Is it a good idea to use police officers in disciplining your child?

Jenn - posted on 07/05/2011 ( 41 moms have responded )

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I get annoyed by parents who say: "If you don't behave I'll have that cop arrest you." Really, is this a good message for your child? You want them to be scared of police? Yet if separated in a crowd, who best to turn to but the easily identified uniformed officer?

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Mika - posted on 07/11/2011

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I find this funny because I am a parent who uses police as a way to teach my hildren certain things. I don't do the whole "if u don't behave, that cop will arrest u." I am teaching my children that whatever they do now will affect them in the future. "If u make a habit out of lying, cheating, stealing, bad behavior in general, its going to land u in jail at some point, because there are consequences to everything. So if u learn and practice good behavior now, u won't have anything to worry about later." That's what I'm using them for, educational purposes. I laugh at people who actually call the police to discipline their child(ren), because if u weren't going to discipline ur child, why did u have them? Isn't that part of parenting? Education, discipline, loving, etc? Hmmm.

Elena - posted on 07/13/2011

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Amen! That drives me nuts! Another is when parents threaten their kids with taking them to the doctor to get a shot if they don't behave. When they are acting up at the doctor's office, they say "You better stop or the nurse is going to give you a shot."

Naturally, any child is going to be afraid of shots. Parents who use this line not only make an already unpleasant childhood situation worse, but their children feel punished when they do need to get a shot. When I hear parents say this, I look right at the child and say, "We don't do that here. We do give shots to make kids stronger against germs or to make them better when they're sick. We never give shots to punish anyone. I promise." I've had my share of parents rolling their eyes at me over this. (I am a RN.)

Sarah - posted on 11/28/2012

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What is out there to teach kids that police officers can and do very bad and crooked things???? The propoganda is that the police are always the good guys while the sad reality is that the police are becoming more often the severely bad guys who behave like sociopaths or sociopath type personaities. Has anyone seen movies like: False Arrest? The Interogation of Michael Crowe? Etc.Etc.Etc. There are soooooooooooooooo many and all based on real life. Yes the police are a good place to run if someone is trying to abduct a child. However, it is sadly TRUE that so many police lie and manupilate in order to harm (arrest) someone who is innocent and children are the perfect pawns for such police officers. Watch the Interogation of Michael Crowe and so many other stories and then tell me............... Is there an author out there who dares tackle this reality????? A reality I am sure everyone wishes were not real, but it is real. I'm sorry. Also please watch "Just Ask My Kids."

Kimber - posted on 07/17/2011

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I have always taught my children that the police are our friends. They are there to help if you need them. If they ever get in trouble, get lost, or need help and can't get a hold of us, you can always go to a policeman. Now, for those who call the police because their child won't go to school, that's a problem that should have been dealt with long ago. If your child reaches their teen years and the respect isn't there to do what they are told, something needs to really change. I once met a parent who let their child bounce all over the car while she was driving. I was shocked and she said "I simply can't get them to wear their seat belt". I was like WHAT?? To me it was simple - you wear your seat belt. I said it, you do it! This car doesn't move until you are belted in. I am not a dictator to my children, I rarely, if ever spank. But they do what I tell them to do or face the consequences. I have three children, 22, 14, and 7. So I've seen the different phases, ages, attitudes, all that. But, my word has always been the final say on things. To me it's active parenting. There is a difference between raising a child and letting them grow up.

Beth - posted on 07/11/2011

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Such a good point. I have been thinking about that for awhile. I was questioning my tactics when my then 4 year old decided she was going to steal a pack of gum. I always ask her if she wants something from the gas station. When we got outside she had something in her hand I knew that I hadn't paid for. I made her go back in and apologize to the cashier and tell them what she did. I then drove her to the police department to see if she wanted to go in and explain to and officer what she did. I sometimes wonder if that was too harsh. But then again she has never taken something that didn't belong to her!

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Jenn - posted on 11/30/2012

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Hello,



I have a 9 year old son who has been getting in trouble very frequently at school for fighting, At first i was under the impression that he was being picked at and hit on first so he was just defending himself. Come to find out he is the instigator who is doing the hitting first. when he should be walking away, letting someone know, or using his words better. I am always telling him that you do not need to fight to defend yourself because someone is saying mean things to you.



I am just wondering if anyone here thinks it would or could be a good idea to have a police officer talk with him to maybe put the fear in him that he could end up in jail for fighting others. I do not want him to be afraid of the police as i always have told my children that they are here to help us from bad. But if my son is being bad, i really dont feel its a bad idea to bring him to the police station to see what could happen if he keeps on choosing to do these bad things.



