My son hates the idea of me becoming a policewoman

rommyDecember 13, 2001

My son (6 years old) is scared for me, and when I try to talk to him by telling him what they do (example: they don't kill people for no reason, we don't put nice person in jail...)tears comes out of his eyes. I have to prepare him because next year I am starting my training, and I don't want to let go because being a policewoman is my dream. But he is taking it to seriously. I am trying to answer all his questions, but still he is not convinced. I hate this situation but I know that here in Montreal, there is no reason to worry. Our criminality is not as dangerous than other cities.

Any idea anyone?

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Could you arrange to introduce him to other people who are police officers? If he got to know them, then maybe he might relax and not be so afraid for you to become one.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2001 at 12:36PM
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Before I found out I was pregnant, it was my '6 month dream'(lol) to become a police fact, I had put in an application to start out as a corrections officer. However, finding out I was pregnant changed my mind. I guess I'm too selfish, because I was worried about something happening and my baby not having a mommy (or a parent, for that matter, I'm a single mom). I have to say that I applaud the fact that you're so unselfish :) I agree with the above poster who said to introduce him to some policewomen! Let him see a police car, make it seem fun to him. I don't know how in tune he is with what happened in NY, but maybe that's why he's scared. Try talking to him about that...and GOOD LUCK! :)

    Bookmark   December 13, 2001 at 12:47PM
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I also thought about that, Juliana. Did not try it yet but I also believe that maybe this is a good idea.
Thank you for the suggestion. Hope he will feel much better after.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2001 at 12:48PM
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Like you timberlysmom, I am a single mom. It took me six years to realize that I have the opportunity of becoming what I always wanted to be. When my son was born, the idea never came in mind, but one day, I fill out an application and got accepted. I feel very selfish, but I want to tell my son, you can do anything that you really want to do in life, even if you have kids. Thank you for the advice, it is really appreciated.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2001 at 1:00PM
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Your son should be taking this seriously. Being a policeman is a dangerous, unsure job for anyone.

You don't mention a husband--if you're a single mom, have you considered what happens to your son if you don't come home from work one day? Even in 'safe' towns policemen and women are sometimes unexpectedly killed in the line of duty--more frequently than folks with most other jobs. If you are married, have you considered how difficult it might be for your husband to raise your little alone?

It's wonderful that you want to do a job where you can do good for your community, but there are so many, many jobs that involved helping folks in our society live safely--couldn't you choose something else for the time being? While your child is young? Jobs with the court system, or working with home security systems, or working to rehabilitate the criminals who are already in the system. If your goal is to help, those would be much better choices for a person at your stage of life.

Personally, I believe that Mom is an institution in a child's life. One that should be sacrosanct. No child should have to worry every day that maybe today will be the day she doesn't come home. In other words, I've always believed that when we have children, it's our responsibility to put their dreams and futures ahead of our own.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2001 at 1:00PM
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I understand what you are saying, but you can get kill in a car accident, being in a wrong place and a bad timing. You may cross the street, and have an accident. That does not mean that because you work in an office that you are safe. You think that in the WTC, people said I am untouchable. No. My son goes to the best schools in Montreal, he does not miss any affection. He is circled by people that loves him. And it is true, I am taking a big risk. But, if one day he has kids, and he is single parent and a police officer. Should I tell him, son your stuck, stop doing what you like, because you have a child. My son is a priority, but I prefer coming home a happy mother than coming home realizing that I am not happing in what I am doing. He will feel it anyways. But thank you for your suggestion

    Bookmark   December 13, 2001 at 1:36PM
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The future has 'unknown' elements. Most of things are predictable, like sun rises and the way time passes through the day. You being a police office is very 'unknown' for a 6 year old. All he knows about police officers, what they do, and what kinds of things happen with them is what he has learned, experienced, or seen so far in his life.

The news is usually full of all kinds of stories, and usually they aren't positive. Also, people express opinions everywhere and it's not been popular to talk about how police officers are good. Children hear and see things which happen which are not 'meant' for them, but which will color how they view the world. You might be able to get some books, and help him learn more. That is similar to how you can add to his experience of police officers by introducing him to some who are good with children.

