With reference to the story "Life With 'Boomerang' Kids Can Bring Some Conflicts" by Mackenzie Carpenter (May 19): While the situation of a parent calling the police to force a child, adult or otherwise, to clean a room may sound amusing, it also sounds very much like the recent Poplawski situation. Richard Poplawski's mother called the Pittsburgh police because she was angry that her son had not cleaned up after a dog that had urinated on her carpet. We all know the tragedy that ensued.
I've worked with children for many years and I am familiar with parents' threatening to call the police when their children misbehave. This is unwise for many reasons. Many times, the children interpret this to mean that police are "punitive disciplinarians," with the consequence that the children learn mistrust and do not go to a police officer in a potentially dangerous situation. It sets up an attitude that police are the "enemy."
Parents need to take responsibility and teach children guidelines and values from the onset of parenthood. Perhaps then they will not be tempted to call the police to threaten their children with punishment when the children fail to do what is expected of them, whether the children are 4 years old or 24 years old.
The job of the police force is to uphold the law. It is dangerous and complicated enough without having to stand in as disciplinarians for parents who do not take their responsibilities seriously, or who are just to lazy to do so.