If my daughter or son is out of control and won’t stop, should I involve the police? If the out-of-control behavior includes threats or actions of physical violence towards anyone, destruction of your home and property, physical intimidation of you, your spouse or your other children or drug and alcohol use, you may have to involve the police. Your child needs to understand that he or she must respect and be accountable to some authority in life.
For children, this is usually parental authority. Adults usually control themselves, but if they do not, they often end up in police custody themselves. If you allow your child to disrespect you and your home, defy your authority and do whatever they want, your authority over them will grow smaller and smaller until the time comes when it’s the child in charge. Then you have real problems, perhaps of the type, you’re facing now.
The Teenage Years
All teens will display some type of defiance. It’s just part of growing up. It’s your job as a parent to make the child understand that voluntary actions have consequences. It’s also your job to enforce the consequences and to ensure that they’re unpleasant enough to make the child think twice the next time. It’s not the police department’s job to parent your child or deal with minor misbehavior. However, if your son or daughter is engaging in behavior that would be otherwise be considered illegal, it may be time to call the police.
Think Before Calling the Police
Before involving law enforcement, you want to think very carefully. Once you make that call, you will be inviting the legal system into your home and life. You will lose control over your child’s future to some degree. Just because your child is a minor does not mean that he or she cannot be charged with a crime. They can be charged, and juvenile facilities are often dangerous places full of other incorrigible kids.
Consider Drug Rehab
If your child is using drugs, for example, but is not involved in other illegal behavior or threatening behavior, a drug rehab program designed for adolescents would be a better first step than calling the police. If your child is a minor, you can legally compel him or her to go. They may kick and scream and hurl epithets and words of hatred at you, but a drug treatment program is much more equipped to deal with a substance abuse problem than you are. If your child is abusing drugs and refuses to stop or cannot stop, don’t call the police. That is unlikely to help. Drug treatment is the best choice.
Ultimatums for the Adult Child
However, if the child is not a minor, you cannot force him or her into treatment. On the other hand, you don’t have to let them live in your home, either. This is a decision no parent wants to make or face. Do they let the child live in the home, abusing drugs and perhaps stealing from you to get the money to buy them, or do they give the child an ultimatum, for their own good and for the good of the other household members, to either stop using or live elsewhere? In this situation, a staged intervention may help convince the child to enter treatment voluntarily. A skilled interventionist may be able to help your child understand that drug abuse isn’t a sustainable lifestyle. Whatever happens, do not blame yourself. If your child senses that you do, they will play on that emotion to avoid going to rehab and to manipulate you into continuing with their drug use and associated behavior.
We all make choices in life, and that includes your children. Bad choices usually incur bad results. If your adult child is out of control and has failed to respond to other options, it’s time to act. Inform the child one time that another act or threat of violence or any kind of illegal behavior in the future will result in either a forced removal from your home, involving the police if necessary, or a call to the police to arrest them. If you’re not prepared to carry out this ultimatum, do not make it. It will become an empty threat that your child will use against you to continue with his or her current behavior. Tell the child once. When the behavior recurs, call the police immediately.
If you Need Help
No one wants to call the police and especially not on their own child. We can help find a good rehab for your drug-abusing son or daughter of any age. Just call us at 772-266-5320, and a professional drug counselor will guide you to the best rehab for your child.