Discipline with police visits?

DoubleA - posted on 04/11/2012 ( 18 moms have responded )




My 5 year old child has been using the phrase" I'm just gonna call the cops and have them come get you" for a response to every thing. I've tried disciplining in every way possible. That I know. I've sat in a corner , talked right and wrong with her, asked her to explain why she said it and what cops do, I've taken away privileges and toys, I've taken things away that she loves to do and explained she will get them back when stopping this behavior. I was driving home one day, and have a friend that's a cop and came up with this idea. If he could come to the house or if we could go to the police station and have them say simple things about listening to mommy and talking with her a little so maybe it will help her understand things a little clearer. Is this a crazy or dumb thing to do? I've read how some people have tried it but have gone over bored as to drop their kid off and such or not discuss it with the police first and or child services getting involved. Which I don't want child services involved or a crazy mix up with the police. But I'd like her to learn first hand. And btw today she said it to me and my boyfriends grandpa. I was totally embarrassed and shocked. All because she didn't want to sit down and learn nor go to school. And had walked away from learning table , ignoring me twice, and then proceed to toy room. I was in shock and approached her and she used calling the cops cause bad mommy was trying to get her to learn.


Katherine - posted on 04/12/2012




I have heard SO many kids say this. I don't know where they get it from but it's viral. I ignore them. I change the subject, or distract them. I simply don't play into it or let it upset me.

You COULD donate the toys, but you could also put them in the basement. Start giving her an allowance. Every time she says it she has to put it in a jar. Or if she has money already make her put a penny in for every time she says it. Whatever, nickle, dime......my 6 year old has money and she is greedy about it. I know she would flip if I did that to her.

[deleted account]

A quick simple reply "the police enforce the law, and I have not broken a law" is all you need to say. Give the statement no more attention than that.

Could she have gotten the impression that police are to be feared from someone. Our mommy&me group toured our police station a few years ago--call your local police station and they will set up a tour--our's has different tours for different age groups. They did not talk about discipline specifically, or listening to mom/dad, but instead focused on behavior in reference to moral code, ethics, and law. I don't know that it had any effect on J discipline wise, but it was very educational and fun for the kids.

I would NOT try to use police to scare her--having them threaten to arrest her for not listening to mommy, or giving her the "jail experience". Those methods do more harm than good, and often set off a battle of wills.

Jenni - posted on 04/12/2012




I personally wouldn't be giving my child any attention for it. She's probably doing it more because she learned it's getting a rise out of you. I think it's probably just her way of expressing her discontent with any given situation.

At her age, she's not going to understand the abstractness of a visit to the police station and having people tell her to listen to mommy. At this age, actions with direct consequences are more effective on behaviour.

1,2,3 Magic is an excellent strategy for listening skills. It goes something like this;

(Her name) it's time to tidy up your toys, that's 1.

-she ignores

(Her name) it's time to tidy up your toys, if you don't I'm going to pick them up and put them away in my room for the day, that's 2.

-she ignores

(Her name) I've warned you that if you didn't tidy up your room, your toys are going to be put away for the day, that's 3. (And follow through with the consequence)

Try to relate the consequence to the behaviour. Examples;

Not eating dinner = no dessert

Not listening or acting out in public/at a friend's house/park = we go home

Talking back or disrespect = she's not heard until she can use manners (for this you don't have to use 1,2,3. Just ignore her)

You could also try calling her on it. Hand her the phone and say, here you go then... give them a ring. That way you're giving her the message that you are not afraid of her little threats. That'd probably nip that little power play in the bud. Yeah... I think that would be the one I used. ;)

[deleted account]

Double A, My son is 7 and I donated his toys after he refused to pick them up. I only had to do it 3 times.

I volunteer for a group that helps children who've been abused or neglected develop normal social skills, so most of the toys we gave a way went there. The NEED the toys, so I never felt bad about it being a "waste of money" because I would have been buying new toys for them anyway, and this way they get toys and my son gets discipline--2 for :) I actually save money!

