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Should You Bail Out Your Kid?

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When a child calls from jail, Moms have a big decision to make.

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Last night, TMZ reported that Paris Hilton refused to bail her brother out of jail after he was busted for DUI. Last year, an Australian mother made waves when she refused to bail her son out of jail and then called on other Moms to follow her lead. Mom•Logic friend and family counselor Rosanne Tobey LPC says, depending on the situation and the age of the child, this could be a good idea. "If you've got a kid arrested for DUI, leaving them in jail overnight is a good way to let them think things out," she says. "It really sends the message that if they break the rules, they have to suffer the consequences." What would you do?


next: Your Teen Could Pick the President
8 comments so far | Post a comment now
Ella February 13, 2008, 12:41 PM

depends on the crime. Anyway, by the time the kid gets an arraingment and bail is posted the kid will have been in there a day (unless you’re famous).

Genevieve February 13, 2008, 1:46 PM

As a teen, my dad chose to leave me there for a few days. My partner in crime, her parents picked her up right away.

It was a pivotal point in my life. I remained rebellious but cut out the ‘breaking the law’ crap.

My friend did not. She’s 35 now and in a real bad way.

It’s an extreme comparison — but just thought I’d throw it out there.

My kids, depends on the age and crime.

Also depends on their safety in jail.

Jenn February 13, 2008, 2:06 PM

I would say right away because there are things that happen in jails and prisons that I would never want my daughter to see or know.

Anne Welch February 13, 2008, 2:20 PM

For a first time minor offense “yes”. Upon returning home my child would be told “this is the one and only time I will be retrieving you from jail. Next time for whatever reason,you are on your own.

Crystal Unrau February 13, 2008, 3:45 PM

I don’t think your poll has enough options because it really is not a cut and dry question. There are SO many variables. For example: What is the seriousness of the crime? Is this a first time problem or a re-occuring offence? How old is the child involved?

If the child is older (high school age), and this is a serious issue (like a DUI) or a repeat occurance then I would allow them to stay for a few days first. I agree with some of what the other mom’s said as well - for example, after the first occurance, they would be warned that next time I would not be bailing them out.

Alison February 14, 2008, 11:35 AM

As the wife of a man whose parents did not let him suffer his consequences fully as an adolescent I would totally disagree with anyone who says it depends on the situation. If my children are ever arrested, they will spend their time behind bars. As a parent you want to solve all of your child’s problems, but you have to love your child enough to let them solve their own problems. If not you are sending a message to your child that you don’t think he or she can.


Dave November 26, 2008, 7:42 AM

My son was arrested last nt for poss of 2 oxys- we thought he had quit. I say let him stay in jail a week(from love) My wifes baby.,,,, Any advise, he’s 19 and never been in serious trouble but ob drugs are in.

S.La July 20, 2010, 7:14 PM

Long Story Short, 15 years old alcohol and drug problem for 5 years picked up and never charged with MIP, refused any treatments. Now 21 Assault charge, picked up on the warrant {no show in court}along with another assault charge Now, waiting trial in 3 weeks and/or asap bed in a treatment center. She hates me because I refuse to give her residency. I have no answers……Doing the right thing? Heart Broken Mother


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