teaching boys the realities of the police - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 71 Old 09-01-2009, 02:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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my son is 3 and loves police, everything about them from the uniform to the cars and sirens. he also loves firefighters in the same way, which is fine with us because they really do help people without question. but dh has a very negitive view of law enforcement, as do i, for good reasons of course. he is spanish and cherokee and has been the victim of racial profiling and unprovoked police brutality all his life. i am caucasian and have also been the victim of racial profiling (stopped for being in the "wrong neighborhood" when in fact i live in said neighborhood). so how do we teach our sons the truth about the police, especially for a young man who looks hispanic/latino or really any race that is not white? we live in a city where hispanic/latino is the majority but the city is run by the white minority, the same city dh grew up in and constantly delt with racisim/discrimination both from whites and people of his own race. granted dh is not a typical hispanic/latino male, infact he is a rastafarian so that has not made it easier due to an obviously "different" appearance, but that does not imply that he is lawless or a criminal. i am just looking for some advice/support in addressing the issue of the realities of police with a young boy who admires them so much.
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#2 of 71 Old 09-01-2009, 02:23 PM
 
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I don't have much time to post, but just wanted to give you my initial reaction:

He's three. Just let him play. Are you concerned that he is going to grow up and become a police officer if you don't step in and tell him your views? Is it harmful for him to think that the police are the good guys? (and most of them ARE in the job to do good.)

I hope that doesn't come off as harsh, I certainly don't intend it to be. I just don't see the harm in letting a three year old enjoy the simplicity of "good guys" while he's young.

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#3 of 71 Old 09-01-2009, 02:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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i understand the "let him play and have fun while he's young" idea but for us all police interaction we have ever had has been negitive. the police have never been "the good guys". we don't lie or misinform our children about anything, why should we allow him to believe that poilce are always "good". i know that idealy police good, they take an oath to protect and serve right. but what happens to the young boy who looks at the police in this positive way growing up and then one day as an older boy/young man he is the victim police discrimination/brutality based on his race and the fact that he is male or he whitnesses his father become the victim of such an act? i think he would have a really negative reaction, all thoses years spent thinking police were the good guys and all of the sudden they aren't. like i said we won't lie or misinform our children about anything, not fictional characters like santa clause or the tooth fairy and not actual people like police either. i just am looking for a way to educate him on the facts without being too harsh, but i guess the realities are harsh.
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#4 of 71 Old 09-01-2009, 02:47 PM
 
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I think that those discussions will be better off left to when he is a little older...

For now, he is probably drawn to the lights and sirens and flashy badges and cool uniforms etc... not the daily tasks and the other details that go along with the profession.

As he grows older, the fascination will most likely fade, but he will also be able to understand the things that you are talking about.

 
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#5 of 71 Old 09-01-2009, 02:56 PM
 
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What happens if he gets lost or hurt and runs and hides from the police or firemen because he is now afraid of everyone in an authority position in uniform???

If this discussion must be had.. I think it is best to wait til your child is older.
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#6 of 71 Old 09-01-2009, 03:08 PM
 
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i think he would have a really negative reaction, all thoses years spent thinking police were the good guys and all of the sudden they aren't. like i said we won't lie or misinform our children about anything, not fictional characters like santa clause or the tooth fairy and not actual people like police either. i just am looking for a way to educate him on the facts without being too harsh, but i guess the realities are harsh.
Bolding mine.

So are you prepared to have this conversation about teachers, clergy, and even the firemen that you do consider the good guys? The reality is there is discrimination, abuse of power, and corruption in every occupation.

I just don't see what you have to gain by making your son fearful of police at 3 yo?
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#7 of 71 Old 09-01-2009, 03:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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i don't want to put fear into my son at this age, nor any age but there are things to fear at some point. i do see the negitive effects of this topic/disscusion at such a young age, if were only me i would wait, but dh is involved in raising our son and he seems to jump to negative reactions about the police specifically when brought up by our son. i guess i need to have a conversation with dh rather then ds. so then how do i go about that? we have similar views on authority i guess our differences are how to address the subject with our son.
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#8 of 71 Old 09-01-2009, 03:35 PM
 
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Mama, I understand where you are coming from.

