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Would you take your candy-stealing 5-year-old to the police station?

Posted by on Nov. 14, 2013 at 9:23 AM
  • 175 Replies

Mom Tries to Scare 5-Year-Old Candy Thief Straight by Taking Her to the Police

by Jacqueline Burt

kid candy storeIs it just me, or are parents getting a little extreme with their punishments lately? First there was the whole public shaming/sign holding trend, then there were the parents who had their kids arrested for having a party, then there was the dad who called the cops on his 19-year-old son for "stealing his truck" to buy cigarettes (the young man was tragically shot dead by police). Now we have the story of yet another mom enlisting the help of law enforcement officials to reprimand her child -- except this kid didn't steal a truck or throw a party, she stole candy. Oh yeah, and did I mention she's 5 YEARS OLD?? Uh, yup. 

Apparently when one Puyallup, Washington, mother found out her 5-year-old daughter snagged some candy from the store, instead of making her shame-facedly return the treats or simply going back to pay for it herself and then taking away the kid's TV time or whatever, she decided that the best way to make sure her child never stole again would be to take her straight to the police station. 

Now, luckily for everyone involved, the police officer on duty played along like a champ and was super sweet -- even giving the little girl a hug after she promised him she'd never steal again. So maybe all's well that ends well? Except I just can't for the life of me imagine taking the "scared straight" approach with my 8- or 12-year-old children, let alone a kid who's still in kindergarten! Honestly, just try and picture walking your tiny little 5-year-old into a police station. What sort of horrifying images must have been running through that little girl's head? Was she envisioning spending the rest of her life behind bars? All the while knowing it was mom who ratted her out??

I guess, hey, whatever works for you. And who knows, maybe someday my kids will be career criminals and then that mom will have the last laugh, but until then, I still can't get behind this particular disciplinary tactic. 

Would you take your candy-stealing 5-year-old to the police station?

by on Nov. 14, 2013 at 9:23 AM
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Replies (1-10):
NowImAMom...
by Silver Member on Nov. 14, 2013 at 9:26 AM
3 moms liked this

When I was a tween and told my stepmother that I was going to run away, she told me that if I did, I would get arressted and put in juvie, and since I'm not street smart if I went to juvie some older girl would make me her bitch and rape me with a broomstick.

Anonymous
by Anonymous on Nov. 14, 2013 at 9:27 AM
1 mom liked this

My DD stole a toy from a friend, a little happy meal toy to be exact. I asked her if she knew that stealing was wrong, she answered yes so I told her that we would have to call the police then. She cried and said she would return the toy, apologized to her friend and promised to never take anything without permission. 

mommy_me
by ~The Three B's~ on Nov. 14, 2013 at 9:27 AM
23 moms liked this
No. I would do what seems to be a foreign concept these days and parent my child myself
supergasper
by Gold Member on Nov. 14, 2013 at 9:29 AM
6 moms liked this

No, I wouldn't take them to the police station.  I'd make them bring it back to the store though.

cindilou13
by Silver Member on Nov. 14, 2013 at 9:30 AM
3 moms liked this

No, I would make my kid(s) take it back in and apologize to the store clerk.  If it was partially unwrapped or eaten I'd then pay for it but make them pay me back either with their money or doing chores or something, as well as a suitable punishment. 

I'd also ask my Dad or brother to have a word with them reinforcing following the law.  Dad was a police Captain at his retirement and brother is an officer also.

notjstasocermom
by Ruby Member on Nov. 14, 2013 at 9:34 AM

no 

hhhanna
by Bronze Member on Nov. 14, 2013 at 9:34 AM
1 mom liked this

I wouldn't take them to the police station (especially at that age) - but when my youngest was, 4 or 5, we went to the store and when we got home and unpacked the groceries there was a pack of gum that I knew we didn't pick up and hadn't paid for.  I questioned both kids and the youngest fessed up that she had grabbed it from the display because she wanted it.  I made a BIG scene about how we don't do that and how it was wrong, and how she was suppose to ask.  Then to help drive the point home we drove back to the store and I made her go to the clerk that we checked out from and give her the gum, tell her what she had done, etc.  She was in tears (the response that I had hoped for) and apologized over and over again.  To my knowledge, she never stole again (and she is 25 years old now).

Anonymous
by Anonymous on Nov. 14, 2013 at 9:35 AM
1 mom liked this

No I would not,  my ds did steal some candy not too long ago.  He's 7.  I made him write an apology and take the candy,  some of his own money and the note up to the manager and he had to read his apology aloud to him and then pay for the candy with his own money.

Anonymous
by Anonymous on Nov. 14, 2013 at 9:36 AM
2 moms liked this
Yup. My mom did it with me. My neighbor was a police chief. She took me over there and he put me in handcuffs and talked to me. I didn't dare take anything ever again.
Anonymous
by Anonymous on Nov. 14, 2013 at 9:37 AM

That's a bit drastic. I'd make my kid return it and apologize to the store manager.

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