When is it appropriate to call the police on your children?

Some children are stubborn learners, and despite a parent's best efforts, behavior problems can persist. At what point is it okay to get the police involved in your child's discipline?

40  Answers

7 43

Sometimes tough love is the hardest to dish out. But sadly, it is a necessary evil. I've had to do it... I didn't like it - not one bit - yet I knew that it *had* to be done. I had no other options to protect my other children. My oldest made some poor choices - drugs being among them. I tried to work the many avenues to help her there, but none were taken by her. After extricating myself from an abusive marriage, I knew that my actions with my oldest had to be swift and firm. Especially when her abuse resulted in violent behavior. After an vicious attack on her next youngest sister (18) and this wasn't the first time. I had to ensure that it would be the last.

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Thank you for your honesty, I'm dealing with the same verbal abuse and now physical abuse from our 18 year old.

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I have unfortunately called the police on my son on 2 occasions, neither was easy nor pleasant, but at the time I felt as though I had no other option. Being an active-duty military spouse my household goes from being a dual parent to single parent overnight and at times my son tries to take advantage of that. When this happened he was 8 yo the 1st time and 11 yo the 2nd time.
He wasn't doing anything completely criminal, but I could see if it hadn't been address immediately and harshly it could have led down the wrong path.
The 1st time I called, he and a little "friend" were playing with fire and the 2nd time it happened he wasn't listening to ANYTHING I said and had gotten caught stealing small items more than once.

I, like Jayne, found that both different police departments (one in northern IL and the other in AL) to be friendly, helpful, and wanting (like me) to catch these problems as soon as they happened.
Both times they dispatched an Officer who came over and spoke with my son firmly, explaining what he was doing wrong, why, and how to correct the behavior. And on both occasions they called a week and month later to make sure things were going fine and that their "talks" had assisted me in my time of need.

I had threatened to call police the time before these actions took place (considering they both could turn into criminal charges) and I had to ensure both my children knew I would follow through, even though the decision I made was scarey to make; otherwise, my kids would know they could do whatever they pleased and run over me like a doormat.

For those of you who say it will scar a child for life and to NEVER call the police on your children, I'm sorry, but you're wrong. I pray no one will ever have to call the police on their children, but there are times when law enforcement can ASSIST a parent/s with an on-going problem or one that could become a much bigger problem. We, as taxpayers, pay those Officers salaries and have every right to use them as an available resource. If you call your local police dept, I'm sure they would agree and offer to assist a parent/s in their times of need.

I have 2 great kids, but when you're in a new place and your husband leaves for a year; you, as a parent, sometimes have to make unpleasant decisions. If a child is endangering or seriously threatening physical violence at any time or having a part in any criminal behavior, I would recommend a parent calling the police immediately. And there are times, when a friendly, but firm talk with a police officer does a kid some good and allows them to see how their actions can result in serious consequences. My son now knows that I, as a mother, will do what I say I will do, but that I love him, want nothing but the best for him, and has learned how to redirect his behavior and not get involved with "friends" that are acting stupid.

Remember people, the quote "It takes a village," isn't just a quote, it's the truth! If communities (including police) got more involved and supported/disciplined/loved on all our children more often, we would find a much better, much safer, much more pleasant world to live in! God Bless and I hope you all have a Wonderful day!!

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It's very uplifting for me just reading your comments Anna. Sadly I don't live in the US and where I live (in Singapore) calling the police assistance like what you did will cost me money - yes, I have to pay (1) it can be classified as a nuisance or rather unimportant (like it isn't really a crime); (2) I could be charged cos it's my kid that's about to commit a crime. So me being the parent, I have to pay for it.

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5 10

I have a younger son (16) who thinks that he shouldn't have any limits or boundaries. He thinks smoking pot is okay and choosing friends who participate in these behaviors seems to be his goal. We have tried the family counseling route and there seems to be something much deeper bothering him (possible adoption issues) and he negates anyone's efforts to encourage proper behaviors. This has forced us to seek out more frequent and intense counseling. He has taken a car twice without permission and doesn't think anything of it. This last time he was caught after curfew (and without permission to be in that vehicle) and given a curfew ticket which forces him into the judicial system. There was illegal paraphernalia involved but not caught in the vehicle. We have sought help from our county juvenile assessment center and will impress upon the judge or magistrate our need to hold him accountable for each and every infraction of all laws. His defiance is disruptive to the household and if we need to call police to keep him accountable, we will. A child's need to be in control of every aspect of their lives should not be detrimental to the family as a whole. When there is a lack of control say in their school work or another area, they will struggle harder to maintain control where they can. Helping them to strike and maintain balance is our goal. I pray for everyone who struggles with a young child or teen who puts them in this position. Be strong!

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BTW, he disregarded the curfew set for him again tonight. I called to report him as a "runaway" and had a great conversation with an officer who educated me on what the rules of discipline in our state are. He encouraged me, supported me and helped me maintain a bit of sanity and even a little humor. They would all rather help us early in the process, than have to arrest our children later on. They are not our babysitters but they ARE a source of strength and support.

