This article is based on one of my own experiences, few months ago. Not sure why I recalled my memory but when I did, I thought I should write on it. I had been to a garments shop along with my family, my wife was busy selecting cloths for the children and as usual I was roaming around the shop or busy with my phone; shopping is really boring for me. There was another family shopping in the same shop; husband, wife and a boy of about 5 years. Besides the billing counter of the shop there was a shelf made of glass panes. The glasses were actually just kept on some support to stack lightweight baby clothes on them. This boy was trying to climb on the glass shelf. I was afraid at the first sight but when I saw his father watching him, I got assured a bit and got busy with my passing time.
After sometime I heard a loud sound of one of the glass shelfs falling on the floor. Without even looking at it I guessed what would have happened. The boy finally managed to climb on the shelf and one of the glass panes fell off; the boy fell down too. However it was neither too high nor the glass was broken so no one was hurt. Inadvertently I wanted to see how his parents are handling the situation. The shop owner was a perfect gentleman; he didn’t say a thing and just asked one of his workers to set the self in order. Now before telling the rest of the story I would like to think or even ask, how anyone else would have reacted to such a situation? To be specific, how would you or I have reacted to the situation? Given below are some ways I have seen people reacting in such situations:
- Give a tight slap to the child first, without even saying a word.
- Scold the child.
- Stare angrily at the child.
- Scold spouse for not being watchful of the kid.
- Set the shelf right yourself and apologise to the shop owner.
- Manage the situation as if nothing has happened.
Just think how you would have reacted!! I’m not known to be a very patient guy either, I probably would have gone with #3. However to my utter surprise the father of the boy went with #6. The boy’s mother had just started to scold the boy but the father immediately intervened and just said to the boy who was already crying, “Why are you crying? Did you do this deliberately? Not at all, right? Don’t cry, nothing has happened“. Everyone there was amazed on how calmly the father handled it. My wife was all praises for him, even she told me that ‘see how well he handled it’, I had no answer and I just nodded my head in agreement.
Now, whatever had happened and the way the situation was handled by the boy’s father, I don’t judge it to be good or bad. Because I know very well that it’s very relative; something that seems very wrong for one, would not necessarily be the same for another. I would leave it to my readers to leave their comments below on what they think about it. However, I still have some opinions on the matter and here it goes:
- If there is a problem, say ‘it’s a problem’, don’t cover it. While one shouldn’t scold or otherwise punish the boy for his behaviour, he should still be taught that what he has done is not good. Otherwise the boy would think he has done nothing wrong and would continue to do such things. Being a parent, I believe it’s my biggest responsibility to teach my children what’s right and what’s not, that’ll earn them respect and appreciation everywhere and they’ll hopefully become better persons. Also all shop owners may not be as nice.
- The father I saw just pacified his kid and then got busy in his work while the workers of the shop were tidying up the shelf. He didn’t every say a ‘sorry’ to the shop owner or the workers who were tidying up the mess created by his child. Not good, if a parent continues to behave like that, there is great chance that the children will pick it up very easily.
This write-up is not to claim anything or blame anyone. As I said what’s right for me may not be the same for another person. Probably I noticed this because I was born in a different era when behaviour was given utmost importance. Your comments are welcome & no offence to anyone.