The sad truth is that the world is a much less friendly place for boys, young men, and adult men of color.

I think at age three there isn't a whole lot that can be said that won't be really confusing and disturbing for your son. But as he gets older, I am SURE (sadly) that there will be experiences/moments that you can use to help your son understand that people in authority can be racist, cruel and wrong. (Without saying that ALL law enforcement/authority figures are that way!)

I hope other people chime in with tips for you on how to minimize your kid's risk of being mistreated should he come in contact with law enforcement. My son is your son's age, so I don't have any experience, yet!

As for your husband, remind him that there will be plenty of time and opportunities to discuss these problems within the context of an experience you all share or hear about. It doesn't have to be *right this minute*.
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#9 of 71 Old 09-01-2009, 03:51 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Marylizah View Post

The sad truth is that the world is a much less friendly place for boys, young men, and adult men of color.
By the world you mean the United States?, because the world is bigger than that.

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#10 of 71 Old 09-01-2009, 03:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Mama, I understand where you are coming from.

The sad truth is that the world is a much less friendly place for boys, young men, and adult men of color.

I think at age three there isn't a whole lot that can be said that won't be really confusing and disturbing for your son. But as he gets older, I am SURE (sadly) that there will be experiences/moments that you can use to help your son understand that people in authority can be racist, cruel and wrong. (Without saying that ALL law enforcement/authority figures are that way!)

I hope other people chime in with tips for you on how to minimize your kid's risk of being mistreated should he come in contact with law enforcement. My son is your son's age, so I don't have any experience, yet!

As for your husband, remind him that there will be plenty of time and opportunities to discuss these problems within the context of an experience you all share or hear about. It doesn't have to be *right this minute*.
thanks you so much for responding i was begining to think that no one else on mdc saw/experienced these problems. feeling wrong for wanting to address these issues within my family, i really appritiate it. i agree to wait and take it slow, one step at a time. for dh he was always told of such evils in the world but never saw them first hand within his community, his parents kept them sheltered from experiencing a lot of things while at the same time disscussing them, when he was 12 all at once things started to happen to him and his family and he was shocked. even though he had heard of these things happening he was not prepared to deal with them first hand, but then how can anyone be prepared for evil in the wrold without first experiencing it.
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#11 of 71 Old 09-01-2009, 03:54 PM
 
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This is one that I struggle with too, now that I live in a country that has a bad reputation for a corrupt police force, especially when dealing with caucasians (I guess it's the opposite of what you're dealing with). Some of the police here are great, and are literally putting their lives on the line everyday for very little pay, but others are very corrupt. Add to that that police get ambushed here, and you really don't want to be standing in public with them, AND the fact that we live between two countries with two very different police forces and, well, I just don't know how to handle it all.
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#12 of 71 Old 09-01-2009, 04:03 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Marylizah View Post
As for your husband, remind him that there will be plenty of time and opportunities to discuss these problems within the context of an experience you all share or hear about. It doesn't have to be *right this minute*.
Exactly...

you can also make it clear that you are not putting your opinions aside forever, or need to change your opinions but that is would be better to wait until he is ready to understand. At 3 he is too young and it will most likely confuse and scare him more than do any good...
In a few short years you will be able to explain to him things in context... you may read an article and can then share your opinion and talk about it together... answering questions, bringing up past experience etc... At 3 you will be talking to him more than talking with him... he won't be able to ask as many questions and understand the answers as much..

Just to add... I have to admit that for a long time I had the same opinions because it was what I knew and had experienced with the "culture" I was brought up in... then a few years ago I met my best friend and her DH is RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police)... Last year we went on Vacation and spent 2 weeks in her home. Though my experiences are still vivid in my past, I know that it is not everyone in the profession that is like that.