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I never would have thought I would be a parent that had to call the police on my own child, but I did and it was the best decision I ever made for him. He is adopted and has always had some anger issues and has been in counseling since the age of 5. The problem is he never acts out to anyone but me, for a long time I thought this was my fault but I have 4 other adopted children and no issues at all. He got angry one night when I told him he couldn't cuss his younger brother and punched me in the face and left. I called the police because I had made the decision he wasn' t coming back to my home without something changing. The officers took it very seriously and photographed my face and put out a bulletin to pick him up when seen. I went looking and found him walking down the highway and called and they showed up lights and sirens blazing and surrounded him and handcuffed him and took him to the station. I didn't see him for an hour and he was a changed boy. We went to court and he was put on probation for a year and that was 3 years ago. We still argue but never has he raised his voice at me or become violent. This experience scared him and hopefully showed him just how bad it could get. My son was 14 by the way and I would do it again in a heartbeat.

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Jennifer and Carolyn..... My son also adopted is going down this same road. He hasnt hit me yet but has pushed. His father left in 2011 so now I am a single Mom and he thinks he doesnt have to respect me. Last night I had someone in the house to try and fix an electric plug and he was acting up and I told him he needed to respect me and he accually said NO. His father is a cop so I do not think for him a cop coming would have the same affect on him. I am just beyond knowing what to do.....

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To preface this statement, there was a lot that happened before this arrest to lead up to it, having to do with emotional instability (which led to drug use), to numb her feelings. My Daughter was going on 15 and was caught with resin in a small pipe when stopped by police (after throwing up all over one of them). That was the 2nd, are you so and so and do you have a daughter X phone call...! She was thrown into the juvenile system and we were going to court quite often. I found a site online for struggling teens in S. Carolina and I mortgaged my house (i am a single mom of 3) and sent her there. (by doing this, the charges in my state were suspended). They tried to shove religion down her throat, but she is extremely intelligent and manipulative. The woman called 6 weeks later telling me she was putting her on a plane the next day that she could not handle her. With no $ left I didn't know what to do so I called social services and was told, "the only way we can help you is if you abandon your child". I told them that her father had already done this and i would never abandon her. I meditated all night on the answer and the next day called her probation officer in my state and asked her if my daughter was still in the criminal justice system, would i still have juristiction over her as her mother. She said "of course". I then said, "good, i'd like you to re-arrest my daughter". It was the first time anyone had ever asked this and it was the most difficult decision of my life. With that, she was placed in the system and my state paid for a residential treatment program for one year ($80,000)! It was the best decision of my life as she is now a beautiful 22 year old girl who is drug free and happy.

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AMEN! What a great story and it shows your love for your daughter. You saved her from a life that was ghoing down fast. Kidoos to you Pauline!!!

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Plain and simple when their actions threaten the safety and well-being of themselves, you, your spouse and/or other children in or outside of the household. If they are consorting with criminals or committing criminal acts themselves the police should be brought in when reasoning fails. It might sound harsh but breaking the law is just that and if they don't learn sooner then later their path could take them and those they "love" into dangerous situations

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When they are actively breaking the law (drugs/drinking+driving) or if they are a physical danger to you, themselves, or others.

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Good question! My husband is law enforcement... I'm going to ask him this question when he gets home.

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Did he give you an answer? I am very interested to hear his views. I had a daughter (now 23) who was very willful and disobedient. Her behavior was much the same as some of the other troubled teens that moms are talking about in this thread. Oh, and for the record, having achild who behaves in a completely disruptive and rebellious way is not always the fault of the parent.

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180 21

Do not call the police if you are using it as a scare tactic. If your child has done something that could be construed as breaking the law (stealing money from you) and you get the police involved, you may lose control of the situation and thing could go further thatn you had origianlly intended. Once you call them, you can't take it back.

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Agreed. It's disconcerting that ANYONE would consider police involvement for DISCIPLINE. That's not their job. If the kid is involved in criminal behavior that is beyond one's ability....then yes, that may need to involve police intervention.

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Having raised 2 kids who gave me 6 grandchildren and having been a 9-1-1 operator, the only time you should call the police is if they will hurt someone or themselves. If they steal you should report them. But for everyday disipline problems, the police are too busy to help raise your kids. Only in an emergency should you call the police. i.e. the child threatens to harm you or someone else, the child threatens to hurt themselves, the child has stolen something, the child is using drugs or partaking in other illegal activity. The best thing a parent can teach their child is to respect others and the law. Then set the example for them. Don't lie, cheat, or steal as they will do what you do.

My kids knew I would not put up with bad behavior. When my son got in my face and was yelling at me (he was 17) I grabbed a handful of chest hair and yanked. He will be 40 soon and still will not yell at me. Children need to have boundries and limits and if you never set any for them, then you will have problems. Tough love is the best kind of love. It says I care about you and don't want you to end up a jerk or criminal.

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I think that you are absolutely correct! On all accounts. My husband is LE and he hates to go to a call becuase someone's kid won't go to bed. Of course he does his job as he is called out to do. and he will help the parents out by talking to the kids. The police are the good guys and of course will help anyone who calls, but I think that you should make sure they are doing something unlawful in order to call them. Just my two cents.

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When? It is not the police departments job to discipline your child. You are the parent. You had them not the police. The police should only be called if the child is a viable threat to themselves, you or others. If your child is a criminal and committing criminal acts then call the police. It use to piss me off to see a parent telling their child if you don't behave that police officer is going to put you in jail. Way to go, teach that child to fear the police.

