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To think these are harsh things to say to a 4year old

(74 Posts)
1Veryhungrycaterpillar Wed 26-Jun-13 13:32:42

I'm probably going to be told I'm a wimp but I was a bit taken aback to hear an acquaintance saying to her DD that she was naughty and would be taken away by the police and put in a children's home, do I need to get a grip??

pinkballetflats Thu 27-Jun-13 10:32:48

YANBU. What is this kiddo going to learn from this incident that will help her learn to understand the world around her and his she fits into it? Lazy parenting. Hope its a one off.

Idocrazythings Thu 27-Jun-13 08:04:26

I once took dd to the police station for a chat to a police man (after many threats) about seatbelts as she would not keep it on.

It didn't work.

Oblomov Thu 27-Jun-13 07:36:55

"No ones gonna bid for you mum"
"how rude. I'm lovely. Of course they will. Some rich family from Barbados. Thats's it. I'm off"

<<off out the door, but instead of Barbados, is actually only off to sainsbury's to continue the unappreciated drudgery of another supermarket shop>>

Oblomov Thu 27-Jun-13 07:32:06

"Right thats' it, I'm going to put you on e-bay, 'child for sale' 99p , starting bid"
"what if no one bids"
"erm, erm, well , erm , then its off to the car boot". " Change all that, I'm going to put myself up for sale". "Far easier".

McGeeDiNozzo Thu 27-Jun-13 06:06:26

I am taking the view that this remark must have been made in jest as no sensible adult would have used it as part of a workable disciplinary strategy.

But even in jest it's only appropriate if you have a child who is bright enough to understand that you are joking, and that your comment means 'I know you are being naughty and my patience is running thin, though for the moment I remain well-disposed towards you; I will begin threatening actual sanctions very soon'. I think at 4 this level of understanding of context would have been beyond me, but maybe not others.

I think children are much more resilient than they are made out to be on MN sometimes. Hang on, DD's just woken up...

Clawdy Wed 26-Jun-13 22:49:18

It's got to be wrong to make children think the police are to be feared. But my friend's mum used to say something much worse. She said "You're not really my little girl,your mum's in prison and if you're naughty she'll come and take you back." Can you imagine saying that to a child? sad

AllDirections Wed 26-Jun-13 22:35:09

It must be quite a common saying where I live because last year a PCSO came into my DD's school and told the class (reception) that the police WOULDN'T be taking any of them away grin

1Veryhungrycaterpillar Wed 26-Jun-13 22:11:49

I'm starting to think it must depend on the child and how it is said etc, saying that a friend of mine used to be told that the rag and bone man would take her away and she was terrified she also knew she was adopted (her parents adored her) and felt less secure because of it, I'm sure they would have teased her the same way if she'd been born to them but she was too little to get that

chicaguapa Wed 26-Jun-13 22:10:45

I've told DC that if it was allowed I'd put them on eBay. They do know I'm joking though.

But DC should not be made to feel afraid of the police. I've heard people make stupid comments like that and think it's ignorant.

Cat98 Wed 26-Jun-13 22:10:41

I don't make ds afraid of the police but I have told him mummy will get in trouble with the police if he undoes his seatbelt in the car (he went through a phase of this when he was 4). This is true though isn't it?!

With regards to the children's home threats, I know loads of people who use this. It always made me a bit uncomfortable, I'm quite glad you lot agree!

Minshu Wed 26-Jun-13 22:10:21

I've never threatened DD with the police, but she's brought the idea he with her from friends at nursery. She's normally pretty well-behaved, so not worried for herself but quite matter of fact about her naughty friends getting arrested! confused

monkeyfacegrace Wed 26-Jun-13 22:08:03


Ive said things to my two.

Ive told them to get their shoes on, we are off to the mummy shop as obviously they dont like theirs so lets get a new one.

Ive knocked on the front door and pretended to be a policeman coming to ask if there were any naughty children still out of their beds.

Lots of stuff. But, my kids were never that bothered, they grin and say dont be stupid, you are stuck with us hmm
I dont think Ive fucked them up too badly yet. Give me time though, give me time wink

AnyFucker Wed 26-Jun-13 22:05:56

I think that parents that deliberately make their children afraid of the police are very silly indeed

JoyceDivision Wed 26-Jun-13 21:59:39

I was taking the dcs hoime oneday after school and bringing a friend home. They were laughing and shouting so loudly that a policecar parked nearby saw us, a police lady came out and cheerfully wandered over, said 'My word you are very loud!'and I have never seen 3 children besilnced and freeze so quickly!

She was loveley and chatted to them but the fact a police lady had come to talk to them with no mum involvement totally frozethem!!

McNewPants2013 Wed 26-Jun-13 21:51:03

the police are there to keep people safe, that does mean they take people not following the law into the police station.

I have told my children countless times that the police are there if you are lost but when DS threw a small stone at a car I told him the police could come and get him.

IsThatTrue Wed 26-Jun-13 21:38:55

YANBU although my children think they will be arrested rather than me if they don't wear their seatbelts.

AnyFucker Wed 26-Jun-13 21:24:37

btw, I have never said any of those idiotic threats, and if DH did he would get short shrift

my IL's have tried it though

FreudiansSlipper Wed 26-Jun-13 21:22:00

what a horrible and stupid thing to say

ds was playing up once and a police car with sirens on passed my friend (who does not have children) said you better be good i think they may be coming to take you away. tbh it did not bother him but i did tell her never to day such a stupid thing again

lets hope it was a one off she was just very frusted

AnyFucker Wed 26-Jun-13 21:10:19

Surely this is about context

A child that feels loved, utterly secure and happy with their place in the world is going to go along with a "joke" like this, when it is made abundantly clear that is precisely what it is. Not a problem.

Another child, less secure, perhaps not quite so sure of where they stand, one that has to work harder on their self esteem, who perhaps has been the brunt of "jokes" like this repeatedly with just that little edge of unmistakeable menace.. ? Could be a problem.

DingbatsFur Wed 26-Jun-13 20:50:35

I once told my Ds after a very very long day when He had behaved exceedingly badly all day and I had really had enough that I was considering bringing him to the police station so they could find him a new family.
Frankly after the day I'd had with him I was prepared to follow it through!
We all have bad days.&#128148;

stiffstink Wed 26-Jun-13 20:48:26

We were regularly told we'd be taken to see the priest!

KittensoftPuppydog Wed 26-Jun-13 20:47:44

Some children believe their parents. Some mothers carry out this threat. And the children know always that it can happen again.

HorryIsUpduffed Wed 26-Jun-13 20:44:38

Last week I told my then-4yo if he didn't stop X I would throw him out of the window. He cried hmm so I had to explain that it was a joke.

I agree with pps that you should only threaten what you are prepared to carry out although I had worked out which window.

EndoplasmicReticulum Wed 26-Jun-13 20:42:05

My mum used to tell me that she was going to take me back to the baby shop and swap me for a better one.

I think she was joking. She never followed it through, anyway.

Oblomov Wed 26-Jun-13 20:40:46

Kitten, I disagree.

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