I gave him two chances. I told him to pick up the toys. If he didn't, I told him again and warned him that anything not in its correct place in 5 minutes will go to YouthBASE. At the end of 5 minutes, I put the remaining toys into a bag, and into the trunk of the car, and delivered them as soon as possible because he did tend to beg me to give them back until they were delivered. Once they are delivered, of course, he knows he cannot get them back, so he stops begging.

He did cry, but I don't know what to do about that. It was his decision to donate the toys, he made the decision by not picking them up. In the future, he knew that if he did not want to donate the toys, that he needed to pick them up. Basically, this method of discipline took the blame for donating the toys off of me and put it on him and his decisions so that he could learn how his decisions affect his life.

Tracey - posted on 04/12/2012




Sounds like normal child behaviour to me. Your daughter knows she can't discipline you by making you sit on the naughty step or taking your toys away so she says the only thing that she knows can make adults behave which is the police. As for choosing a toy room over a learning table - what kid wouldn't if it was available. If this was at school it is up to the teacher to persuade her to make an appropriate choice, or being the adult you shut the door to the toy room and say no - learning first play later.
I wouldn't involve the police purely because they are concerned with the law and it is not their responsibility to tell children to obey parents.
I'm sure we have all been called bad mummy and many children have threatened to go and live with Granny etc. My daughter wanted to go and live with Scooby Doo and the gang because they didn't have any parents telling them what to do.
Your daughter is pushing boundaries and wants reassurance, make your rules and stick to them.


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DoubleA - posted on 04/15/2012




Yeah I handed my daughter the phone the last time she said it. And I even said I would dial it and she said... No I don't wanna call them. I said then stop saying that! So far haven't said it. But well see!

[deleted account]

When my son said that to me ,I told him that I would be sent to prison for a nice vacation while he woudl go to a foster home so if he really wanted to do that, here's the phone.

[deleted account]

"sometimes i get even more irritated because shes adhd and i can see when she starts to act up. and instead of actually trying she just starts spitting out answers! but thank you !" Double A

I can SO identify with that! I have severe ADHD myself. Luckily, my son dodged the bullet, so to speak, and doesn't have that to deal with. I'm not sure I could handle being ADHD and having a child deal with it.

Would you like an activity that helped J with rhyming?
We used "chunk words". Basically, I took index cards and cut them in half. On 26 of the cards, I put each letter of the alphabet. On the rest, I put word endings like "at" "ed" "ake" "ack" etc.
To make rhyming words, we chose an ending, like "at" for example, and he would change out the alphabet letters to make different words like "Bat" "Mat" etc. He liked it because it was like a puzzle, and he got a big laugh when the letters didn't make a real word, like "Yat"....not sure why it was funny, but it kept him going.

DoubleA - posted on 04/13/2012




thanks kelly! im gonna try that. yes us as mothers do tend to me a little criticizing. and i think you hit it right on the dot. she was learning rhyming and just wasent getting it! sometimes i get even more irritated because shes adhd and i can see when she starts to act up. and instead of actually trying she just starts spitting out answers! but thank you !

[deleted account]

I like Katherine's idea with the money, you could also use that with the learning table. If she doesn't want to sit at the table and learn, make her "buy out of her lesson". She can give you $1-2 to get out of the lesson and do as she pleases. That will only work if you make her buy things she wants with her allowance though. If she knows you will just buy her what she wants, it won't have an effect on her.

I don't like sitting them in a corner for not staying at the table. If she won't stay at the table, why do you think she would stay in a corner? I can tell you now, she won't. She'll scream and cry and keep getting up the whole time, so you'll spend the entire learning session trying to keep her in a corner instead of at the table and you still won't get any learning done.

Look at her experience at the learning table. Is she having fun or is she constantly being criticized for getting things wrong (I don't say this to be mean, as moms, we want them to do their best and often criticize more than we realize when we are trying to teach). Try to use ONLY encouraging words. Like if she is writing her name and she starts with a lower case letter and makes another letter backwards but gets the others correct. Ignore the mistakes, and tell her how nice all of the other letters are--don't just say "good job" be specific about each letter. She will notice that you didn't say anything about the 2 she got wrong. In response to your praise, she will start to push herself to elicit more of it on her own. (It may go without saying, but don't "over praise" either--that can be easy to do if you are trying really hard not to criticize. You'll find the balance)

Also, try moving the lesson. Why does it have to take place at this table? Depending on what you are teaching, it may be best not to sit down and learn it at all. Math for example is awful on paper.