I'm sorry but I really dislike people using the police like this. It's not what their job is. I come from a law enforcement family and it's gotten worse as time goes on that parents don't take the responsibility to parent their own children. If you have a friend that is a police officer ask them to talk to them as a friend not an authority figure.

I'm sorry if I hurt anyone's feeling but be a parent not their friend.

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I think you are 100% wrong... If a child is in danger, using drugs, committing crimes, etc. Then it is a parents responsibility to call the police. Withholding information like this is wrong. "Using police"? How do you figure that this is using the police? Please explain to me what their job is if it's not to protect and serve... I suppose if it's not that then I've got that all wrong. I am 100% pro parent, and as I said I believe you are wrong, If I ever caught my daughter with drugs, I would have to call the police. just the way it is. You do the crime you do the time.

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Here's the thing. I am a mom and a spouse of a Police Officer. I will admit I have not read through all of the posts, but have read through several. I can tell you the Police do not mind coming out to calls where there is a real problem, damaged property, battery etc. However, they do not enjoy coming out to calls where the parent has called because little Johnny isn't listening and refusing to do his chores. When the Officer feels as if he is raising your child, then it is more a problem of the parenting than the child. I am not suggesting that anyone here has done this. I am saying as a spouse of a Police Officer, I can tell you nothing is more irritating than getting called for something the parent could have taken care of. I understand that there are times when the Police do need to be involved and they know it too. I am only asking parents to use any other disciplinary tactics you feel comfortable with before calling police.

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well said!

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9 4

Life is difficult and there is no book On how to raise children. We try our best from what we have learned from our parents. Whether we had a great childhood or bad. We are supposed to learn from the past and break the viscous cycles of abuse. 

If we had a bad childhood or grew up poor and now can provide for our children we tend to over indulge and spoil them. We need to learn self control before we can teach it. 

With that being said our children act out to gain attention of some sort. Whether the parents are fighting or divorced. Whether the child is being bullied or abused. Whether your a hands on parent or just doing what you consider your best due to your circumstances. 

Children are curious by human nature. If you talk to them and give them the information and tools to form proper decisions chances are they will deter from drugs, smoking, drinking, crime, & sex. 
I talk to my kids all the time. My 16 year old though he is very popular, quick with the tongue is also very intelligent for his age and makes decisions based on  The tools I have instilled into him.  (he is my stepson who lives with us and our 3 other children). He has come from a broken home, a rotten early  childhood, his mom has been divorced 2x's, foreclosures, repossessions of personal things, boyfriends coming and going, and his other siblings movie g with their dad while he was dropped of at our home while she moved to another state. She see's him every 6 mths). From this he should be a rebel kid, trouble maker, etc.. But he's not... We had our issues at 1st but he had soon learned what is expected of him as well as what he should expect from us. 

As a parent you can not tell your children not to do something if you do. "you can't smoke"... As your holding a cigarette. Be a role model not an hypocrite.  Yes you can indulge in a glass or wine or beer but being a drunk is inappropriate. 

No matter how time restricted you are have 1 meal with each other at the table. I include the kids in on preparing dinner from setting the table to cleaning up. Talk about your days. Allow everyone a voice. 

From an early age never be what I refer to as a " Couch parent". The type of parent who yells across the room to stop certain actions as they are screaming. Get up, down to their level and address the situation. They will learn that you mean business as well as you respect. 

Calling the police is necessary if the child is putting himself or others in danger. You have to be prepared for the police to take control from you and do it the legal way. You can't expect them to not follow the law. 

Take a step back think things through than take charge. 

Being an active parent is best. I'm not saying join the PTA or PTO just talk to them no matter how embarrassing the subject. If you don't they'll get the information from their peers. 

Educate yourself find out who their friends are, family background, grades, activities, have them over. Take time to introduce yourself even if they are picking your kids up to go somewhere. Make your face known with other parents. 

Make a routine. 
Come home from school, snack, homework, than free time (till dinner). Than we clean up and either watch a tv show together or allow personal time alone. This is mine. It works best for us may not for others. 

We can try our best but sometimes we need help. Maybe even our children do and we have to except that we can not be ashamed.

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I find it interesting that you say it's OK to have a glass of wine infront of your kids but that you can't smoke. If they are BOTH legal for me to do and I am of legal age, why would one be ok and the other not? You said you would be a hypocrite iF You are holding a cigarette and tell them they can't smoke yet you would not be a hypocrite if you tell them they can't drink while holding a beer or glass of whine! I find that amazingly hypocriteal. Why would you & your children not?

