The Policeman Will Take You Away!

photo credit: Vladimir Yaitskiy Group of police officers via photopin (license)

On a recent shoping trip Little Miss OMG decided she was going to do what she wanted and no one was telling her otherwise. 
Why would she go into the store when there were all those fun rides and sweet machines. So much more interesting than clothes shopping. 

So after trying bribery, letting her climb in and out the rides and running up and down the moving path to the car park a few times it was time to head into the shop.

Like the proverbial horse to water she was having none of it. A full on toddler tantrum ensued. Foot stamping, shouts of “No” and a sit down protest followed. 

No more Mr Nice Guy! I was ready to pick her up and carry her into the shop kicking and screaming. When out the corner of my eye I spotted my salvation. A Policeman. Just what I needed. I used that goto phrase that many a parent has used in times of need.

If you don’t behave, that Policeman will take you away!

Needless to say it had no effect on Little Miss OMG. Her only knowledge of Police is PC Plum in Balamorey. Hardly someone to strike the fear of God into a toddler.

I was surprised when he approached me and said.

“I couldn’t help overhearing what you just said. In future you might want to use something else. God forbid anything happens and your daughter finds herself in need of help. We want her to feel safe approaching a Policeman. Not terrified he’s going to take her away!”

It dawned on me then he was dead right. If we got separated in the shopping centre I’d want her to be able to go up to a Policeman or security guard and ask for help.

So in future when your little one is misbehaving in public, don’t tell them the police will take them or you away.  You don’t want them scared. As he said 

If they are in trouble or need help we want them to run to us not away! 

Have you ever said this to your kids? Have you heard someone using it? 


28 thoughts on “The Policeman Will Take You Away!

  1. Great post. I’ve never said this, but can see how it would be so easy to do in the moment. I’m sure we’ve talked about policemen sorting out ‘naughty people’ before though! This has definitely made me think about focusing more on the positive when it comes to talking about police. It’s also made me think about how I haven’t had the many conversations with Little M about what to do if he needs help or gets lost – thanks for the prompt! xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Never and for that exact reason.
    I want my kids to be safe and respect the police but not be scared of them.
    Our policing may not be perfect but they do protect people when needed and I want my child to know that there are people there to protect them in society.
    Great post and spot on.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad he pointed it out to me. Buddy went missing in a shoping centre when he was small. I’d hate to think if the same happened to Little Miss OMG she would be too frightened to approach a Policeman or Security Guard.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great advice from the policeman. So true. Hate the toddler tantrums though. Gah! My four-year-old (far from a toddler) is still at it these days. . .

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve heard police say this in a talk at school too, and of course it’s right. The only problem is, what do we threaten them with now when they misbehave? My only salvation is “You’ll be banned from the x-box!!”.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I remember my parents saying this to me as a child! I also remember seeing a picture of a policeman saying not to tell your children they will take you away and it stuck with me. It is one phrase I do not and will not tell my children. They know that the police take bad people away but that if they need help and mummy and daddy aren’t there but they see the police then they go to them. It might change this culture of police being the bad people!! #thatfridaylinky

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I remember reading a similar story on social media a few years ago (before I had kids or got involved with my step daughter) so it always stuck in the back of my mind for something not to say to kids when I saw the police.
    I make a point of saying what a good job they’re doing in our town, and if we see them out and about they’re “on patrol” and making sure everyone is behaving nicely and not doing naughty things. I haven’t told my kids they’d take them away for this reason ^
    It’s a very valid point, and it’s a saying many parents have used and never thought about (I hadn’t until I read about it!) but it’s great you’ve shared your story too! Even if 2 other people took note from this then you’ve potentially helped 2 more families teach their kids that police are there to help! 🙂
    Becky x


    1. Yes it’s strange that in every other situation we tell them the police are their friends and there to help.
      It’s something I will never say again and have told Mrs OMG not to as well.
      Thanks for commenting.


  7. I agree with the policeman, but I understand why people say what you said. I’ve heard it a lot too. Our girls seeing police officers. R pointed one out at the top of her voice once. We sat at a bus stop and R shouted ‘Policeman!’. The policeman waved and said hello, R went bright red, but thought it was hilarious! Thanks for linking up to #ThatFridayLinky

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Easy mistake to make Alan I have always taught the kids go to police person if you need help very important for them to know super post mate Thanks for linking to the #THAT FRIDAY LINKY come back next week please

    Liked by 1 person

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