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Step-Son Afraid of police sirens

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hi guys, I wonder if anyone could help me with this little problem we seem to be having with Harry. Harry is 5 years old and is my partners son and he is very afraid of police sirens! It's got to the point where even if he hears a police siren outside or in the distance, he'll almost go into panic mode and will ask if the "pigs" are coming to get him! It's worse if we drive past the police station on the corner of my road... he goes nuts and almost spits at them. I absolutely abhore him speaking in that way and I cannot bear the way his mother has allowed him to keep calling police this!

We were driving down to the shop the other day, and a "blood" van (Emergency transfusion van) was right next to us and Harry went nuts! "Why are they following us?" "Are the pigs coming to get me" etc... I do as I usually do and say no... they aren't police, it is the blood van taking blood to a sick or injured person and he knows the police are good people with kind and caring hearts. I also always ask him who told him that calling the Police "Pigs" is ok and who told him they were after him? He never answers me and I'm almost positive that it is his Mother who has taught him such language as well as taught him to fear the Police (lets just say that she's abit on the rough side! Alot rougher than I'll ever be!)

Anyway, Tony and I were talking about it because I've becomed so concerned that this is affecting him so much and we were just out of earshot to Harry, I was saying that I'd like to phone up the police station and ask if it would be ok for me to bring Harry down to the station one day to speak to one of the officers and show him the car - maybe even get a ride in the car... just something to show Harry that Police aren't evil (as he says)... Harry pipes up from the corner "oh chants, I know the police aren't bad, I just hate them pigs!". i almost launched myself at him but stopped myself... it isn't his fault, it's what he's been taught by his scummy mother!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What can I do to help Harry understand that Police aren't bad people?
post #2 of 6
Wow! What a difficult situation. He just needs to be told that he cannot speak or act like that about police in your home or vehicle. Eventually (hopefully) with the right guidance he will grow out of that stage. Someone also needs to speak with his mother and tell her that that is not acceptable and it is a problem.
post #3 of 6
I think since he is so opinionated about this, it might be hard to get him to the police station. He will be very anxious, or say something nasty and make the police mad.

Do you guys have any friends, or friend of a friend, that is a policeman. Maybe if you all went to dinner with another family, and he saw what a nice person the policeman (or woman) was, then he would begin to change his mind.

In the US, we have a program called DARE, where there is a town police officer (officer Dare) who visits the schools and gets to be friends with the kids. And we often have a police officer walking around downtown, so the kids can say hi.

I would limit what your stepson watches on TV shows. Maybe get him a coloring book or some toy police cars to play with. It isn't his fault that his Mom is a nasty person and has taught him wrong. Hopefully with your help he can learn better things.
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
Harry is a very opinionated little man (which is due to his mother treating as an adult and not a child - which Tony and I do not believe in doing until he's at least in double figure ages!) and belive me if I had the opportunity to limit anything he watches, says or does I would do but because we only have him 1 night a week and the following day, it is alittle difficult.

While he's at my home he follows rules. These are rules we decided as a family to put forward for discussion but he chose which were the most important to make our home a happy home...: he does not have an opinion (ie no backchat or butting into an adult conversation), he does not have the right to help himself to anything in the larder cupboard and he does not have junk food/takeaway food - he asks first (I dropped by unannouced one day at his mothers to pick up the library books he'd borrowed and found him alone in the kitchen chomping his way through and entire sweetie/cookie drawer while his mother was sleeping upstairs!). He tidy his toys up after himself, he helps me clean the flat on a sunday morning by doing a terrible job of dusting to earn a star (but he loves it and I never moan) (3 stars means we go on a journey to "fun kids places" that he chooses out of a box of suggestions - if he doesn't get three stars, we stay at home and do crafts or puzzles or similar), he has a regular set bedtime of 8:30 - dinner, bath, hot milk and bed!. He only plays on the Play Station for 1 hour a weekend - he can play as many times as he wants through out that weekend but as long as it stays within the hour - He's worked out how to use a stopwatch!

I am a very strict step-parent because of my strict upbringing by my step-father (who I might add, I thank my lucky stars now that he was as strict as he was or my life would be in the gutter by now!). There are some things that I tolorate because I have to - because he is not my son, I had no input into how he was taught to do things and because his mother would completely restrict his visits if she ever "thought" I was interferring - that has been made completely clear to me by her on a number of occassions!

Harry is a wonderful little boy who cares deeply for his father, and for me I've heard him tell his teacher at school but he has this mother who thinks she can treat him like an adult and palms him off the the nearest person who'll take him - his aunt lives directly across the road from where we do now and he's there 3 nights, we have him 1 night so infact he's home maybe 2 night a week! Oooohhhhh I get so angry when I think about how confused this little boy must be sometimes!

This policeman issue is one of many that I'd like to put forward for discussion with his mother but the entire family is afraid to rock the boat - she's 21 for goodness sake... the worst she can do is stop us from seeing Harry which I'll be the first one into a lawyers office to oppose! She'll have to fight me and the entire law firm my mother works for to try stop us from seeing him! She'll loose hands down!

I just don't know what to do anymore! Grrrr
post #5 of 6
Well, I just asked my boyfriend about this to see what he thought. Colin is a cop. I explained to him what was going on with your step son and asked him if he could think of any ways to possibly help him understand that the police are not bad, and are there to help him not get him. He suggested callin your local police station and seeing if one of the officer would mind him comming into the station for a visit to learn about the police and how they help people....maybe even let him sit in the squad car with them and play with the sirens and lights- (let him know that they are a positive thing and can help people by getting through traffic quicker when people need help) Maybe something like that would really help him. I hope things go well. Also, and I mean this in the kindest way possible- have you thought of having him evaluated by a psychologist- it sounds as if he may have a very common fear or phobia- they can teach him coping techniques to help him get a hold of those fears before they become more out of hand as he ages. Just a thought Good luck! Keep us posted- I hope things start to go well with little Harry.
post #6 of 6
If he has such a strong fear of Police, I would say that he is being told something to scare him.Maybe,and I DON'T mean this as an insult,his Mom or someone in that house is telling him that if he isn't good,then the "pigs"---I HATE that name, will come and get him?You know, put the fear into him so he'll mind and be good kind of thing.
Or,maybe he's seen something such as an adult being arrested in the neighborhood that he lives.
I would suggest visiting the local Police station and even the 911 station and ask if you could bring your step son for a visit since he is so scared.Or ask if there is a Police movie that they can reccomend that shows all the good that Officers do.
Good luck!!!
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