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I believe that there are times you should call the police. I have an 11 and 12 year old in my home and a 14 year old step-daughter. I have never had to call the police on any of them yet, and I pray that I never have too.
My husband was on the local fire department so we know many police officers. I spoke to one of them a while back and he told me that there was a 13 year old girl that was being raised by her grandmother that was having problems. He said the first time he went over there, he spoke to the girl and explained what she was doing, how it was going to get her in more trouble, along with the consequences. He also told her how lucky she was and that he could not understand why she was acting this way toward he grandmother that loves her, takes care of her, and wants the best for her. He also gave the grandmother other options that she could try along with his cell number to call if anything got out of hand. After this first visit, a week later he just popped in. He did this a many times and random times of the day. Once he was sure that things were better, he started spacing out his unexpected visits. Now, this child has done a lot of work improving herself, and is more helpful to her grandmother. He told me that most of her problems were with the people she was hanging out with and with the fact that she could not be with her mother that was in jail. This officer is the same officer that arrested he mother.
My 11 year old has anger issues and he is getting a lot better with handling his anger. It has been a lot of work on him, his father and my part. Staying consistant was the hard part, exspecially when I was not feeling good or just tired. It has taken about 9 years to get to where we are but with the length of time it has taken, it is well worth it.
My 12 year old is a normal (what I call normal) pre-teen girl. The attitude, smart mouth, and being boy crazy. I have a lot of work with her a head of me on these issues.
My 14 year old step-daughter acts just like her mother in many ways, which is not a good thing. She lives about 20 minutes from us and we have only seen her once in 6 months. Her mother has admitted to brain washing her to hate her dad because of me. The only reason I know of is that I spend quality time with her, and her mother (from what I am told) does not. I have had 1 inccident with her and when I spoke to her dad about it, he thought I was just making stuff up. After a few times of her doing this, I had her dad on the phone when it happened. When he got home from work, he was ticked off. He spoke to her and she told him that her mother told her, she did not have to do anything I said. He corrected that problem real quick.
I know it may not seem like I have had to deal with major issues yet, but the problems I have had with some of the issues, and I have tried everything, I spoke to a friend on the police department that helped me handle the issue when it was first starting.
If I ever had to call the police, it would be to any type of assalt, theft, valdalism, or anything worse. I know it would be hard but I would also know that their futures depended on it. This may not help many people much, but I think if you have communication at an early age, you are honest with them, and let them know whats going on (pending the details on their age) with the situations that will affect them, it will make it easier as they get older. I also had to get in the mind set that I could not get mad at what they tell me, at lease they are talking to me to help them with a problem or situation. I also told my kids that if they do not tell me when they have done something wrong that they know they will get in trouble for and I find out, that there punishment will be a lot worse. When I first started telling them this, I made a chart with what they did wrong, consequence if they told me about it , and the consquences if i found out. This helped a lot. I also hope this helps someone to make things easier for them and their children in the future. This may not have been the place to post this and I am sorry if it is not.

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Seriously folks... There are two seperate questions here: "When is it appropriate to call the police on your children?" Are we talking about your six year old who walked out of the pet food store with a dog bone in their pocket. Do we really want to take the police off the streets to tell your child that was the wrong thing to do? Seriously, man up and PARENT your child! That is YOUR job. Are we talking about the child who is building a bomb in the garage? Then yes, at that point you should get the police involved. However, if you were parenting, you would have been able to discern prior to the bomb building there was an issue with your child. The other question posed was, "At what point is it okay to get the police involved in your child's discipline?" The ANSWER by any INTELLIGENT parent should be NEVER!! The police motto is: "To Serve and Protect". At what point does it become their job to discipline your children. Answer, NEVER! Discipline is your parental job..... C'mon Man!!!!

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MIchelle u must have never had to deal with an out of control teenager. Not that ANYONE has to justify anything for you because obviousloy you have no clue. I am a single mom who disciplined and did everything in my power to raise my chioldren. we had time outs, spankings, groundings, writing sorry notes, saying apologize. ,I went to conferences, school functions, did homework with them, had familyu dinners, took them to parks, zoos, educational places, libraries, put notes in their lunchboxes, read them books before bed, hugged them, kissed them, told tme i loved them daily. etc and as older teenagers they chooswe to bully me, swear at me, break my things in my house, drink, smoke, skip school, etc. The police are there to help the community. as u recall back in the day there was a saying "it takes a village to raise a child" I needed help and I aSKED for it and the police officers were awesome and kind and they helped me. i appreciate their kindness and understanding.

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I agree that you should call the police to get involved if they are breaking the law or they are a threat to themselves and/or others.

Don't call the police because they won't get out of bed for school. Sounds silly, but my husband who is in law enforcement has had to respond to such calls...seriously people!

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That is BS, because MOST states have truancy rules and law enforcement is supposed to enforce the laws, are they not? I have a teenager who refused to go, the school did nothing, I would physicially put her out on the porch and if she didn't get the bus she would be locked out of the house (she was 15-16). There was NO way as a parent I was going to support or enable her to sleep in my home when she was supposed to be getting an education. The result, I had to place her on what we call PINS.. took 4 months to get that in place, when she turned 16 they told me that NOW she was of "compulsurary age" meaning it was her decision to go, but get this.. AS a parent of a minor, it was my legal obligation to make sure she got to school. Nice. So yes, I got to point where I had to call law enforcement and it worked. The police did NOT mind, I have in fact met some of the finest state troopers from this and they had kids so they understood. I was even sent a letter personally from one of those officers telling me it was refreshing to have met with a parent that was willing to go the extra mile. My daughter blew her Junior year of HS but now she's a senior and is seeing how tough it is to make up for those lost credit's and she actually made honor role this year.

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I'm absolutely astonished. I 'm not stupid I know mental illness is a big problem and that a lot of parents have difficulty with their children but I never realized how bad things were for so many people. I pray to God that I never have to even consider calling the police on one of my own children.
All the politicains are on TV talking about jobs and the deficit but America is undergoing a crisis that is deeper than poverty.Forget about breast cancer We need a cure for bipolar illness.

