2006-05-11 / Letters to the Editor

Unsolicited advice

As a concerned parent, I felt the necessity to write this letter to you. It regards disturbing, unsolicited parenting advice directed at my son.

Today, I decided to take my 4year-old son to East Ferry to enjoy the beautiful weather. On accident, I entered the parking area the wrong way (confusion with the construction going on, I suppose - as we are temporary residents here for the school year). It was at this time that my 4-year-old - who is still learning not to do this - took off his seat belt before the van was parked. While I appreciated the directive from a citizen that there was a police officer behind me that would ticket me for entering the wrong way, I was not appreciative of what followed shortly thereafter. Upon passing this concerned citizen, heading to a much anticipated trip to Paws & Claws to see the animals with my son, she felt it necessary to tell my son that he should wear his seat belt or his mommy would get in trouble with the police. She then apparently felt it also necessary to tell him that they would put his mommy in jail.

Well, being raised with "if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all," I let the issue drop. Upon further stewing, I realized that I should try to turn this negative into a positive. Hence, this letter.

I would like to bring comments of this type to the attention of other parents, so they will please not do this. We should not be teaching our children to fear the police. I explained to my son, as I always do with all three of my children, that the police are always there to help you. What concerns me is that parents who use this type of "parenting technique" will indeed cause their children to fear the police. What then, God forbid, if something should happen to that child. Will they be afraid to ask a police officer for help? A very scary scenario, I'm sure you will agree.

Thank you for letting me share my views.

Dee White, Jamestown

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