do not use mechanical or chemical restraints. We must have a nurse present once the hold begins to monitor vitals. Older kids must be taken down in a two or three man hold.

    To the poster who now has to "lay on top" of her son, please don't. A kid at a residential facility (not mine thank God) died from an improper hold and I had a mom whose son went into crisis at 13 (imagine a 7 yr old trapped in a 6'1" body) and she tried to restrain him herself as she had in the past. Afterward the poor woman said at one point she realized it became "him or me" at a certain point and if her younger son hadn't called 911 it would have gotten out of control. It took four cops to get him subdued and he was taken out in wrist and ankle restraints; his poor mother was just thankful neither if them were seriously injured but we both bawled like crazy.

    We are no longer allowed to do face-down restraints and have to learn how to brace our body weight so we both have the child safely immobilized but his air passages clear. Holds must be done on the floor - never on a soft surface like a bed or couch - to decrease the chance of suffocation. There should be training classes which you can take to learn how to restrain safely or call a Mobile Crisis team if he so much of a danger to himself and/or others that he requires restraint.

    I am so thankful I've never had to do one. When I was carrying cases if one of "my boys" went into crisis I either wasn't on shift or was able to talk them down to baseline. With DD#1's panic attacks we've been able to use breathing techniques to bring her down.
  • acr99
    Posts: 3Member
    Both my boys need to be restrained at times - the younger one is 65lbs and a full body wrap in a blanket is about the only way I can restrain him safely now - while restrained he still tries to kick or headbutt or bite anyone or anything that comes near him. The older one I use a modified basket hold - his arms are pinned under mine but aren't crossed and i sit with him in my lap and throw both of my legs crossed over his - with each boy I calmly say when you are ready I will let go - they always do but sometimes its 45 minutes of hell hanging on for dear life. They are both too heavy for me to carry now and I feel I have getting the shit kicked out of me to look forward to. And yes both are being aggressively treated for the crap-psych health illnesses they inherited from my useless exlaws family.
  • irishlassirishlass
    Posts: 7,057Member
    I forsee this more and more in the future. So far while he is little I've been able to take the kicks and punches, and just accept the bruises, but pretty soon he's going to seriously hurt me. Ignoring doesn't work. Its not just bad behaviour.
    I haven't talked about this much :(
    "Be who you are and say what you feel. Because those who matter don't mind and those who mind don't matter." - Dr. Seuss
  • BellaBefanaBellaBefana
    Posts: 10,374Member
    @irishlass: don't let B hit or kick you! If you go with it now and just "take" the bruises he gives you, it's just going to get worse as he gets bigger and thinks he can get away with hurting you when he's mad.
    Bite me, cupcake!
  • chaosmomchaosmom
    Posts: 4,186Member
    @acr99 I understand what you have to deal with. Mine are almost 60 & 80 lbs & I have to restrain both of them on a daily basis. The bigger one is the most aggressive/violent one (bipolar, etc) & I can no longer pick him up & carry him out of the room. I have to take him down where he stands. It is getting harder & harder. I am still dealing with a shoulder he injured in Aug. The younger one doesn't take much...I sit with him in between my legs & my arms/leg crossed over him. He fights it & screams until he pukes & normally ends up with a migraine. I save that for the very last resort, you know, when he tries to kick me in my face or is throwing stuff at me!

    @irishlass, I love you & I'm sorry you are having trouble with B. What type of discipline/punishment does he get when he hits you? I agree with @bellabefana. You definitely can not ignore this bad behavior, not when it is physical aggression. He has to know that you will not tolerate it at all. Are you thinking it is something worse than just a discipline issue? Like, you need a dr involved?
  • irishlassirishlass
    Posts: 7,057Member
    @bellabefana @chaosmom I don't let him at all. He gets overwhelmed and its plain to see he's scared/out of control. When he does physically lash out he goes in the corner. Mostly its verbal. He doesn't want to hurt me, but he needs to expel the physical energy.
    Its not just him acting up and being naughty at all. He is a real sweetheart. He is about to be assessed for autism.