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if you go to conductdisorders.com and read posts there, you will see things can be frightening, horrendous difficult every minute of every day for some families. BUT the police are not who provides help- doctors, mental health professionals are

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You can give opinions of what you might do or how you might react to a situation that needs more attention than you can give it but until you've lived through it you really don't know. My son was and is not on drugs. He suffered an emotional breakdown because of experiencing a devastating emotional trauma. Without going into details, it was enough to have him completely change his personality. One week night he did not come home from school. I thought perhaps he was staying after school for an activity, but when it became 10:00 p.m. and no sign of him, I began calling friends and even called the school's principal. They assured me he was in school that day, all day. His friends said that they saw him that afternoon. After going crazy for over an hour, I received a phone call from a neighbor who said they had seen my son walking down the middle of the road about 4 miles away... They picked him up and brought him to their house because he didn't want to come home. The next day he came home , locked himself in his room and proceeded to destroy everything in his room, when I tried to enter the room he pushed me against the stairway and would have thrown me down the stairs if his older sister did not step in between us. Then he proceeded to break things and throw them at us, we were unable to control him so I called a "hot line" and they basically blew me off and said , "if he's violent , call the police". With a VERY heavy heart and EXTREME emotions I did.... He was taken to the hospital for evaluation and began counseling the next day... My message: "Sometimes it is out of our hands, don't let your heart rule your mind, they need help and so do you, so if it means calling the police , do it". I am happy to say that today my son is a VERY successful business man and a happy young man. (K)

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It depends a lot on your local system. In our town, there is a "hanging judge" who will not listen to any evidence on the part of the defendent and gives maximum sentences plus totally uncalled for tongue lashings that include truly demeaning charachter demolition. My son was stopped once for taking a shortcut. His truck had been borrowed by a friend the night before and son had no idea that there was anything illegal in it. They found a brand new, unused marijuana pipe and son ended up in court. Despite the fact that paraphernalia is legal to SELL in our city and it was clean, the judge threw the book at him....rehab, AA, AND jail. Jail turned out to be clear across the state and my son was badly victimized there. Things we sent that were on the approved list never reached him. He was forced to pay protection to a big guy or worse could have happened. His bunk was an upper, right under the airconditioning duct and they were allowed ONE thin blanket. He was the youngest and smallest there and the first day all of his underwear and socks were stolen except what he was wearing. All of it was marked and the guards would do nothing to locate it. You could only buy hygeine items from the store in the jail, with a 3 ox. shampoo costing $5 and a toothbrush costing $8. Deoderant, soap...everything was overpriced. Food was horrible with some having mold on it. Complaints to the sheriff did not gain any improvements. Books sent to him were never delivered. I finally bought multiples of crossword puzzle books, colored pencils and such that were for him to share and that calmed down a lot of the guys. (Oddly no crayons or markers were allowed, but colored pencils were.) I bought him heavy undershirts and all but one was taken...again despite labelling. His food was taken from him at meals and several days he went without a scrap until he "hired" the protector. It was a totally horrendous experience and he came home weighing 105 pounds (down from 130), broken, bruised and battered by "accidental collisions", horrendous nightmares, withdrawn, unable to sustain sleep, He ALSO took up marijuana since he'd already been punished for it without using it. The whole affair cost us well over $6000, not counting follow up care with a psychiatrist for his fears and nightmares. It's been three years and he's still paranoid and had after-effects.

I would NEVER turn him in here because of that. But, if we had fair judges and safe jails locally, I might consider it as a last resort, except for our experience.

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I would have taken that story to a newspaper, it's absolutely disgraceful. How old was he when it happened?

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We have four adopted children. Our youngest son was born with Cocaine in his system and it has caused him problems. Particularly now that he is starting puberty. We have a great relationship with our town's police and they have helped us tremendously, even to the point of protecting our son from the county police. We called because he had sliced open his older brother's thumb with a knife and though we asked for our town police the county police showed up also. If the county police had gotten involved our son would have had a record. We have family counseling, he takes medication to help him with control and he recognizes that they help him.

However, he is prone to poor choices. Would I call the police again. Absolutely! Does he know I'll do it. Yes. Hopefully, that will make him think twice.

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The issues with your son are probably more due to alcohol exposure than cocaine. 80% of cocaine users also drink. This means that there is likely frontal lobe injury. This part of the brain is what controls rational decision making. I am not sure that anything can make these kids really think twice. Consequences are rarely understood by them. 40% of people in prison were exposed to alcohol. My adopted daughter was cocaine and alcohol exposed. And this is my area of specialty...good luck with you son.

36 5

Well if they break the law then it may be necessary - now it does depend on circumstances for instance if you realise your teen has been taking items from a shop, maybe the best approach is for them to return them and apologise, not getting the police involved as long as the store agrees, HOWEVER ifs its repeated then maybe they need a lesson learned, maybe its a psychological problem and medical professionals could help? No two circumstances are alike, and its not a black and white issue - its easy to sit and type you must have zero tolerance and report everything but nothing in life is that simple.

Now if violence is involved, yes it probably is a must you contact the police, or a professional that can help with anger - but again however cross you are with them, its important you are still their parent, and ensure you get to the bottom of why they are exhibiting behaviours. I love to think the police would support parents in these difficult circumstances but we know that isn't always the case so we need to make a judgement call ... BUT if the crime committed is a serious one, covering up is never right, huge difference between a fight between two teens that parents can sort between themselves and and a one sided assult.