I would that I would have been very sad if I would have shared my opinions with my children at the ages they were and would have risked them being scared of an amazing father and person that he is. My oldest son is now 7 and we have talked about Police brutality when we have heard the news etc... and he is now starting at an age that he can make the separation between choices of an individual and the whole of the group.

 
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#13 of 71 Old 09-01-2009, 05:10 PM
 
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By the world you mean the United States?, because the world is bigger than that.
Um, thanks. Yes, I mean the world. I don't live in the United States.

ETA: I guess you mean in some parts of the world life isn't harder for men/boys of color, and I'm sure that's true in some places.

I'm thinking of: the US, Canada, Western Europe, Eastern Europe. To start.

And in some countries, there are degrees, where the darker your skin is the less well you are treated (I'm thinking parts of India, China, Middle East...). So in general, I think the world is pretty unfriendly towards men of color.
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#14 of 71 Old 09-01-2009, 06:05 PM
 
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I just wanted to chime in as another voice that affirms the concerns of you and your dh about the police!

Even as a light skinned Native woman I have been harassed by the police, my mother has been mistreated by the police in her own home.

The reality of communities of the color in the U.S. and Canada is that the police ARE NOT OUR FRIENDS. And it is especially harsh reality for men of color so if your ds is perceived as such then mama, you are right to worry!

I don't have much concrete advice to offer unfortunately...but now I think I want to have some conversations of a lot of mothers I know and ask them how they approach this.

But I just want you to know that even if this wasn't the experience of many of the women using these discussion boards, it is the experience that I have had, my dh and his family have had, my friends and colleagues all over the U.S. and Canada have had.

So as a woman raising a man of color you are not crazy to be concerned.

Sorry if this is a bit of a rant...I was a bit frustrated by the lack of affirmation you received since I completely understand where you are coming from and deal with that harsh reality every day!

Much love to you, and if I get some more concrete suggestions from the parents I know, I will pass it along!
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#15 of 71 Old 09-01-2009, 06:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I just wanted to chime in as another voice that affirms the concerns of you and your dh about the police!

Even as a light skinned Native woman I have been harassed by the police, my mother has been mistreated by the police in her own home.

The reality of communities of the color in the U.S. and Canada is that the police ARE NOT OUR FRIENDS. And it is especially harsh reality for men of color so if your ds is perceived as such then mama, you are right to worry!

I don't have much concrete advice to offer unfortunately...but now I think I want to have some conversations of a lot of mothers I know and ask them how they approach this.

But I just want you to know that even if this wasn't the experience of many of the women using these discussion boards, it is the experience that I have had, my dh and his family have had, my friends and colleagues all over the U.S. and Canada have had.

So as a woman raising a man of color you are not crazy to be concerned.

Sorry if this is a bit of a rant...I was a bit frustrated by the lack of affirmation you received since I completely understand where you are coming from and deal with that harsh reality every day!

Much love to you, and if I get some more concrete suggestions from the parents I know, I will pass it along!

give thanks for your support, it's much appritiated.

someone mentioned knowing a police officer personaly and finding him to be a nice man. well i have an uncle and a brother in law who are both police, while they are both nice men to me and my family on a personal level i have never delt with them as police. i am not sure that if they didn't know us personaly they would be so nice if we met under circumstances where they were on duty, kwim? just because they are nice off duty, or on for that matter, to family/friends does not make them righteous police officers.
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#16 of 71 Old 09-01-2009, 06:48 PM
 
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give thanks for your support, it's much appritiated.

someone mentioned knowing a police officer personaly and finding him to be a nice man. well i have an uncle and a brother in law who are both police, while they are both nice men to me and my family on a personal level i have never delt with them as police. i am not sure that if they didn't know us personaly they would be so nice if we met under circumstances where they were on duty, kwim? just because they are nice off duty, or on for that matter, to family/friends does not make them righteous police officers.
That was me... and that wasn't my point.

My point was if I would have talked to my children when they were younger about certain things that police can do that I don't agree with, and how bad police brutality can be, that they may not have been able to separate the two. (the police man and the individual) and because I know that this person is a good and just man, it would have saddened me if they were scared of him because just because he choose to provide for his family by becoming a police officer.

