J2 Content – Perspectives

A varied collection of thoughts on education and parenting

Kids in the Grocery Store

First, a confession:  I laugh inside when I see a young child causing his or her parents hell in the grocery store.  It’s just such a relatable, tragically comic moment.  Every time you take a child into a store, you know there’s a chance something is going to go wrong, and it’s going to be loud.  But, even though I find it funny, it’s not the parents’ fault this kind of thing happens, it’s just a part of being in the company of children, and that’s why I find it funny.  It is the parents’ fault for how they deal with the situation, and I’d like to share a story about an amazing mom.

We’re in the fruit section of the grocery store, and mom picks out a bunch of bananas.  She hands her son, who is about five years old, a banana.  Her son starts crying about the piece of fruit, saying, “You gave me a banana!”  Mom says, “You didn’t want a banana?”  To which the son again says, “You gave me a banana!” in even bigger hysterics.  She asks if he would like her to take back the banana.  Same response.  She asks if he would like a different banana.  Same response, he’s just very upset that she gave him a banana.

So to recap the situation mom found herself in, the child was upset not at something he did not get, but at something he was given, a piece of fruit.  Mom stayed cool, and calm, and continued to reason with the child.  No mean trick, because a five year old doesn’t have reasoning skills.  But these are the moments when they develop.  Getting to the bottom of a child’s perceptions is tricky, and it’s very easy to give in to anger and miss an opportunity.

I don’t know if we ever got to the bottom of did he or did he not want a banana, but she did get the child to calm down without placating and without yelling (by the way, if you yell sometimes, that’s fine, you’re human).  Now, something else you should know.  Her child is autistic.

When you are in the grocery store, and you see other parents dealing with a child, and you think they are being pushovers, you think the child should be spanked, you just plain think it should be handled differently, remember, you don’t know the story.  I heard some people at that grocery store wonder aloud what that mother’s problem was.  I will answer their question.  She didn’t have a problem.  She was in the grocery store with an amazing kid who needs some extra attention so he can grow up and function.  The problem lies in the adults who forgot about compassion, and forgot, more importantly to shut their mouth until they had the whole story.  Love to child and mother.

Hear more from Jim on The Paul Goebel Show podcast and at his Conspiracy Nut blog, http://theconspiracynut.blogspot.com/. You can also follow Jim on Twitter @ComicJimBruce.

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