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If I have to call the police on my children, i will be the one to go to jail.

2
7 6

I don't follow, why would you go to jail if you had to call the police?

0 2

I had to call the police on my son after several warrants and then he passed my younger son a fraudulent check for $500.00. My heart is breaking, but I know that I have done everything in my power to help him and it is beyond me now. He needs to stop and take responsibility for these things he keeps doing and does not answer for. He just keeps running. I almost had a nervous breakdown after calling the police, and am slowly trying to dig myself out of a deep depression. The police in our town are sometimes worse than the criminals. The police here make criminals out of young people and all the court wants is money. No one cares about helping these kids get back on the right track so calling the police may be the wrong thing to do. Heartbroken in Arizona

2
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I am soooo sorry and know where you are speaking from!!!

0 5

When they are breaking the law.

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police are not the expert on YOUR child. They do not (usually ) KNOW your child. They do not have training for these things, they are not the expert. You do not know what personal baggage an officer might carry from his (her) own past that might affect his (her) way of handling the issue at hand. Once you call police you possibly can lose all control over how the problem is handled and once you get to that point things might not go at all how you planned. Then if you have a special needs child, one with a psychiatyric disorder (diagnosed or undiagnosed) you do not know how the officers handling might affect things............(officers are not trained in mental illness, either, no matter what many believe- and can make things much much worse, even explosive)

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yes I have 2 special needs children, 3 children, a very disabled husband.... my children are now adults, and yes it was a rocky road at times..............and I was VERY active in the mental health community here- and in the police dept and court system and now have 2 grandchildren

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0 0

I never had and never will... Reading all your answers, I start to feel that I'm really a lucky single mom.
My older girl is now 23 years old and still studies and also has a job, does not drink or smoke and is a good girl. My boy is now 17, is a senior in high school and also sings in a choir near our home. He does not drink or smoke and spend all his time sudying or singing.

I really thought that what I live with my two kids was the "normal situation" for a single mom, but, ladies, you really scared me, maybe when they were a little younger I had some troubles with discipline, but I solve them all by myself, without spanking them, but always taking away from both the things they loved the most, and telling them that they were going to lose more things when they behave bad.

By the way, for me, behave bad means, come home after the hour the have permission to stay out, or do not do their home activities like, help with the laundry and stuff like that.

Ladies, I have a good life and two helpful, healthy kids, and I'm grateful for that!

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0 5

You should be thankful and thank God every day! I also disciplined my kids along the way. Time outs, taking away things- I never spanked them either- and have often wondered if I shouldn't have! So far, my daughter is awesome. But, I also believe it"s a learned behavior. My son witnessed alot more things from his dad than my daughter did.

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57 5

i have called the police on my 11 year old but don't know if it did any good they put her in the police car and i met them at the hospital my daughter threw a phone at me and hit me in the eye so that why i called police they did an evaluation on her and the next day cps showed up at my door and trying to tell me that i need to pay more attention to her it wrong i take care of my daughter and police in my area think if your kid hits you there nothing u can do about it and they tell you can't spank that why kids are so messed up today when i was younger if i would have hit my parents i would have got a spanking i would have never forgot now a days your kids can beat u up and there nothing u can do about it kids need discipline

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4 0

i took my 11 year old to the police,more as a scare tactive as he was threatning kids at school with violance and other miss behavior. the sarg was very good and spoke about the concequences if it continues and he is of an age that he could be charged etc plus took him to see the cell that hit him the most. i was there whikle the sarg was talking.

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17 13

I had this problem with my one daughter. No matter what we did at home, or the programs she had to go to, nothing worked. She was on probation for shop lifting and had to do community service. I, myself caught her shop lifting in a store I used to work in wnen she was suppose to be at her community service. I took her to the manager of the store, and because I worked there at one time, he was going to let her go and not let her in without me. I did the hardest thing a mother could do. I told him "no' she needs to learn". I had to stand there and watch my daughter go with the police. I then had to watch in court as she was in handcuffs and be sentenced to 21 days. Her probation officer and her lawyer, and udge thought since nothing else worked, maybe this would. It did. She doesn't hold it against me. She has actually thanked me for not giving up on her. She is now married with two beautiful children.

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10 2

Being the ex-wife of a law enforcement officer I can tell you that there are times when you should call in the police. These times, however, are only when laws have been broken or people are in danger. My children knew that we would call the police in any of these instances and their opinion was "please put me in jail, my parents will give me a punishment worse than death." While our children have gotten into some trouble over the years, they learned very quickly that they would be responsible for the consequences. My son had to earn the money to replace a girls glasses when he punched her as well as write a letter of apology to her and her parents. The police talked to him about what assualt was and the consequence if the behavior continued. He still has anger issues as an adult but he is aware that it is his choices that create or destroy his life.

Stubborn children (I have six of them) will try your patience until you understand why some animals eat their young. The only way some children learn is through hard consequences. I have always taught my children that every choice, whether good or bad, has a consequence. They were required to deal with the consequences of their decisions. Harsh consequences were buffered when necessary but never eliminated. It is the relationship between a child's choice and the consequences of that choice that needs to be understood. It has been very difficult to watch my children deal with things in their life that could have been so different if they had made a better choice.