    Usually he gets put in the corner (time out) for bad behaviour, like not listening about something dangerous. If we are out and he doesn't listen, for example this morning I asked him to hold my hand because we were coming up tot he busy road and he ran away. So he had to hold my hand the enire way to school. I am very reasonable with my discipline.
    If I see him getting out of control I ask him to go chill out in my bed for a bit, or go to the other room. Or else I leave the room for a bit.
    He is just a handful atm. I do feel pretty lost tbh.
    "Be who you are and say what you feel. Because those who matter don't mind and those who mind don't matter." - Dr. Seuss
  • gramalibbygramalibby
    Posts: 3,744Member
    If there out of control and it has happened to me and I cannot get them to calm down while at thier level and a calm low voice than I will sit on the floor , get the child between my legs wrap face them forward and wrap my arms around them rock them with my ShShShShShShShSh . Yes it takes time and effort. And with extra kids around not always possible. But in my years of mine and others it works. Also , I do have a personality of not getting agitated w chaos ....that is why I feel I have been a great nanny and am still in demand today. Just sayin
  • chaosmomchaosmom
    Posts: 4,186Member
    @irishlass, a couple of things that helped ds5 for a little while: when I could tell he was feeling overwhelmed, I would wrap him in a bear hug & just whisper in his ear "I love you. You are safe." over & over until he calmed down. I tried to do it before he could lash out but sometimes as I was trying to hug him, he would hit me. I did just let that roll off my back.

    The other thing was giving him something safe to hit. I watched him pummel my pillow for 25 minutes straight many days. He had so much frustration built up & had to let it out.

    For Christmas, I loaded them up with crafty stuff & games. Anything to keep their brains AND hands busy at the same time!

    Maybe some of this will help. Maybe not. I get how overwhelming it is <3 If you ever need to chat, you know how to find me.
  • BellaBefanaBellaBefana
    Posts: 10,374Member
    @irishlass:  can you get Bobo dolls in the UK?  They're these blow up dolls shaped like a big bowling pin, very popular in the '60's/'70's for exactly this purpose:  taking out physical aggression on an inanimate object.  They're really great stress reducers for little ones especially.
    Bite me, cupcake!
  • RDunhamRDunham
    Posts: 138Member
    I had to do this once when DS4 was about 2. He was really ill and was put on high dose steroids, and totally lost his shit one day. I was scared he might hurt himself.
  • irishlassirishlass
    Posts: 7,057Member
    @chaosmom that's what I do! When I see him getting crazy I hold him and try to get him to make eye contact. If I can get his eyes, its okay. I tell him 'everything is okay. Mummys here and I love you' and that helps. Mostly. Sometimes he's already gone. When I can't get his eyes its scary. Thanks for being there!

    If he is violent it tends to be one kick and he goes away from me. He will repeat something like 'your a stinky face!' A thousand times and bang about the place. If I ignore it and let him do his thing it calms down quicker, but I want to help him take control.
    @bellabefana we have a punch bag! An adult punch bag and he attacked it so hard it burst. He goes to a tae kwon do class that helps a lot. We practice at home with cushions.

    Today was a bit rough. He was sortove dodgy, until after dinner and he's been asking for hugs and snuggles and told me I was the best mummy he's ever had in the world! The opposites are just bizarre! He is still the most wonderful boy in my world btw.
    "Be who you are and say what you feel. Because those who matter don't mind and those who mind don't matter." - Dr. Seuss
  • BellaBefanaBellaBefana
    Posts: 10,374Member
    @irishlass:  I think the brighter they are, the more prone to tempers they are because despite the intelligence sometimes they still don't have the ability to express themselves verbally.  DD's temper is so bad it shocks me sometimes.  Right now I've got a friend staying with me, and her son had a bad temper when he was little, even she says she's never seen anything like dd's, and we both know people with tempers.  When she's mad, she won't make eye contact either, sometimes even when she's not and I'm trying to get her to look at me and listen.  It is very disconcerting, but I think somewhat normal depending on the situation.  I mean, B doesn't do that always does he?
    Bite me, cupcake!
  • irishlassirishlass
    Posts: 7,057Member
    @bellabefana no he doesn't always. Its just very scary when he does. Because he's a broken record saying the same thing over and over. Like he's stuck somewhere. I've been tempted to smack him across the face to get him to snap out of it a few times.I haven't though.
    I totally agree with you on the intelligent thing!
    "Be who you are and say what you feel. Because those who matter don't mind and those who mind don't matter." - Dr. Seuss