Please help me..



Jennifer

[deleted account]

i have a few stories about cops and dealing with children.

One is from my life as a parent. I have three children under the age of 5 all a year an a half apart. Well when my daughter Kaddy was a few months old im guessing hm 3(?) her brother Kenny who was heading to the age of 2(..) well we were at a park that goes between the library and the police department and just watching the pond and the geese and i was swaying Kaddy on my hip as Ken was sitting watching them honk and all. Two cops on their brake were walking together on the path and by us and saw Kaddy one of the men saw her and asked to hold her. I saw no problem to it. said that she might cry he said he would hand her over if she did. And she didn't take her eyes off me but let him hold her and he was bouncing her on his hip and Ken did not like that. He went up to the officer who was holding her and bit his knee. I didn't see how close Ken got to him but then i heard a "oooooww" and i took Ken of him and the other officer knelt down to Ken and said that that was not nice and that that hurt his friend. And then Kenny started tearing up. And the officer handed me Kaddy and i had to explain to Ken that i knew that he was scared for Kaddy and that when he is scared he should look and talk to me about it and not hurt someone. and that biting does more then hurt the person that he doesn't like but that it hurts him too because he will have a hard time talking to him. that was evadent because he didn't say sorry like i was trying to have him say be for the officers went on their way. ..

And another story when i was in high school i was a wonderbout for well most of my high school years.I was homeschooled so i had alot more time on my hands and often did my school work other place then at home.(love to move around alot) As i hung around my friends houses and at parks and other places. I was once talked to my an officer because i wasn't at school i had to call my house and have them talk to my parents and they said that they knew i was out and that i had my home work with me(i did) but one of them after talking to my parents had to tell me i needed to put my self to some good work otherwise i might get my self in to trouble. It was true i got in to some un wondered trouble several times and i hadn't an idea how to get out of it. But i do remember the talk. When i was brought out after getting some beer from a stop and go (at the age 15) i was told by another officer, who heard me talking bout it, that i could get in so much trouble and even hurt if i continued to do stupid things like that. ..i didn't get brought in or anything but since i knew one of them( my best girl friend's brother) he drove me home and talked to my mother and told her that i was hanging around dangerous places. ..its true too..



A stern or a soft talking to is needed determining what age and what the trouble is..

Tho i wish i had more fear for cops back then. maybe i wouldn't have done such stupid things.. tho being buddy buddy with one didn't help my idea of them. Maybe some fear put in to me would have been better for me.

and about the idea of young childrenbeing scared of cops. mine love cops, fire fighters, and ambulances. And like saying high to them when they aren't being told to do so. ha

[deleted account]

Not at all, it only leaves the child(ren) afraid to call for help when they actually need it.



I work for law enforcement and have taught my kids officers are there to help. But I don't know what my son has seen while with his other side of the family, and he was all of a sudden afraid of officers. I had to re-explain to him what officers were for and asked him to remember the officers I work with. He remembered they're nice guys and are there to help. It also helps him understand what's right and wrong.

Gabrielle - posted on 10/09/2012

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I think that's a terrible idea. Children should absolutely not be afraid of police officers. We tell our daughter that if she ever needs help, she should ask a cop. We are honest and let her know that if mommy or daddy does something very wrong, a cop might give us a ticket or arrest us, but we explain it by saying that everyone has rules that they follow. If she misbehaves, she gets a time-out. Jail is a grown-up time-out. And we explain that cops keep us safe by helping people understand when they've done something wrong. I would never threaten a young child with arrest, especially not for simple misbehavior.

Sarah - posted on 10/06/2012

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Elena said exactly what I wanted to say. I like the response to parents who use shots as threats. I may use that next time. I've always told the child I wouldn't do that, that nurses are nice, but I like the way you put it.

Sadia - posted on 10/02/2012

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in my country has no system to call or police that if their father misbehave, scold, beatng their children.and any adult unmarried girl can't go outside live without families.because it's our social system. what can i do now?

