Mother has 5-year-old son arrested

[deleted account] ( 31 moms have responded )

Found this on another debating forum...

FORT MYERS, FL -- A Fort Myers mother is under fire for the way she disciplined her 5-year-old son in public. She is calling it tough love but some people who witnessed it were moved to tears, calling it way too harsh for a child that young.



The woman had her son arrested outside a 7-11 store in LeHigh Acres to teach him a lesson about the dangers of playing with matches and lighters.



Her friend, a 15-year veteran Lee county sheriff's deputy, played along in the mock arrest and handcuffed the child and put him in the back of a cruiser. Horrified witnesses couldn't believe their eyes. One woman said, "That's not a way to treat a child, that's not a way to teach a lesson to a little boy."



The mother, who is only identified as "Michelle" stands by her decision saying, "I'd do it again. If more parents did what I did we wouldn't have the crime that we have now".



What do you think? Did this mom make the right move or was her discipline too harsh?

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Heather - posted on 06/16/2010

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WTF??? He is 5...not 15! Poor kid :( I think the mom should have been arrested for not keeping a closer eye on her kid...some people just shouldn't be parents.

Jackie - posted on 06/14/2010

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WOW a five year old!? I remember being terrified about being taken away from my parents at that age. I can't imagine what must have been going through that kids head. He probably thought his mom didn't want him anymore and he was going to be sent away and never see them again. I don't think a five year old could understand the concept of being arrested and taken to jail. All he know is he was going to be taken away! Grrr, this angers me

[deleted account]

That is rediculous instead of terrifying her son she should have shown him the consequences of playing with matches by showing him pictures of more unlucky children. Also as the parent it is her responsibilty to ensure that her child is safe - meaning no matches or lighters in his reach - he is 5 years old and still has very little sense of danger. Poor child

[deleted account]

Hey, maybe she should have burned him.....that would be a more appropriate consequence for his action! Hell, I'm completely against spanking but I would rather her have spanked him! WOW!

Ok, I'm done now....LOL!

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31 Comments

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Jessie - posted on 06/18/2010

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just another thought I had, kids can come into contact with stuff easily and the parents don't always know. Just something to think about.

Jessie - posted on 06/18/2010

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I think the 5 year old was too young had the kid been 12-13 I might not think of it as horribly. Also maybe just have the officer talk to the kids not arrest them. I think even if she had, had the officer talk to the boy I don't think it would have been a big deal. Arresting is just too much at this age.

Sherri - posted on 06/16/2010

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Oh the more I think about this idea. I really just laugh. What I think is, mom thought it would get the impact through the fastest. I would be willing to bet this wasn't the first incident where she has had some big scares from him and it was time to do something much more dramatic to teach him a lesson. I bet he will be far better behaved in the future and I commend her for being so proactive with her son rather than turn the the other way and pretend there isn't a problem.



My nephew when he was around 5ish played with a lit candle in the bathroom and almost caused a huge fire by sticking toilet paper in the candle. They were so furious they took Christmas w/ the family away. When we all visited for gift exchange that evening he had to remain in his room and miss out on all the fun.

Kimberly - posted on 06/16/2010

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The boy was way to young he will now fear his mother or feel that he is not loved. The mother should have just had a stern talk wth him and warn him of the dangers in playing with fire. A good day of grounding would have worked as well, but she most likely messed up his emotional views of her the most imortant person in his life.

April - posted on 06/15/2010

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i think that's too scary for a 5 year old and i do think it might be hard to understand. it's hard to think about the message when something bad is happening to you.

Cyndel - posted on 06/15/2010

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Not for playing with matches and lighters. I do know of a mother who staged a kidnapping of her five year old. Her son would not stop running away in the grocery store. She was friends with the police chief and he helped her set it up, they told the grocery store about it so none of them would panic, so when the day came they went to the store, he ran away like normal, one of the police officers that the boy didn't know dressed in street clothes grabbed him and ran out of the store (the officer had introduced himself to the staff and managers before hand) to a waiting vehicle where the boys father and the police chief were waiting. The mother came out a minute later, and they talked to the boy about kidnapping, the same way they had done for a year, he never left his moms side in public again. It was a hard lesson, but better then the real thing.

Amy - posted on 06/15/2010

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Wow, that is way too harsh for a 5 year old! A 5 year old shouldn't even have access to lighters or matches (As the first poster said)!!