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I had a boyfriend hit me, my father forced me to press charges, he was the son of an abuser, we pressed charges and saw it all the way to the court where they slapped his hand. it's been 30 years and he has put 2 wives in the hospital, one was in a coma for 2 months. If I had been the boy my father would have done the same thing and got law enforcement involved, assault is not behaving badly, it's an issue that if not corrected from the start can lead to much worse than just some bad decisions. It's a situation where the police and courts have to do their part as well.

46 31

i have 4 children ranging in age from 10 to 17 1/2. i fully believe that if the childs behaviour is dangerous to themselves and/or to others then yes the police should be involved in. if it involves stealing, threatening, physical violence - again the answer is yes. of course there may be other help needed but sometimes it just takes the police to enforce what you are trying to teach them. i do not know what area you live in but where i live even the public schools will call the police in to discuss severe behaviour issues with a child if the behaviour persists. there are also anger management courses that they can be referred to. its a little difficult to answer your question specifically as your statement is rather vague but i hope this helps.

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Where we live the law dictates that a parent my use corporal punishment to discipline their child. They also allow the parent to decide to press any charges of violence against their own, unless of course there is obvious injury upon someone from the child...in that instance the juvenile will be detained or even adult child due to domestic assault. I have had to contact the local Sheriff to establish that my teens must follow the guidelines of the home that I provide as their parent. They have always been able to clarify to my children that it is indeed in their best interest to listen and abide by any rules that I may place, and failure to comply can/will result in further consequences.

6 0

I know this blog is for moms but as a father of two teen boys I would like to chime in if I may. I have an older son 17 who is really the perfect kid....always respectful and courteous to everyone, holds a 4.2 gpa with all Ap classes and does well, volunteers, officer in student council etc.........Then I have a 14 yr old who is totally the opposite and has somewhere down the line figured it's easier to disobey us, get in trouble at school, not do his homework etc...I would like to add that we don't ever compare him to his older brother, I don't think that's a good thing for a parent to do, we do ask him to make an effort and do the best he can and at least make passing grades . I do have to admit that he has anger issues and he has been in therapy and put on medications for many years now and taken off meds then placed back on them again. I find it shocking that some of the comments here seem to blame the parents for their child's actions. My wife and I along with many others do consider ourselves to be excellent parents. We are very involved in both of our children's lives, sports, fishing, homework, school, yard work etc......We stay involved! However, there are children who no matter what is told to them , no matter what you do to them, take away from them etc....are going to defy you to no end! We have that child! There's a point where nothing works despite talking to them until your blue in the face and warning them that they could end up in the penal system. I would like to address the comments made by several that police aren't there to babysit your children, you are partially correct. However, your community police are also there to serve the community, and if that means getting an officer involved so that your child knows what can happen to them then you should call them. Yes the police can be busy at times but then again, having them come out may be what saves your child from becoming who the police are looking for in the future. Small price to pay.....

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5 16

Well My Husband and I just had to do this 2 days ago! It was not an easy thing to do to our 11 year old son and the fact that we have two smaller children in the house made it that much harder.However our son recently started having very severe mood swings from one of his mental illnesses and we had taken him to the ER for violent fits and to A mental health crisis center .Each time he gets more violent.The Dr. and staff told us if he became a danger to himself or to others we needed to call the police to come get him and bring him to the crisis center to be baker acted .So we new right away at the begining of the day on Sat. this is what would be hapenning just by the way he was acting.By the time 1pm came he was totally out of control.So I got my 2 younger sons got in my car and called the police while my husband stayed inside with our ill son to do his best to restrain him.I drove to a friends house and waited for my husband to call and tell me it was over.I didnt want to be there and I did not want my other kids to be traumatized more than they already were from his wild and dangerous actions.This is never gonna be an easy decision ,however you will know when you have to do it.And you will feel a sence of releif after it is over knowing that your child can no longer hurt himself or someone else!

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6 31

I recently did call police on my kids for fighting, it was out of control. I came home to Blood all over my kitchen floor because of them. They were done fighting but I just couldn't deal with them and my punishments didn't seem to phase them at all. The Police came arrested both of them they spent night in juvenile detention center and appeared in front of a judge the next morning. The judge asked me why I had to go to this extreme with my kids. and I was honest. There fighting was out of control when I cant run to the grocery store for 30 minutes without coming home to full blown fighting its out of control. And no punishment I give stops this. The judge did step in and put both on a type of probation that if they mess up again they will get 180 days of boot camp he also required them to go to counseling, community service and several other classes. It helped for awhile. I believe it is up to everyone's own situation to how calling the police should be handled.

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16 13

Unfortunately I have had to do this and it is not fun ! In cases where your child is endangering him/herself or others, damaging property ect. then it is definitely a warranted move. Two of my sons were having a fist fight in the home one day. When I tried to break it up and was unable to, I had to call them for help. They (my kids) were embarrased but it never happened again

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i THINK TOUGH LOVE IS A GOOD THING AT LEAST IT SHOWS YOU CARE ! JUST IGNORING THINGS AND HOPING IT WILL STOP IS NOT A GOOD THING .STOP THE PROBLEM BEFORE IT GETS ANY WORSE!!