Now that my oldest child is getting to the point that he can see the difference, I have no qualms in bringing things up in context and telling him my opinion. Some things are just better when brought up at an appropriate age if you want to get the real point across...

 
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#17 of 71 Old 09-01-2009, 06:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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That was me... and that wasn't my point.

My point was if I would have talked to my children when they were younger about certain things that police can do that I don't agree with, and how bad police brutality can be, that they may not have been able to separate the two. (the police man and the individual) and because I know that this person is a good and just man, it would have saddened me if they were scared of him because just because he choose to provide for his family by becoming a police officer.

Now that my oldest child is getting to the point that he can see the difference, I have no qualms in bringing things up in context and telling him my opinion. Some things are just better when brought up at an appropriate age if you want to get the real point across...

i see what you mean, apologies for missing you point initially.
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#18 of 71 Old 09-01-2009, 07:36 PM
 
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i don't want to put fear into my son at this age, nor any age but there are things to fear at some point. i do see the negitive effects of this topic/disscusion at such a young age, if were only me i would wait, but dh is involved in raising our son and he seems to jump to negative reactions about the police specifically when brought up by our son. i guess i need to have a conversation with dh rather then ds. so then how do i go about that? we have similar views on authority i guess our differences are how to address the subject with our son.
oh, mama! you are not alone. you and i are of the same mindset. i cannot pretend that the ugliness does not happen. it doesn't do them anny justice to sugarcoat the world. i was recently reminded of this when i talked with my 4-year-old dd about why we are brown and the reality of slavery in the US. i gave it to her in a way that she could understand and appreciate. i think there was nothing worse as a kid to be taught one thing and later discover the contradictions (i.e. christopher columbus discovered america, slavery only lasted 2 paragraphs in my high school history book, which is drastically different than the length of time it lasted). just my :

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#19 of 71 Old 09-01-2009, 08:54 PM
 
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The people I know in that kind of situation, generally wait until about kindergarten-age to talk about police misconduct and bias. I guess the idea is that when children are younger than that, the possibility of their encountering a police situation when their parents or other caregivers aren't around to help, is pretty remote. So there's no reason to scare them when they are too young to do much about it anyhow.
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#20 of 71 Old 09-02-2009, 02:09 AM
 
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This topic actually has been big for us right now, DH is currently facing a misdemeanor charge, with the possibility of jail time (though highly unlikely,) for basically running a red light. I do not feel this is a case of racial profiling (nor does DH) especially since one of the officers was the same race as DH.

What happened was that when DH got pulled over, instead of apologizing for running the light and accepting his ticket he started making excuses and pissed the cops off. When talking to him about why he would piss the police off so much, part of what I realized was that it had a lot to do with how he views police. Also, he almost certainly would not have run the red light in the first place if he had not been completely distracted by the presence of the police car.

DH grew up as a minority in the Bronx during the 1970s and 80s, he views police as out to get him, he is very afraid of them in general. When he interacts with them he is very nervous which comes across as looking guilty. I've been there when BIL lied to the police (and it was obvious since DH gave a very different version of the story) and it really pissed the cops off, and they went from being reluctant to arrest DH, to being pretty eager to.

Basically what I'm saying is that the attitude of being afraid of the police leads one to interact in a manner that can lead to more trouble. While there are police officer who are blatantly racist, they are not the majority (though this varies by where you are.) Teaching you child to deal with police in a basically respectful, but cautious manner will serve them better in life than fear.

Some of this stuff is really is generally good advice for anyone, like when being pulled over by a police officer drive to a well lit public area, it's safer for everyone including the officer.

You do realize that if more parents of minority children encouraged their DC to become police, that the police force would have more minority officers on it. Hopefully by the time your DS is around 13 yo and this becomes a more immediate issue, the police force in your town will be more diverse.

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#21 of 71 Old 09-02-2009, 02:39 AM
 
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um, my BIL is a cop not in the US, but in my own country and he's the nicest man that I know off, what he does in his job is none of my business, becuase that's why tell him to do and I respect it, not his fault.

