There was recently a case in the Cincinnati area where the parents of a young boy who had rebuffed all of his parents' efforts to persuade him to go to school had failed so they contacted the police (I want to be clear that the parents DID NOT dial an emergency number, they contacted the police via a non-emergency telephone line) and asked someone from the police to become involved. An officer did talk to the boy and found out that he was refusing to go to school because a little girl was conducting what passes for flirting at their age and he thought she was bullying him. The officer explained to the little boy that she was doing what she was doing because she liked him and not because she didn't like him and he willingly went back to school. Now, this was a harmless and somewhat cute instance of the police resolving an issue with a young child. However, it reminded me of when I have seen parents threaten their recalcitrant young children (perhaps ages 7 and younger) that the police would come and arrest the children if they didn't listen and obey the parents and it made me want to ask the question: is it wrong to use the police as a tool in the tug of war that is getting a stubborn child to mind? If so, what kind of negative consequences can such a tactic sow?
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