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0 0

I totally agree, i had been puting my sons behaviour down to teenage hormones, but yesterday i had had enough, damaging property in the home and punching doors, i called the police on him and they came straight out, i have 2 younger ones in the house and they had to witness his appalling out burst, i'm glad i done it so now it's just a waiting game to see if it has any affect.

0 4

It depends on where one lives. In my town, I would not call the police if they were the last people on earth. No matter what the crime, if a kid is involved, particularly a boy, they will take it all the way. My son, at the age of 14, grabbed a girl's butt in school...a girl who was sitting in his lap. She reported it and my son was charged with felony sexual assault, arrested and taken to jail. He had to do a year long diversion program. In the mean time the girl had to be removed from the school as she continued to make claims about boys in the school and create problems. Nothing was done to her. However, it did come out that she had been abused, just not by any of the boys at school. She needed help. None was given. But some boys lives were turned upside down. There are many stories like this. Parents here avoid the police.

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13 0

That girl definitely sounds troubled, but your son is abusing girls if he is grabbing them--especially on school grounds. Sorry, that's reality.

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Wow, all of these stories are great to read, I had to call the police on my son, when he was 15, It really didn't do me any good. The courts called his dad from another state and had him pick him up. I explained to the courts that his dad was not their for the children. But they let him take him anyway. My son ended up quitting school and not finishing. He did come back to live with me a few years later. So I hope that it all works in your favor. I just wished it would of mine.

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0 0

the courts or officers don't give a care about our kids.

0 5

I've filed missing person reports on my son when he was 16. He was taken to the police station more than once and I will say, our officers were very good at helping me with him. I also had him arrested after a I got a call from him saying he was in "trouble". I asked where he was and he said, "wal mart". I asked him what he stole. He said, "chicken". I couldn't believe it! Chicken? and energy drinks for him and 4 of his friends. The security guard wanted me to come pick him up. I refused and asked him to call the police and have him arrested. He said, "Ma'am, it's his first offense and it was chicken and drinks. Are you sure you want me to call the police.? Yes! I know this is his first offense, but I wanted it to also be his last. My son also refused to go to school because I took his cell phone after he kicked in my door. "No phone. No school." I refused to give into the manipulation. He refused to see his father. Hadn't seen him in 18 months. Talking to his dad and "working together" was a joke because his "motto" was "whatever happens at your house stays at your house and whatever happens at my house stays at my house". So, I was doing this myself. I also have a younger daughter. Finally the lawyers got involved and my son was forced to move to his dad's. That lasted for 9 months. The last day he was there, his dad called me and said, "he needs to give me one good reason to let him stay because I'm kicking him out" My son left before his dad came home, or dad could have been brought up on abandonment charges. My son came home and at first did really good, but it didn't take him long to get into his old habits. He hasn't done anything illegal- that he's been caught with, and in fact I drug tested him and he was clean- but his words are angry and mean. He will be lucky if he graduates. He's still refusing to go to school and unless he has cigarettes he won't go. So instead of "no phone no school", it's "no cigarettes, no school". Since he's 17, he knows he can drop out if he wants. He has no job. He's a slob. I know that I can kick him out when he's 18, which is very soon, but he really doesn't have any survival skills and I'm afraid he'll either end up in prison or dead. Anybody have any advise for me?

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Have you tried therapy? Most states have a teen ranch run through the sheriffs ranch or a teen challenge program. At 17 and in danger of not graduating, JobCorp is an option where he will learn a trade skill and live on campus so he at least will have the ability to support himself.

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0 15

I have a nephew that is currently in jail for breaking and entering.My sister always thought calling the police on her own children would be the worst thing a mother could ever do so she tryed her best to deal with her son he stared young with behavor issues acting out yelling kicking screaming but it got worse when he started school he was dignosis with ADHA which i beleive its because the school teacher do not have the time to share with the kids like they need too so some like to give kids a label intead of trying to help kids that cant sit still or that my have a slow ness problems .I growing up had a learing issue but with great teachers and a GREAT MOM i turned out okay.My sister ended up allowing him to drop out of high school tryed to pursue him getting his GED but failed at that two he started hanging out with the wrong kids and doing drugs and stealing which only led to bigger things he finally got caught and the police arrested him at 17 years old and charged him as a adult for his crime he got 10 years do three he has done about 2 years and let me tell you i think it would have been easier for my sister and the hole family if he was out ...He has not learned one thing in JAIL yet but how to be a bigger criminal and how to beg and wine for every one to send him money my ponit is I have read all the comments in regards to this topic and i would like to say that the children of this generation do not think they should be held accountable for any of there actions nor should they have to go to school or work that it is the parents JOB to take care of them buy them cars and video games etc....If we as parents do not start standing up to are children and stop trying to be there freinds and be a PARENT intead we all are going to be in BIG Trouble in the future .

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0 0

My boyfriend ex wife... Keep sending me threats messages but I just ignore it... What I can't stand is she called my daughter as a " BAGGAGE"" my daughter is only 2 years old... No other parent would like to hear that... Any suggestion what should I do?

0 11

how do i deal with my 15 year old sister turning 16 next week,
shes smoking pot , she invites people over to my mums house they all smoke pot .
the shes run off night after night to boys places.
shes threatning my mother saying if you cancel my 16th i will have it at your house anyway.
my mother doesnt know what to do or how to fix the situation
any suggestions

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