Has he started school yet, or had some other thing he started when he might have been nervous because he did not know how it would be (try to choose something that he ended up liking)? You changing a routine, which involves him is a big thing. He will have to experience you being a police officer, and him having a new nice routine before he'll be able to relax and notice how things are good. You can help him to notice little positive things, and to remember how other 'new' things happened to him and he was able to adapt and adjust. Even though things changed, he was still the same and there was still predictability even though a new routine or schedule was put in place.

the sun will still rise tomorrow

    Bookmark   December 13, 2001 at 2:25PM
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You are absolutely right. The changes made him nervous,last year starting kindergarten, he was so nervous, but now he loves his school so much. I believe that you have unsolved a mystery, I think that his mostly affraid of the change, that this will bring to him. Books are a great idea and visiting a police station also. I am really glad that I have decided to wright in this forum, you all gave me some super advice.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2001 at 3:07PM
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Actually, something can happen whether you are a police officer or any other profession. Accidents, illnesses, etc. just be sure if you are a single mom that someone he knows and trusts will be there for him.

We all should make those arrangements if we have young children. But I would not tell him, "if something happens to me" you will live with whomever you have chosen. Just let him inter-act with people, your parents, relatives, or who ever you have selected.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2001 at 4:33PM
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I agree, you could be hurt crossing the road to get the mail. I would explain nicely how things happen everyday and maybe you would even be a little more protected knowing how to fend for yourself. My sister is a cop and so is her husband, the kids have no problem with it. My husband is an ironwork and his son used to worry about him falling but we explained you cant live and eat without a job and you could hurt driving to the store. He had no problem with it after that.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2001 at 1:10PM
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Well, I had to think about this for a while. I'm 40 and boy would I hate it if my Mom became a police officer! The fact is, your son is going to worry about you because he loves you. He knows that police officers DO get hurt. My DH is a retired Fire Chief, and most of the males in his family are also firefighters. So, I live and understand the fear factor. But the pride is much stronger than the fear that I feel. AND, they LOVE their jobs. I think the suggestion that you introduce your son to some police officers is a good thing. Also, talk to him about all the good things that police officers do! Stress to him that you are going to HELP people. He will be very proud of you, but you know what? He will still worry to some degree and that would be normal. Still, I think that a son seeing his mother achieve her dream and also working in a mostly male field is a very positive thing. Good luck to you. P.S. Don't let him watch COPS :)

    Bookmark   December 14, 2001 at 6:07PM
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Like you, I have it in my blood to be a police officer. But, I have temporarily put my dream on hold. 3 years ago, I worked in a local prison, maximum security. My then 3 year old was really worried about me but also thought it was "cool" to have such a mom. I relieved some of his fear by letting him play with my handcuffs, look at my gun, play with my keys, and meet other officers, and I often talked about my day (edited version, Ofcourse!). All of this really seemed to make him more comfortable.
Unfortunately, I had to give up my great job because I hardly ever saw my son. I worked 12 hour shifts and changed between day shift and night shift every 2 months. My husband had him when he wasn't working and my mom had him the rest of the time. It got to the point that he called MY mom "mommy" and me "Tracie". I couldn't bear this, so I gave it up.
I'm telling you this just in case you haven't already thought about how hard your shifts might be on him. I am in NO way discouraging you! I say if you can work hours that will still give you time with your son...GO FOR IT!! I just wanted to give you another aspect of being in such a job.
One more thing, and I may get flamed for it because people have different views about guns, but you may want to make sure you let his see your gun often. Let him hold it and get a good feel of its weight. Since it will become a part of your household (he will see it everyday), he needs to get the curiousity of it out of his system. Ofcourse, mine was always locked away, but my son knew my real one versus a play one because all of the dynamics of a gun had already been explained. Just a thought...take it as you wish.
Anyway, sorry this is so long. Good luck to you and try to keep us updated!

    Bookmark   December 14, 2001 at 11:05PM
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If everyone worried about becoming a police officer and being killed in the line of duty, we would not have any police officers to protect us. Your son has probably seen something on the news or a cartoon and he, even at such a young age, knows the risks involved. Try to reassure him and take him to your office after your training. Let him be a part of the process.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2001 at 1:41AM
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I don't think any person can be a complete person if they don't follow their dreams. Too often the presence of a child in one's life overshadows the adult to the point of loosing one's self. Follow your dreams. If you are smart and caring enough to be a police officer then you should be smart and caring enough to step your son through his fears. After all as a police officer you are going to be doing that for someone ele's six year olds who are dealing with irresponsible adults in their lives.

