Finding Weapons & Drugs
Now it’s time to take action!
So what do you do if you find weapons or drugs in your child’s room? It’s a difficult one, as your immediate thought is probably to call the police for help. The long term challenge is having to shop you’re child to the law and have them arrested may result in them being convicted. The really sad thing is that as a parent or carer, we feel compelled to protect our children from the dangers of breaking the law, and yet we feel helpless and lost when we are faced with making that decision about what to do if you have found weapons or drugs in your house, there are a few things you can do before you call the police. remember if your child is hiding these for their own purposes, and have full knowledge of their actions, they may already be fully aware of the consequences of being arrested. However, there are hundreds of cases, where the law and grooming may offer an alternative way out. There are countless cases of police intervention in such cases. The police have full knowledge and intelligence on the grooming process and may already be investigating the ring in question.
Processing all of this information and looking for a solution can be difficult without external help and advice, but there are a few things you can do immediately, to try and identify the threat.
- Understanding what you have found.
Before you confront, seek to understand what exactly it is you have found. read up on substances and try to distinguish what you are dealing with. There is a possibility that it can be for personal use. Accepting that your child may have a habit, may help you to understand why they are in your house. Take pictures of what you have found!
Find out what the law is around the substance you have found.
- Think before you confront
Before you confront your child, take some time and come up with a strategy. The best way to approach it is to let them do the talking and you listen. Allow them to explain why and don’t fly off the handle at them. For victims of grooming this can be the best opportunity they have to tell someone that they are being pressured. Victims of grooming often feel alone and unable to talk about whats happening to them.
Be prepared for the worst all the time, as your child or young person may turn around and tell you they are doing it to make money.
- Breaking down the rules of the Law and your house
Now that you have a fuller picture of why the item or items are in you’e house, It’s time to re establish the values of the home and family. It is also time to talk about the law and the consequences.
Make it clear that the risk of prosecution far out weighs any situation that occurs which permits the hiding of weapons and rugs.
Create an open environment that makes it difficult for anything to be concealed. Get into the routine of searching your house on a regular basis, as this will deter the risk etc.
If you are worried about your child
It can be extremely worrying to think that your child is involved in something as dangerous as carrying a knife. The natural reaction may be to panic but this won’t help the situation and could push your child away. Your child will have probably talked about knives with their friends or hear a story about someone who carries a knife.
Know the facts
We need to have honest conversations with our children about knives, discussing the law and the consequences of carrying a knife.
Carrying a knife is illegal, and carries up to four years in prison
Police are legally allowed to stop and search a young person if they believe they are in procession of a weapon.
A criminal record could stop your child entering university, getting a job, or travelling.
Carrying a knife increases their own risk of being injured and seriously hurting someone else.
If you are concerned about your child carrying a knife or being involved in knife crime, read the below tips to help you identify these issues.
Know what knives you have in your kitchen and home.
Be aware of any online purchases or searches for blades.
Regularly talk to your child, and be engaged with their social media.
If concerned, search their bag, bedroom or other potential hiding spaces in your home
Remember it might not be a knife but another weapon.
Discuss if they feel vulnerable in certain areas, and discuss what solutions you as a parent can offer
It always helps to know where your child or teenager is, know their friends and know where they are visiting.
We all need to work together to help to make our child, our home and our community safer.
There are times when your authority as a parent just isn’t enough. There are times that you may need to call the police on your child.
If your child’s behavior has escalated to the point of physical abuse, assault, and destruction of property, or if he is engaging in risky or dangerous behavior outside the home, then getting the policed involved might be the right thing to do.
But calling the police on your own child is a difficult decision to make. And there are several factors that you need to consider before doing so.
For Which Behavior Should I Call the Police?
Parents who are willing to get the police involved ask me how to know when it’s actually time to call the police? In other words, what specific behaviors would constitute a good reason for calling the police?
Call the police when safety is an issue or when the behavior crosses the line and becomes criminal. This includes when your child is breaking things (significant property damage) or hurting or threatening to hurt others.
For example, if your child grabs a book and throws it across the room, I don’t think you call the police. Hold him accountable with an appropriate consequence, but minor damage is not worth calling the police.
Related content: How to Give Kids Consequences That Work
But if he punches holes in the wall, smashes furniture, or does more serious damage to your home or property, I think you tell him:
“Next time you lose control like that, I’m going to call the police.”
And if he does it again, you follow through. That’s when you make the call.
To put it another way, I think you should consider calling the police when you see a pattern of behavior that’s unsafe and threatening to others.
Make it clear to your child that calling the police is the consequence for his abusive, destructive, or criminal behavior. Make it clear that his choices determine whether or not the police show up. And, if the police are called, then he has the opportunity to learn from that consequence and to make a better choice next time.
Won’t My Child End Up With a Permanent Record?
Parents ask me, “Will my child have a record for the rest of his life?” It really depends on where you live and the seriousness of the charges.
But, most states have provisions whereby juvenile records are sealed or expunged when they become adults. There’s no access to it and the public can’t find out about it.
Nevertheless, having a record can affect getting a job, joining the military, or even qualifying for public housing. That’s why I understand that parents don’t want their kid to have a record. That’s one of the reasons this is a hard decision.
So ask yourself, “Is this behavior dangerous enough that it warrants me taking this action? How dangerous is he, really?”
Personally, I’d rather have a child learn to be in control of himself and have a juvenile record than be out of control and have no apparent future.
Be aware that many kids blackmail their parents by saying, “If you call the police, I’ll get a record.” Or “They’re going to send me to juvie.” They manipulate their parents this way.
But I think if the abusive, violent, and destructive behavior doesn’t change then your child is going to have much bigger problems than a juvenile record. Make no bones about it, someday he’s going to get an adult record. Out-of-control juvenile behavior becomes adult criminal behavior the day he turns 18. And if he’s already 18 and his behavior is criminal, then maybe he needs a criminal record.
Call the Police For Criminal Behavior
I think you should call the police for criminal behavior. This would include possession and selling of drugs or stolen property. Say to your child:
“I can’t stop you from using drugs and getting high. But if I find drugs, I’m calling the police. If I find stolen property, I’m calling the police.”
You want your child to know that you’re just not going to sit by and let him throw his life away and that you won’t tolerate criminal behavior in your home.
I understand that it’s just very difficult to raise a child with serious behavior problems. It’s a terrible situation for parents.
But it’s important for parents to remember that these kids make their own choices. Even when they seem overwhelmed by feelings, they’re making conscious choices—but that’s not what they want you to believe.
They want you to believe that they become overwhelmed by anger and so they really can’t control themselves, even if they want to. I think that’s an out-and-out lie. Don’t believe it.
Your child makes choices all the time, and I think one way or another they need to be held accountable for those choices. If they are not held accountable now, then they will be held accountable when they become adults. And the older they get, the more severe the consequences. So, the sooner they are held accountable, the better. And that may mean involving the police.