Parents Try to Scare Daughter With Trip to Police, but They're the Ones Busted

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Geez, it's like you can't even discipline your children anymore.

Forcing them to drink hot sauce in a cold shower, apparently, is not fashionable these days. Making them stand on a public street corner with a giant sign detailing their shame is supposedly embarrassing and humiliating.

And now you can't even abandon them at a police station with the hope the cops will scare the (bleep) out of them.

When will this sanity end? It could be a bleak year for the rack and thumbscrew industries.

Annette Gerhardt and Geraldo Santiago tell NBC News they were kidding when they told cops at the 120nd precinct in Staten Island, N.Y., that they wanted to give them their daughter.

It was more like a loan.

They wanted 6-year-old Enayla Santiago to think her mom and dad were abandoning her forever. Get it? It's all very psychological.

Mom reportedly played her role to the hilt.

"I can't take it anymore. She is uncontrollable," officers quote the script to NBC. "I'm going to leave her here. If you don't take her, I will take her to the firehouse."

But everyone's a critic. Police responded to Gerhardt's piece of performance art by charging both parents with endangering the welfare of a child.

Gerhardt tells NBC the police weren't following the plot.

"I never said I wanted to leave her there. Those words never came out of my mouth," she says.

Gerardo Santiago tells the network he and Gerhardt took their daughter to the station to tell her, "This is where bad boys and girls go." He adds that was Enayla's cue to scream, "Mommy! Mommy! I'll be good!"

"I don't see anything wrong with that," the dad tells NBC, adding that it was a creative bit of parenting.

And it would have worked too -- if not for those meddling cops.

Staten Island District Attorney Dan Donovan sides with the police. He tells NBC News the cops did the right thing busting Gerhardt and Santiago, "possibly preventing these parents from abandoning the girl somewhere less safe."

NBC News reports officials at the Administration for Children's Services are working with the family. Meanwhile, according to the network, Donovan is deciding whether or not to pursue the criminal charges.

"It was too scary," Enayla tells the network.

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.