I will just leave the matter alone, I mean he's 3. Let him play. And I don't think I will even talk about this matter with DD, I mean I dont wnat her to think what a horrible person her lovely uncle is everytime he sees him

Just my opinion...

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#22 of 71 Old 09-02-2009, 05:15 AM
 
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I don't think anyone is suggesting that the OP demonize the police. But the reality for POC is that they *are* more likely to be stopped by the police, to be arrested, to be questioned and to be brutalized. I'm having a hard time believing the quantity of posters who think the OP is weird for wanting to find ways to talk about this with her child.

Yes, three is probably too young. Yes, she should wait until her son is old enough to differentiate between a group and the individual members of said group. I know there are plenty of wonderful, caring, hardworking policemen and women around the world; there are also plenty of corrupt, racist ones. That's just the truth.

And the other truth is that boys, esp teenagers, and men of color are seen as MUCH more suspect than other teens/men and will probably have more run-ins with police because of it. They need to know this, and they need to be prepared in how to deal with this.
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#23 of 71 Old 09-02-2009, 11:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Let me start by saying that in no way do I fear police, nor do I want my son to fear police. I think fear is a weak emotion and when dealing with it only negative things may develop. I want my son to overstand the truth about everything, including the harsh realities of being a non-white person in a world where that is "not ok". I want my son to be aware and concious of such truths and know how to deal with them in a positive manner. I also don't believe in respecting authority just because they are authority and will not teach my son to do such. All people should be respected no matter what but it has to go both ways and sadly in this society that is not true, I think police demand and feel entilted to respect because they wear a badge. Being part of a faith that is persucuted in a country of religious freedom does not help, but we won't change our lifestyle to make life easier. I don't think every single police officer is evil, but I honestly do think that where we live the vast majority are and will cause harm, even the ones who are not white. A big issue for me is that the police are, imo, not someone to idolize/admire same as polititians and other often corrupt people of power. I don't believe in having power/control over another human being or group and that is just what the police are given.

As for our son I have decided to allow dh to handel this situation as he feels is best for our son. He has suffered far more then I in the hands of police and knows the truths of being brown in a racist world far better then I. I trust in his judgement and know he will do what is right. The fact is that police won't, imo, stop and say there is a 3yo boy in the car/house/situation let's wait for him to get older before we harass his father, or him, so then he will be able to better understand what's going on. So why should I give that to the police?
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#24 of 71 Old 09-02-2009, 01:42 PM
 
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I also don't believe in respecting authority just because they are authority and will not teach my son to do such. All people should be respected no matter what but it has to go both ways and sadly in this society that is not true, I think police demand and feel entilted to respect because they wear a badge.
Respect is a complicated word. When some people say respect they really mean "obey" others really mean "fear" some mean no more than "talk politely." I went and looked it up, http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/respect , the dictionary definition isn't a single concise word either. I myself used the word "respectful" in my first post when discussing how to interact with police.

I think police officer deserve and should get respect for the exact same reason that a store clerk, waiter, bank teller, train conductor, flight attendant, etc, etc, all deserve and should get respect. I'm sure we have all had incompetent, surly, rude, or even out right racist (yes I've seen this) waiters. The reality of a few bad waiters, does not change my feeling that in general, waiters are nice people trying to do a hard job that is to serve me.

I've been arrested a few time; I've had police say rude and insensitive things to friends; I know they sometimes throw their weight around for no good reason, and act out of grumpiness. I have also been seated in the empty back of a restaurant out of view and been ignored while other customers came in, had their orders placed, were served their food, got the bills, and got up to leave.

I have also worked as a store clerk, and know what it's like when people don't show basic respect. When people think they have a right to cut in line, when people throw merchandise at you b/c they are unhappy, when people yell at you for not allowing their children to destroy the store's property, when people act all nice then shop lift, etc, etc. Now as a store clerk, the most we ever did was ask people to leave, and that power was used very rarely only after the most improper behavior (after all, stores want people to stay and spend their money); but of course police officers have more power.