My aunt has been a police officer on the night shift for over 20 years. She has two children (boy 18, and girl 14). My uncle(her husband) has been a plice officer for over 30 years on the day shift.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2001 at 8:40PM
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be sure you spend the largest part of your time explaining the good things cops do--it sounds like you're only reassuring him. And the message from that is, he NEEDS reassurance.

Talk about the asking questions, helping to determine the truth, helping lost little kids, giving advice, developing crime prevention programs, filling out accident reports, helping at accidents, directing traffic, etc.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2001 at 10:30AM
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A mothers #1 responsibility is to her children. To alleviate their stress, worries, and fears, not contribute to them out of selfishness. Do the right thing and get job best befitting to your kids and being a mother. Nurses can just about make their own hours and itÂs a job good for, and mostly populated by females and pays well. And when they get older, they'll be proud of their mom, not embarrassed by a mother with an identity problem.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2001 at 8:51PM
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I don't think the OP has an identity problem. If she were interested in a medical career, I think she would have expressed that interest in her original post. I am curious as to why you recommended that she try nursing (a mostly female field) as opposed to becoming an MD?

    Bookmark   December 18, 2001 at 9:16PM
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Bob Kelley,

Have you considered that perhaps by becoming a policewoman the OP is be responsible to her son? That is a fairly stable job with great union support.

And where is it written that a mother's #1 responsibility is to her children? Doesn't that include fathers as well? Then by your logic, we would never have firemen or policemen either because they should be caring more for their children?

Oh- And where did you hear about nurses making their own hours? Most places across the country are now forcing overtime....

To Rommy-

Sounds like you got a lot of great ideas. I think it will just take some time to get him used to the idea...
Good luck!


    Bookmark   December 19, 2001 at 2:02PM
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Sorry to burst your bubble, Bob, but nurses DO NOT make their own hours. They have to work weekends, holidays, and night shifts...

    Bookmark   December 19, 2001 at 3:12PM
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I wanted to say the same as the above posters. Nurses(especially before accruing years of seniority)work awful hours, often nights. Bob Kelley your remark about an identity problem was way out in left field. I'm guessing you think it's inappropriate for women to enter a male dominated career. I agree that if you decide to bring a child into the world you need to make him or her your #1 priority. That also means keeping yourself happy, otherwise what kind of parent would you be if you felt miserable and unfullfilled?

    Bookmark   December 19, 2001 at 6:19PM
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How come men only crop up here to make remarks like that?

Personally, I'd love to see more dads posting, but the occasional male lurker who surfaces seems to always do more harm than good.

Rommy, I think that your son is going to have every reason to be proud of you. He has a year to get used to the idea, which gives you a lot of time to familiarize him with what you'll be doing. Can you take him to the police station and have them give him a tour? Ride in a cop car? Find a kid close to his age who also has a mother who is a cop?

Not flaming, but I do disagree with Tracie. Certainly teach him about the gun, and always keep it locked. But I wouldn't let him hold it. JMO.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2001 at 8:42PM
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Dear Rommy:

I think that what has the greatest influence on our children is not what we say, but what we do. The examples we give them of our lives can be a wonderful gift.

I can only see that in following your career goals, you will be giving your son an example of the importance of following and achieving one's dreams and being a good and honest public servant. Someday this will probably give him the courage to make good decisions about his life.

Very best wishes to you and your son,

    Bookmark   December 20, 2001 at 2:45PM
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HMMMMM........I am an accounting analyst with a wall street firm, a mostly male dominated field. Do you think my kids are embarassed at my identity problem??????

Rommy-If change upsets him then you need to manage the change better. Others have given good suggestions for that. One of my children is also resistant to change. Any known change to his life needs to be carefully managed. Be a good role model and show him by your actions how important it is to follow your dreams.

Good luck to you.


    Bookmark   December 20, 2001 at 3:26PM
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