I live in an apartment on the second floor and my backyard is connected to the backyard behind me. I can go out on my balconey and see the back porch below me. One day I was laying in my bed about midday after getting off a shift and I heard a child crying and beating on the door. There are plenty of kids running around this place so it wasn't much of a concern at first. After about 5 minutes of this, I finally go to look outside and I see a kid in one of the small, fenced in back porches, looked about 3 years old, pulling on the door handle of the sliding glass door and pounding on it.
My first thought? "OH MY GOD, HE LOCKED HIMSELF OUT!". I don't know how the hell he did it but I was pretty concerned. I tried to ask him if his Mom knew he was out there but he was a young kid and incoherently babbling as he was crying, if he answered at all when I was trying to ask him. I stood there, waiting to see if his Mom would come out, thinking maybe she was listening to music or busy and didn't hear him and I was about to go around the complex and knock on the front door to tell her that her kid has accidentally locked himself out when she comes out. I told her I thought that he locked himself out and was going to come tell her and she said that he was misbehaving and that she was locking him out there until he calmed down.
I know next to nothing about this family and I rarely go on my back porch so I don't observe them or anything like that. My question is, is this an effective or appropriate form of punishment? I can't make any assumptions because I haven't the slightest clue.