When children become unruly in public spaces, many parents feel mortified. They find it difficult to control their own temper and end up emotionally exhausted by the time they get home.
One grandfather figured out a slightly different way of dealing with this problem.
The man was visiting his local supermarket to buy groceries, and he had brought his three-year-old grandson with him.
For a while the little boy was happy riding the cart and observing his grandfather’s movements. But soon, the child grew bored and started asking for everything he saw on the shelves.
First he wanted candy, then he started wailing for cookies. At the section where they sold fruits and cereals, he cried for those too.
His grandfather understood that the boy just wanted to go home, and focused on quickly finishing the chore. “Easy, William, we won’t be long,” he calmly murmured. “Easy boy.”
But the boy kept crying for any new thing that caught his attention, getting increasingly loud by the minute. Never losing his cool, the man told William that they’ll be out of the supermarket in a few more minutes. He just needed to hold on till then.
The child wouldn’t be soothed, and as they reached the payment counter, he began pulling out packets and boxes from the cart and throwing them on the floor.
Surprisingly, even this display didn’t frazzle the grandfather, who quietly picked all the items up and put them on the counter to be checked out. “William, William, relax buddy, don’t get upset,” said the man. “We’ll be home in five minutes,”
Finally, they were done, and the old man could leave the supermarket with his grandchild.
Now, a woman had been watching their interactions for a while. Having raised children of her own, she was extremely impressed by the man’s patience with his young grandson.
She followed them out and stopped the man to express her admiration. “I don’t know how you did it,” she told him, “but William is lucky to have you as his grandpa.”
The man smiled and said, “Thanks, but I am William, and he is Kevin.” The child looked up at the sound of his name.
The woman was startled, but then she realized what the old man had revealed.
It wasn’t that the grandfather was a fount of infinite patience. He lost his temper just like anyone else. So, when faced with a situation he couldn’t control, he controlled himself.