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Stacks Of Parenting

, , , , , | Right | October 8, 2021

A mother with a four-ish-year-old boy is at the register and wants to check out. While I start to scan the items, the boy starts wandering around.

Customer: “Hey, [Boy], I told you to stay at my side.”

The boy does not listen and finds a stack of shopping baskets.

Customer: “[Boy], come back here! Now!”  

Still, the kid does not listen and starts to climb the baskets. Not surprisingly, the stack tumbles and comes crashing down, burying the boy beneath it. I jump up to look after the kid.

Customer: “No, please don’t.”

I stop and wait to see what the customer is doing.

Customer: *To the boy* “[Boy], did you hurt yourself?”

Boy: “Yes, it hurts.”

Customer: “Does anything hurt badly?”

Boy: “No.”

Customer: “So, pick yourself up and start to stack those baskets again!”

Me: “Oh, there’s no need. I can clean that up once we’re finished. There is no one else in line at the moment.”

Customer: “Thank you, but he has to learn to clean up his own mess and stick up for his mistakes, or else he’ll become spoiled and weak.”

While the boy reluctantly started stacking the baskets, she finished the transaction. Afterward, the customer went to her son, examined him to make sure he really didn’t hurt himself, and helped him to stack the remaining baskets. He was laughing again as they left the store.