Another good idea is to use toys, like a magnadoodle or glowboard to learn writing. Or if you have a tablet, there are tons of apps you can buy for them to draw on the touchscreen. J loves using ours for math and physics now, but when he was little, it was great for letter forming exercises.

[deleted account]

My daughter is only 1yo so my suggestion was purely hypothetical. However, yes, I'd follow through with it, and yes, I'm pretty mean, lol. But this would only be if she was being extremely disobedient. Just leaving her room a mess wouldn't be enough, she'd also have to be back-talking me or daddy or being extremely mean to her brother and no other discipline would be working. And this would probably only work if she's ever really attached to her toys.

The way I'd discipline, I wish my parents had done the same to me. Actually, I would have been fine with them donating my toys because I had waaay too many. I had a couple favorites, but the rest could have gone to other kids instead of sitting in my closet. :( I was weird in that I made my own toys, so I didn't play with the stuffed animals that were bought for me for just about every holiday Dx ugh...

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 04/12/2012




If you don't want to donate, just take them and put them in a box or bag and tell her she does not get them back (for however long). I would be saying until she stopped with the negative behaviour. Tell her she can have some books instead and she can read, rather than play. Yes, you have to follow through when you say something. Otherwise it is an empty threat and she will not believe you or take you seriously. She will continue and only get worse.

Good Luck. Kids absolutely hate to have their toys taken away. Especially their favorite toys. ;)

DoubleA - posted on 04/12/2012




I will de try a police tour! And thank you!@ Jamie. That's very clever. I like the thing about se doesn't want to do school work. Then nose in the corner. But the thig about the toys is to me mean. I don't think I have the balls I do that because I've spent a lot of money on her toys. It's a great idea tho. Just wish I could pull through with it. Now when you do take them to donate I'm assuming you go thru with it? Did your child ever cry and say mommy I want my toys or anything? If so did you still donate them? I'm assuming yes because follow through is the most important. I'm just curious as to how ur kids responded and then how you respond to that?

[deleted account]

If I were you, I'd ignore it. Just say "Oh, okay," and discipline her as you see fit. She doesn't want to sit at the learning table? She sits with her nose in the corner instead. She doesn't want to pick up her toys? They go bye-bye. I'm the type of mom who would be just fine taking my daughter with me to donate her toys to Good Will or to a hospital, especially if it's a repeat offense (as in she has refused three or however many times in a row to put them away). I know, I'm horrible. But we've gotten most of my daughter's toys for free from her grandparents and most of them are my old toys that I wish they wouldn't try to pass on to me anyway...

[deleted account]

My brother pulls crap like this on my mom all the time. Or at least he DID until his sperm donor actually called CPS for stupid reasons and they threatened to take my brother away from our mom.

He pulled it once on my great grandparents and told them he'd rather be in a foster home than with them because they were trying to get him to do his chores or something. So they called his other grandparents and had them come visit and made him pack up all his things so that when they got there he thought he'd have to go with them and never see my side of the family again, haha. He bawled soooo much.

DoubleA - posted on 04/12/2012




Thanks everyone. Idk where it came from but it bothers the heck outta me. And the simple fact that she's using it as a reply to anyone that says something she doesn't like. I'm going to try some of these things.. Thanks

Louise - posted on 04/12/2012




I think your over reacting which is making her do it even more. My son at the age of 3 (now 21) used to say "I am going to call child line, (which is the english version of welfare) and go and live with them!". This was sparked by a simple advert he had seen on the tv. Every time he was told off he would say it, so one day really fed up about it I told him to do it. Of course he could not. So I called his bluff and said "I thought you were going to live with child line, off you go then" So he packed his teddy in a bag and I opened the front door. He stood there for five minutes and then came back in. He never mentioned it again.

Your daughter knows it upsets you and is doing it for a reaction. Take the wind out of her sails and tell her to do it. It is quite common dont worry about it.

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