Zoe - posted on 06/15/2010

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i think it is a bit ott and not only the mother but the officer was in the wrong too she should have maybe shown how hot it was then explained why it is dangerous or even spanked him like every1 else has said y on earth does a 5 year old have lighters and matches in the first place ? i think she needs parenting classes

Brandy - posted on 06/14/2010

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I wonder how often she has her officer friend arrest her 5 year old. Haha. Could you imagine having that as a regular punishment rather than a time-out? lol. I kid but yes, I think she went overboard and it just sounds really silly to me. "Push your little brother again and I'm calling the cops!" haha

Meghan - posted on 06/14/2010

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Me and my mom both smoke (never infront of my son) and I think he has grabbed a lighter once when he was around a year old. I said "please give that to mommy, it is very dangerous and big owies for little ones"...he handed it over. Now if he see's a lighter (20 months old) he says "owie baby!!!" and runs away from it. I know there is a HUGe difference between a 20 month old and a 5 year old, but I will continue to tell him it is a big acciedent waiting to happen. I agree with Sherri too though, (even though the article doesn't imply this is the case)had this been an isolated incident she went WAAAAY, waaaaay over board!!!

Sherri - posted on 06/14/2010

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I do think her son was a little young. However, obviously the police officer thought it was warranted so I am going to hold off on the criticism on this one. I don't think the child will be scarred definitely think about his actions more in the future perhaps.

My biggest question is how he got a hold of matches and/or lighter to even be able to play with them at this age? Unless he got a hold of it in the store and did it there? If he took it in the 7 Eleven and was playing with it in the store. I really do think that she made the right call.

Meghan - posted on 06/14/2010

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no I just thought some more about this and I think the mom is an idiot because like I said HOW does a 5 year old get a hold of a lighter or match? I know before I said that this was a big problem, but after thinking about it, THIS is the big issue for me anyway

Meghan - posted on 06/14/2010

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um, I think that the whole process was a little much! How does a 5 year old get a hold of a lighter or match?? I think this is a big problem!

Maybe she could have called her cop friend and had him come over to the house in uniform and talk to him, but I think she went too far and humiliated her son above all else!

Suzette - posted on 06/14/2010

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I replied to this on another forum...



If this is the method she chose, I think she probably had a reason for it. I haven't heard of a mother going to something this drastic without a reason. I would also do something like this if this were my child and I felt it were necessary, even at the age of five.



We have no idea of knowing if the reason she did this was because this child has a history with matches, lighters, and starting fires. If he does, then maybe she used this as a scare tactic to stop him from doing it again.



I've also never heard of a pyro at this young of an age that's responded to counseling, of course most of them rarely do. It's like a disease for them. I also agree that this was a minor scare tactic, going to jail would've been way worse. And, if he keeps up these methods, he's likely to wind up in a mental hospital, regardless of age, to keep himself and his family safe.

[deleted account]

lol, well that makes more sense, Meghan. I was so shocked when I read that.

Maybe the mom is the one who needs to be arrested.

[deleted account]

Sometimes I swear people act BEFORE they think and then they have to say they'd do it again because they'd look like morons if they didn't!

Lyndsay - posted on 06/14/2010

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I think that mom is an idiot. It has been statistically proven that rehabilitative justice is a much better way to go... like teach the child why his actions were wrong and what he can do instead, rather than punish him to show him its wrong. Clapping the cuffs on a child that young, and swearing you'd do it again, is outrageous. Its just desensitizing the child to the prospect of jail... and if that happens, whats to deter him from crime as an adult?

[deleted account]

I think for a 10 yr old or older it would be great. But not a 5 yr old. That's way too scary. :-( Poor kid.

[deleted account]

Discipline, on ANY level, needs to be about teaching and guiding our children.....appropriate consequences! THAT was NOT an appropriate consequence for the 5 * stresses his age * year old's behavior!

I just can't get over that!

[deleted account]

For playing with matches and lighters? How could he reach them? WTF? I'm sorry but that's SO wrong on SO many levels!

MAYBE if he was 12-14 years old and he STOLE something, after ample warnings that his arrest would be the next step BUT not for playing with matches and lighters at 5 years of age! That's the parents fault.....I bet she spanks too! LOL!

[deleted account]

Your right...that wasn't me OOOPPPPPSSSSSS!!!! My post didn't come out right because I was posting so may responses at once lol...that is what one lady put on her reply to this add on the news site I found it on...I was trying to get the convo started with what she had posted originally on her OP...I think if it was an issue for a while like him playing with matches or something for a while before this maybe this would be the way to get him to realize it was a bad decision and "scare him straight" but if it was really the first time hes done it then it would be a little extreme...

[deleted account]

Wow, Meghan. That doesn't sound like you at all. This mom is extreme. Why did her 5 year old have lighters and matches to begin with?

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