The Day I Took My Son on a Field Trip to the Police Station…For Trespassing

Hispanic moms have the reputation of being small and fiery. No matter how tall, big or old our children are, we will make our point heard and we will be respected.

In fact, Hispanic children joke about our methods of discipline and training. There are even viral videos that have made circles around the world sharing about “La Chancla” and what it’s like to grow up with a Hispanic mom.

FYI: La Chancla, the sandal, is what Hispanic mothers toss across the room to catch the attention of the child. [Please note that to other cultures, this may be wrong and it probably is, but to Hispanics, it’s part of how we grew up and what we were used to. DISCLAIMER: It took me a lot of inner healing to finally stop throwing chanclas or other artifacts across the room.]

LeJuan James, a young Hispanic entertainer, has become FAMOUS (over 1 million FB likes on his page) by making short videos that make us laugh and relate about growing up in a Hispanic home.

I must say that as a good Hispanic mom, I keep the traditions of “catching” the attention of my children in any way possible. These methods are inspired by my love for my children and my desire to do whatever it takes to ensure they grow up to be productive adults.

I want to share one such anecdote with you…

I used this “out of the box” way of catching my son’s attention, because truly…logical conversation and pleading was not working. [I am protecting the name of the child in this story in order to protect his privacy. You obviously know I only have 4 boys, so all I will say is…it’s one of them].

We live in a rural area and there are lots of open fields and some abandoned nurseries and properties. In search of adventure, our boys would ride around in their bicycle looking for the next challenge. Little did I know, but my boys discovered these empty properties and decided to “explore” them.

When Gus and I found out, we admonished them against it and warned them that those actions were illegal and considered trespassing. One particular son [whose name is confidential] insisted it was not trespassing if nobody lived there. Patiently and with lots of love and logic, we explained to him that it was trespassing…even if nobody lived there.

Being the good attorney he is, he continued to argue and argue. Nothing we said or expressed was good enough for him. So…this fiery mom finally had it and I said “put your shoes on! We are going to the police station!”


As a good Hispanic mom, I keep the traditions of “catching” the attention of my children in any way possible.



Shirley Solis, Tweet This

All my other children quickly scrambled and talked amongst themselves fearing for this child’s freedom…knowing I would do whatever it took to get the point across.

Unfortunately for this child, my mind was set and although he pleaded and said he would not do it again, I knew that was not true and he needed a “field trip” to the local police station to help instill a little more commitment in his heart.

On the way to the local police station, we were both quiet, although I was trying to hold back the excitement of this trip (there is always a bit of adrenaline from creativity in child training).

Once we arrived to the police station, my son kindly opened the door for me and I pressed the button to ask for assistance. An officer answered and I seriously explained that I have a son who is arguing with me that trespassing into an abandoned property is not illegal. The officer on the other side said she would send someone to help clarify the misunderstanding.


Parents have to get creative with our discipline, because sometimes the traditional methods don’t work



Shirley Solis, Tweet This

As we sat down to wait, we looked at each other and started laughing. This was definitely a unique experience to be in and honestly even I was surprised at my audacity.

After a few minutes, an officer walked towards us and greeted us. I shared the dilemma and he kindly explained to my son the possible consequences of his actions. Although I was hoping the officer would relay a gruesome and terrible story, the kind officer explained that most likely he would only give my son a warning, but that other officers are not as reasonable as he is. Thankfully, this explanation was enough for my son and he appeared to have become truly conscious of his actions.

After thanking the officer, we walked out of the station holding hands and laughing. My son took a moment to really thank me and tell me how fortunate he is to have me as a mom. On our way home, I expressed that I understand his need for adventure, but I told him that need has to be satisfied another way and his father and I would be happy to find ways for him to channel his needs.


If done with respect and love, “out of the box” methods of child training may help get the point across faster.



Shirley Solis, Tweet This

I know I am probably the only mother who has ever walked into that police station to ask for assistance in that way, but honestly…if more mothers or fathers did that, officers would have less work in the streets. I care enough about my children and I don’t care if I make a fool of myself in order to protect them. What I did could be embarrassing for some, but it’s more embarrassing and tragic to have a child found dead because he was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Parents, we have to get creative with our discipline, because sometimes the traditional methods (even la chancla) don’t work. In that case,  you must listen to that “little voice” inside and follow it. If done with respect and love, “out of the box” methods may help get the point across faster and deeper than if you just nagged.

Question- Have you used respectful and loving “out of the box” methods of training? If so, how? Was I too strict or would you do the same?

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