Valerie - posted on 03/12/2012

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Calling the police on your children for things that are warranted is not a bad thing at all.. if you are using it to get them to clean their room or do their homework, that's just plain ridiculous! Now, you have rebellious teenagers that run away, are doing drugs, stealing, breaking laws, such as I have, you better bet I call the police.. in fact, the counselors and the police don't think I call them enough.... they assure me everytime they come that I don't have to take the abuse they give me, verbally or physically, and to call them for help whenever it may be needed. I think your statement is very general and very ignorant to many situations. There's alot more to "calling the police" when you have to do it for your own children.. emotionally, physically, and in every way possibly.. it's the hardest thing I have ever had to do, and watching my teen daughters tread in very dangerous waters for a while now and deal with the legal repercussions is not easy, not fun, not just a threat, and not anything I would wish on my worst enemy.. Hopefully you never have a child that you truly need the police to HELP you with..

Becky - posted on 08/13/2011

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My daughter was afraid of the police because of her father & the trouble he always managed to get into. When she told me 2 years ago that she was intimidated & afraid of the police, me & the BF took her down to the police station to actually meet & talk to a police office. It turned out much better than we planned. The office was a VERY large man & he seemed rather intimidating at first glance, but once we starting talking with him, he was kind & gentle. My daughter walked out thinking he was a big teddy bear! She wasn't afraid anymore. I would never use the police to try and scare her straight while she's young. When she is older; if she ever breaks the law, yes I will talk to her the consequences of her actions even if it would include being arrested.

Pam - posted on 08/10/2011

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As a member of the LEO Community, I have to say NO! Many parents try to play the friend role with their children and expect the teachers and LEO to discipline their children. A child shouldnt fear an officer or associate an officer to discipline. Yes we are authority figures, but we are not the parent. If you need help with discipline, take a class on child rearing or read a book on discipline, dont threaten your child with the police, please!

Melissa - posted on 07/31/2011

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@Jenn - wow...you seriously have parents calling you saying that their child is refusing to go to school? It's funny the hoops you have to come up with if you can't have a child and want to adopt but then you have people who have children and they are really the ones that should pass a test of some sort...

Eka - posted on 07/27/2011

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I think no, the better why to explane everythin ti child an tu audalt, it works much better trast me. Such why treatment takes much more time and energy but it works better for child and mom too :)

Amanda - posted on 07/20/2011

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i agree with mika... i do the same as her but i have said if you dont listen when i tell you to stop stealing i am going to call the cops. i even have behavior coaches and lots of others that work with my child that has odd n adhd and even they cant figure out how to calm my son or find helpful ways to parent him everything we do isnt working and i have 3 other children younger but no problems so its not always bad but yeah i could see if your trying to have them parent your child. i think you have a right to say it if they are breaking laws at a young age but not if they are just misbehaving. we joke with ours sometimes but i see all the points, but my children want to be cops so they can arrest the bad guys but i dont want them being the bad guys.

Amanda - posted on 07/20/2011

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i agree with mika... i do the same as her but i have said if you dont listen when i tell you to stop stealing i am going to call the cops. i even have behavior coaches and lots of others that work with my child that has odd n adhd and even they cant figure out how to calm my son or find helpful ways to parent him everything we do isnt working and i have 3 other children younger but no problems so its not always bad but yeah i could see if your trying to have them parent your child. i think you have a right to say it if they are breaking laws at a young age but not if they are just misbehaving. we joke with ours sometimes but i see all the points, but my children want to be cops so they can arrest the bad guys but i dont want them being the bad guys.

Chardonnay - posted on 07/18/2011

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Hi everyone I'm a 23 year old completely independent single parent....and look good doing it! lol My comment is you judge someone else for there way of parenting. Just because thats not the way you disciple your children dose not make them a bad mother or father to theres. Please unless you've won parent of to year you should not tear other down, those are there kids. Now I you use the term in question lightly and it help but if she's ever In stress away from me the little lady has really learned good stranger from bad because she's only 3 but a police officer would be a person she would talk to.

CYNTHIA - posted on 07/18/2011

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I said that once to my daughter and told her if she kept pressing the elevator buttons that we will get stuck and the police will come to get her. She replied to me " Mommy I am gonna call the police to arrest you". I was like okay that backfired on me, lol.

Adrienne - posted on 07/18/2011

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I hate that!! I have several friends in law enforcement and it has to be one of the things they hate the most. It scares the kids and makes them less likely to ask for help when they need it. One friend heard a parent say this to their young child and chewed her out for it. And then explained to the kid that he doesn't arrest kids for being naughty, that he's there to keep kids safe. This must have happened 10 years ago, and when it comes up he still fumes over it.

Elizabeth - posted on 07/18/2011

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I hope the kids in questions are smart enough to ask, "On what grounds, you ignorant bully?" Using the fuzz as a way of disciplining a child is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. Kids don't need to be scared of police until A) they are old enough to drink on the street, or, B) they live in Mexico City.