The realities of racism, aren't peculiar to the police force, they are a generally encompassing thing. My general feeling is that all human beings deserve respect and to be treated in a courteous manner, until they personally do something to loose that privilege.

Timmy's Mommy WARNINGyslexic typing with help of preschooler, beware of typos
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#25 of 71 Old 09-02-2009, 02:29 PM
 
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eepster - very well thought out posts.
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#26 of 71 Old 09-02-2009, 02:46 PM
 
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I think the tender age of 3 is MUCH too young for that kind of discussion.

What I've told my older kids is that most police officers are just out there doing their jobs, but that not all of them are nice or particularly honest people.

My dad told us, his children, that we should always attempt to be polite when dealing with police officers, even if we think they're wrong or that we are innocent... being rude or belligerent with people who carry guns and pepper spray usually doesn't turn out well.
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#27 of 71 Old 09-02-2009, 03:10 PM
 
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He is 3 let him play. In a year or two start mention realities to your son. Discuss news articles were he can over hear.

Discuss appropriate behaviors to your CHILDREN (please your dd could be a victim). Talk about how the cop should behave and how people should behave. If you get pulled over don't ask the cop "Why the f*&(*& you pull me over?" It is a sure way to piss them off. If you are a passenger in the car do not get an attitude because you were pulled over. In high school I got pulled over because I was driving with black and being white in a black neighborhood. There was a few times I wanted to strangle my passenger/s....once was my mom. :

I have seen cops behave badly.

But I have people incite issues. Watching tone and vocabulary is just respectful....even if they have a nasty tone be the better person if for no other reasons to protect yourself. If you are emotionally upset try to control yourself -again cursing at the police is not the way to go.

Some times you have to put yourself in the police officers shoes and see his point of view and risk.

I got aggravated with Professor Gates was arrested. He was being as much as a butt as the cop was! They were both wrong. The cop responded to a call. He did not know what he was walking into. Asking a person to step out of his home in a response to a burglary is not dumb, wrong, or racist. I come from this back ground so I can see why a cop should ask to step in or you to step out.......One of our neighbors were broken into. She did not know the guy was in her home. The cop asked her to step out while he took a look around (cop should have done this to Professor Gates). Growing up one of my dad's guard buddy was a cop. He was responding to a burglary call. He asked to step in the guy started hemming and hawing. Dad's friend then realize this guy didn't want him in because he was scared. He left and called back ups. Then rescued the guy and family. Cop should not have had his attitude and the lying afterward was not acceptable. I do wonder how it would have been if Professor Gates took a moment to see why a cop would still ask you to step out of your home. It was to further asses the situation and his safety.

The time to argue is in court.
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#28 of 71 Old 09-02-2009, 03:26 PM
 
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my sons and i, as caucasians, are in the tiniest minority in my neighbourhood. this area experiences a lot of police brutality and corruption. the cops are not our friends. they cruise around like sharks, watching everyone, day and night. my older boy is almost 4 and he knows to stay away from the police, and that if the cops look mad, to run and hide. i don't want him getting caught in the middle of a confrontation, since those often end in the police shooting someone. last summer they shot an unarmed 10 year old. they're safer than their playmates because of the colour of their skin, but stray bullets are stray bullets and i don't want my boys anywhere near them.

i don't see it as teaching them to fear police or demonizing the police, it's basic safety. staying away from the cops is a good way to stay safe(r)
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#29 of 71 Old 09-02-2009, 03:38 PM
 
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I'm going to take a stab at joining the discussion here, because our family is very much concerned about the same issues that the OP brings up.

One thing we do is that we are teaching DS to have good self-control. If he is stopped by the police (or faces some other equally-and-potentially-tinged-with-racism situation), he will have to have good control over his behavior and reactions to the officers. It is way too easy for a situation with law enforcement to become deadly. Whether he is "respecting" them or not doesn't really matter. His immediate reactions DO matter. So, at 23 months, he is learning to control his behavior, his emotions, and to obey people who do have legitimate (and loving) authority in his life. He will later learn the nuances of not obeying all authority, or questioning who has legitimate authority over his life, but for now, he has to learn to control his behavior -- as developmentally appropriate, of course.

