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Would you call the cops over a playground fight that mildly affects your child? (Probably not- kids fight sometimes- especially boys.) What can be handled amicably, and what things call for cops to intervene for safety reasons? Where is the line drawn? Typically, cops should only be involved with true matters of safety, not just because someone is offended or confused.
A mother posted in a parenting forum, narrating how she got cops called on her and her child after what many people would consider regular childhood fights. She shares her crazy story and asks for advice on how she should have handled it.
So Much Drama Over Normal Childhood Behavior?
The OP (original poster) was at a park with her 5-year-old autistic son. There was another parent with a 2-year-old playing in the park too. This 2-year-old went to touch OP’s son’s toy, and OP’s son struck back and pulled the 2-year-old’s hair.
It was not a long confrontation or fight. OP says she and the other parent had stopped the fight in less than 10 seconds. The 2-year-old was upset but got over it within minutes.
Then, suddenly the other parent started screaming at OP and her son, asking them what was wrong with them. She took her phone and started recording OP and her son, yelling that she would call the police. By this time, her child had already calmed down.
All this time, OP was apologizing profusely while trying to de-escalate the situation. When she assumed the situation had calmed down, she starts packing her son to leave the park.
The Mom Cannot Leave
As OP tries to leave, the other mother starts screaming louder and louder and trying to get her license plate. At this point, OP is afraid that this parent might follow her home, so she decides to sit and wait for the police.
About 40 minutes later, a cop arrives, baffled and wondering why he was called to the scene. The police started by talking to the other parent. He manages to talk her down before he comes to OP. The cop tells OP he didn’t understand what the other parent was trying to accomplish.
He just took note of the incident and told OP she was free to leave.
OP admits that parenting is already rough. She, however, says she never imagined another parent would ever call the cops on her and her child.
The Masses Weigh In
OP says the other child was over the incident in less than a minute. It was a case of a child being a child, and it was not that serious. OP also kept wondering what the other parent expected the cops to do. Maybe arrest her and her son? Or maybe fine them?
One commenter said, “I’m so sorry. This sounds so emotionally exhausting. I can’t believe someone would bother the police with a sandbox squabble. WTH is wrong with people? I understand her being upset, but they are children.. this type of stuff happens. Did she expect the cops to arrest your 5-year-old for hair pulling?? That cop must’ve been so confused. I feel bad for her child’s future teachers because that mom will be a nightmare.”
Another added, “Seriously, anyone who calls the cops for normal kid behavior must be seriously unhinged. I’m surprised a cop showed up. It must be so exhausting to deal with this.”
There were loads of other comments funnily trying to help OP de-escalate her anger and frustration. One said, “Yeah, my toddler pulls my hair from time to time and smacks me in the face! That’s assault and battery! I’m going to press charges!”
And lastly, “I feel so badly for the 2-year-old. Can you imagine what it will be like growing up with that woman? She called the cops over the most normal playground behavior ever. That kid has next to zero chance at a normal life.”