Rachel - posted on 07/14/2011

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Oh this makes me cringe. Whenever I overhear someone saying that it takes all my effort not to ask them what the heck is wrong with them. I agree with all of you who are saying that we should be teaching our children that the police are GOOD and here to help us. I have had a few talks with my 9 year old about this. He saw the police arresting someone on the side of the road one night as we were driving by and for a few weeks after he would be making comments about being afraid of them. I had to explain that that person was breaking the law and putting other people in danger, including us , because of they're behaviour. It took a few weeks to sink in, but I believe he got the point. If I had made cooments about the police arresting him for misbehaving it would have just made it worse. Then someday if he needed help who would he turn to? Possibly not the right people. I aleways tell him to find a police officer or even a fireman if he gets lost or needs help.

Brenda - posted on 07/12/2011

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putting a child on the bus can be difficult if they are a teenager and don't want to go to school. I was one of those parents who called the cops on my teenager who didn't want to go to school. I called the police myself because i did not want to be arrested because my kid refused to go to school. I would rather she had been arrested!!!

Brenda - posted on 07/12/2011

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I think it would depend on the age of the child and the situation. Example; if the child were 10 and caught shoplifting then I think it's exceptable to tell the child he could go to chail. If a three year old is whining to get their way then no I don't think he should be threatened with being arrested

Beth - posted on 07/12/2011

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Good points Jenn, but don't get me started on California they push all of their liberal b------ on everyone else!

Jenn - posted on 07/12/2011

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Awesome comment, Beth!! You are right, there's nothing we can do. Juvenile law is a long process & all officers can do is make a report & reccommendation to a juvenile officer who then investigates. By that time, the moment for discipline is gone & the child feels they "got away with it." I don't feel it's different, though, or difficult. All the threats that are out there today were there before when our parents were kids, too. It's just now our eyes are open! We have tools, though. Sex offender registries & locators for around your house, hotlines for teens, parents, sex, drug abuse, suicide prevention... We just need to know where to go & stay on top of the information. As for spanking: I have given my daughter a swat on her butt - she has played the game before of thinking it woulld be funny to try & touch the stove while I was cooking. Luckily I grabbed her hand before she could. She then rec'd her first swat. Just one quick pop on the butt - no need to "make it blister!" She understood loud & clear. However, in states such as California, God forbid anyone sees you BREATHE on your child. I know of cases where people had their lives near-ruined over a RIGHTFUL tap to their child. For example: child was 12-14, not sure, and in the store with dad. He has been caught shoplifting 3 times before. Dad sees him attempt #4, smacks him in the back of the head, says, "What are you thinking?!" A lady sees it & reports him. The counseling he had to go through & reports were bad enough, but then it affected his job, pay, & promotion. Just ridiculous!! So I say, discipline as needed, whatever works for your child, but don't bring me in on an empty threat! :-)

Lynn - posted on 07/12/2011

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I agree, you should not threaten children with the police. They should know that if they need help they can count on the police to help them. There are enough real threats out in the world, don't take away what could be their only safe haven.

Linda - posted on 07/11/2011

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I told my kids, & they understand that Police are here to help the needy & they arrest the misbehave

Betty - posted on 07/11/2011

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Great points Beth! :) I have two boys, my oldest is 15 this month and has had one spanking, very controlled and still I felt some guilt. In the end I am a single mom and need to demand respect of my boys. My youngest is 8 turn 9 and has never had a spanking. I learned most often its not even necessary at all. It depends on the child. I made rules and consequences and followed through with what I said. I learned from Dr. Phil to find my childs "currency" and use that. For my boys its things like their bikes, skateboards, videogames etc. If I said they lost a privilage no matter the upset I had to follow through. I don't ground them. I take something away. Now just the threat is enough because I walked the talk. There is no part of me that wants to break their spirit, only teach them to respect my rules. More then anything I want their safety and happiness, they both know that. I will say this... There were times I didn't know what to do when pushed to my limit. There were times I was too tired and over reacted or snapped too fast, we are all human. One thing that has made them respect my authority in the home more is my willingness to admit my mistakes, appologize and let them no I am human too. I remember once I left a store with gum my mother didn't pay for. I was probably 5 or 6 yrs old. She took me back made me tell the manager, pay for it and give the gum to the cashier. When I got home I worked doing chores to earn the money my mom paid. I never stole again. Simple and common sense sometimes is better then fear. I was scared and humiliated at the store.. I was young. My mom taught me a good lesson.