Here is an example from this morning --

DS saw a box of cookies before breakfast and wanted one. I said, "These aren't for breakfast. It's time for cereal." He started to protest, and while I got him cereal and suggested pancakes (which are always a part of his breakfast), his protests showed no signs of lessening. However, he was not yet out of control (this is important, for if he were out of control in a tantrum, I wouldn't try to stop it or reason with him). He was just being loud. I got down to his level, and said, "Listen to me. Stop making noise." And, he stopped. And he climbed up into his high chair and said, "pancake." If I had ignored his behavior, it would have escalated out of control.

Doesn't work every time, but we try to give him every opportunity to bring his behavior back into control before it gets out of control. I'm not suggesting that we avert all tantrums or try to keep him from expressing his emotions. But he does have to practice keeping his behavior in control. The more this occurs, the more likely it will occur in the future. If he learns to be calm now, he will be more likely to be calm in situations that are frought with emotion and have the potential to be deadly.

I do think it is a small part of the larger issue of what children/teenagers of color must learn in this (U.S.) society. The reality is, he will be seen by some in society as a menace and a threat (a large, black male). He needs to be prepared to deal with their reactions to that.

I don't know if I am saying this very well, but I'll try to check back and clarify if I can.

DS, 10/07. Allergies: peanut, egg, wheat. We've added dairy back in. And taken it back out again. It causes sandpaper skin with itchy patches and thrashing during sleep. Due w/ #2 late April, 2012.

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#30 of 71 Old 09-02-2009, 03:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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well said josybear, i couldn't agree more with

"i don't see it as teaching them to fear police or demonizing the police, it's basic safety. staying away from the cops is a good way to stay safe(r)"

i am no fool and would never myself nor encourage anyone especially my own children to act irrational, angry, frustrated, or violent to police, or anyony for that matter. those are negative, weak emotions that only lead to problems, emotions no one should deal with and ones i will strive to keep my children from ever having to fall back on.

as for respect as i said everyone should be treated with respect and should show respect, until one disrespects another then it can all go out the window. but in our society we are taught to be respectful to certain members of the society because of who they are, not because they are human beings, living creatures, who deserve to be respected because they too return the same unto you. for me respectfulness is not a way to act but rather just the way we should all already be toward one another and all things living. this is complicated for me because of the deep spirtual beliefs i hold with regard to the way people are living on earth, i think it is all wrong for the most part. this is babylon.

i follow the blog of mama with 2 young boys of color who share similar spiritual views as i. she mentioned this topic awhile back and i just went a read her post again. not sure if i can do this but here is a portion of the post, what she will tell hers sons about dealing with police/being in public, i must say i do agree with all her points.

1.Don't act the fool in public. Be disciplined with your emotions. Do not act out in anger or frustration.

2.Do not fight or be otherwise involved in altercations in public. It doesn't matter if people are trying to punk you. You can't be punked if you are not a punk. Any aggressive act can and often will be misconstrued. Including kicking your own car when you realize you have a flat tire. We are not in control of anything outside of ourselves. So you'd better be in damned good control

3.Be respectful. Say good morning, please and thank you. Go out of your way to show you are not a threat. Do not go too far though. More than anything, you must be true to yourself.

4.Know where you are/who you are with. If you notice you are the "other," be extra vigilant. The "other" is usually an easy target/scapegoat.

5.Walk with the knowledge of your history. In America, there is a plan in action to eliminate Black men. Know that.

ASusan well said, i agree that it is about controlling ones own self and emotions when provoked or harassed. but the way you help your son handel his emotions and deal with negitive feelings is not what a police officer would do every time. but i get that he is really little, as is my son, and chances of dealing with police now a rare so all we can do is prepare them gradually for the real big scary world.
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