When I first saw the headline "Massachusetts Boy Trying to Avoid Going to Sleep Calls Police," I thought, "Aw, that's cute. And funny! A toddler who hates going to sleep (like all kids hate going to sleep) probably just learned about '911' and didn't realize it wasn't for non-emergencies." But then when I read the story and found out the kid was 10 years old, I didn't find it quite as cute.
When Shamayne Rosario told Dan, her fourth grade-aged son, to go to bed shortly after 8:00, he decided it was a crime worthy of calling the police. So he dialed 911 and then, probably realizing it was wrong, hung up. But as with all 911 hang-up calls, the dispatcher had to call the home back. Shamayne answered the phone, calm and collected, and informed the operator that it was her untired son who made the call. "Dan, would you like to talk to the police?" Shamayne says while on the phone with the dispatcher, "because you can’t be calling 911 when there is no emergency." The operator, likely having children herself, lets out a chuckle, but informs Shamayne that, due to protocol, they have to send someone out to the home.
Dan will spend the next two weeks grounded for what he did. And I say that sounds about right. "He needs to know that there’s boundaries and responsibilities he needs to uphold, no matter how old he is," his mom said.
Although it's harmless and, yes, kind of funny, kids Dan's age ought to know that dialing 911 -- simply because they don't want to go to sleep -- is wrong. Actually, it seems like Dan did know dialing 911 because he didn't want to go to sleep was wrong -- hence, why he hung up. Makes it a little worse.
It sounds like Shamayne has things under control, though. I think a two-week grounding sounds like a fit punishment for what Dan did. I'd probably do the same thing if I were in her position. When the two weeks are up, I think the message will be pretty ingrained in young Dan -- and I seriously doubt he'll ever call 911 for a non-emergency again.
What would you do if your 10-year-old child did this?
Image via SwissBieters/Flickr
Going to baseball games
Riding bike rides in the nice weather
Playing outside after work/school
Going for walks outside