Beth - posted on 07/11/2011

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It is so difficult nowadays. When we were growing up our parents didn't think twice about spanking trust me I had my fair share and very few even took a second glance. I was reading posts on here the other day and there were parents who basically felt spanking was barbaric! No child should be hit so on and so forth. That spanking was abusive. Don't get me wrong I punish what needs punishing. My child has gotten my hand across her little behind more that once. She has had her share of time-outs. It just seems like nothing works and some days I am at my wits end. How do you break the bad behavior without breaking the spirit? I love my child more than anything in this world but sometimes I am just at a loss of what to do. I want my child to grow up a self assured, humane, sensitive, active, law abiding, God loving contributor to society. (lol) is that too much to ask for? Are my expectations unrealistic?

Don't misunderstand me. A little fear never hurt anyone. I don't think people should be telling their children that the the cops are going to come arrest them because that is nonsense but it doesn't hurt to make them aware that their actions and bad choices have consequences and as they get older, when they don't obey where they will end up.

My grandparents had the fear of God in me. I am not saying I never did anything wrong, but the few little misdeeds I did growing up pales in comparison to what they do now. My dad dated a lady who worked in juvenile corrections. He would always tell me if I didn't behave or do as I was told that I would get to spend a weekend in the juvenile attention center. Sorry, to me that was the same as jail. There was no way I wanted to spend the weekend there. And I never did. If you feel the need to use scare tactics, use the juvenile line. Officers keep our children safe. Our children need to know if they are in trouble, lost or whatever that officer is going to help them not arrest them.

Okay sorry I went off into a million different directions but it is late and I am tired and need sleep night all.

Betty - posted on 07/11/2011

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I personally disagree with this idea. Police are to protect and serve, not to scare young children. Natural consequences are what's required to correct bad behaviours. The parents must create boundries, expectations and consequences, then follow through to earn and establish the respect of authority with their child. A good old fashioned spanking is not illegal and infact might be just what's required depending on the age and situation.

Tonya - posted on 07/11/2011

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The more parents push their role as the authority off on others the more that child will see it as an empty threat. There needs to be boundries and consequences for when the child misbehaves. In the long run if there are no consequences at some point the police may have to be called and not just for minor misbehavior.

Darcel - posted on 07/11/2011

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As a generic empty threat using the police is stupid. It is like a parent saying " i'ma knock you to kingdom come" and everyone knows s/he won't lay a hand on that child.

But if the child is breaking the law - talking to the police is a great punishment. Not that scared straight stuff they show on TV but an honest to goodness lecture by someone with a badge and a gun might be a good thing.

Ex: your 10 year old kid is starting to run with a bad crowd and you catch him sharing gum and bragging he lifted it from the corner store. Or he stole a bike from the crying kid down the street swearing be "borrowed" it. Times like this actually qualify for a good old fashioned spanking ( illegal or not) and a nice visit downtown to get a lecture from the police about this his behavior and future path in life.

Amber - posted on 07/11/2011

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I agree. It's a horrible idea to use the police as a disciplinary method. Plus, it's just an empty threat, one you can't actually follow through on and someday your kid will figure that out and then where will you be?

Rachel - posted on 07/11/2011

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This is actually a huge pet peeve of mine, as I am a police officer. So many parents will actually call to have us try and parent their children and it just isn't our job. To me, this is the same as saying "wait til your father gets home," which isn't fair.

Jenn - posted on 07/10/2011

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And the most time consuming? All the calls during the school year where parents call the police station for help because their kid is refusing to go to school. And we have to go to every call... Just put your kid on the bus. If they refuse to get dressed - oh well. As long as thay aren't showing "parts!"

Grace - posted on 07/10/2011

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I consider that bad parenting. Your child needs to mind you, the parent, not some remote authority figure.

YaYa - posted on 07/08/2011

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Absolutely not. It is a parent's job to discipline, if you can't then you need parenting classes.

Melissa - posted on 07/07/2011

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You SHOULD be annoyed at those parents! What in the world would possess them to even say such a thing. It's one thing to explain to your child that police officers are here to protect us from bad people, but to use them as "discipline" is not okay. They should be placing themselves as the authoritative figure...

Jenn - posted on 07/05/2011

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I'm an LEO (law enforcement officer) & this needs to be remedied! We help more people than we arrest. If your child needs help one day, but they're scared because of comments like this... where do they turn? I tell kids "Don't worry, I won't arrest you." Now I'm starting to consider saying, "I don't arrest kids, I arrest parents!"

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