Parenting Tips and Tricks – #61

Did you read or hear about the Massachusetts ten-year old who called 911 this past Wednesday night because his mother had told him that it was time to go to bed?

The young miscreant apparently felt that his Mom had done him a great injustice and was intent on teaching her a lesson by assuming that the local constabulary would be in full agreement with his side of the story.

Apparently the young man lost his nerve and hung-up on the 911 operator halfway through filing the report on what he believed to be his mother’s unreasonable mandate.  Following normal procedures in such cases, the operator called back to confirm whether or not there was an actual emergency.  This time the mother answered the phone.  I happened to hear this exchange when a local radio station replayed the audio from the 911 call.
As I was listening, it occurred to me that the 911 operator, who happened to be female, must have also been a mother.  You could hear the empathy in her voice and visualize her head shaking in total agreement as the juvenile malefactor’s mother explained the situation.

The 911 operator informed the mother that it was normal operating procedure in handling calls of this sort for a police officer to respond to the scene and that one would be arriving there shortly.

It was at this point, that I believe a brilliant opportunity was missed for teaching this particular ten-year old a very valuable life lesson.

Had I been the parent in this case, I would have taken the police officer aside and asked that he give my son a real dressing down regarding abuse of the 911 system and that he then place him in handcuffs and march him out to the patrol car as if he was going to be taken “downtown.
Please.  No one needs to point out to me that, in these politically correct times, it would be extremely unlikely that  any officer would have been willing to “cuff” a ten-year old.  Just allow me a few moments to savor the thought of it ……… Ah, yes, that was good!

Let’s play out the rest of my scenario.  After giving the policeman enough time to walk the reprobate out to the car and open its rear door, I would bound out the front door of the house and rush across the yard while imploring the officer to show leniency to my son.

After all officer, this is his first offense and I’m sure he’ll go straight to bed and never do anything like this again!  Isn’t that right, son?

Lesson learned, case closed, and most importantly the little blister totally recognizes once again that he’ll never be able to out think his old man.

Alas, just a dream and yet another lost opportunity in creative parenting.


Images courtesy of


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