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“I Thought That Was Incredibly Rude And Uncalled For”: Woman Loses It At This Parent In A Store Who Let Their Kid Use The Self-Checkout
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“I Thought That Was Incredibly Rude And Uncalled For”: Woman Loses It At This Parent In A Store Who Let Their Kid Use The Self-Checkout

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Self-reliance is underrated these days. Instead of teaching their kids how to develop the skills that they’ll need later in life, some parents choose to do everything for them. Helping your children develop a sense of independence is definitely a good idea. The main question is when do you step in with a helping hand while they’re figuring things out on their own?

A recent post on the AITA subreddit split the online community. A parent, going by the username u/LearnAsPractice, shared how they taught their 7-year-old son how to operate a self-checkout counter at their local grocery store. However, it was a fairly busy day and an angry woman yelled at them for taking so long. This prompted the parent to turn to the internet for their verdict about what happened.

You’ll find the OP’s full post, as well as how other internet users reacted to everything, below. The story really divided the internet. Bored Panda has reached out to u/LearnAsPractice via Reddit, and we’ll update the article as soon as we hear back from them.

Bored Panda also got in touch with Lenore Skenazy, the president of Let Grow, a nonprofit promoting childhood independence and resilience, the founder of the Free-Range Kids movement, and a writer for Reason.com. Skenazy was kind enough to answer our questions about the useful skills that parents can teach their children and at what age kids can start lending a hand. Read on for our interview with her.

Many people will agree that teaching kids to be self-reliant is a good thing, however, they might disagree about the best circumstances to do so

Image source: Repnitskaya (not the actual photo)

A parent turned to the internet for advice on whether it was wrong for them to teach their son how to use the self-checkout counter at their local grocery store

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Image source: Vladdeep (not the actual photo)

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Image source: LearnAsPractice

“They say the job of a parent is to put themselves out of a job. That means raising kids who can do even more things on their own. Most skills don’t show up overnight—they’re acquired by actually doing them. Starting when? Now!” Skenazy urged parents to start as soon as possible.

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“The youngest kids can help with laundry, putting things away, helping with dinner. And they don’t need to only help at home. Starting at age 5, 6, or 7 they really are capable of getting themselves out the door to play, walk the dog, run errands. We’ve forgotten how competent kids can be,” she told Bored Panda.

“And while they might sometimes whine, the bottom line is kids LIKE being useful. They don’t want to just GET things, they want to be givers, too. Letting them become a truly functioning part of the family means less stress for parents, more self-confidence for kids. If you need inspiration, watch the Japanese show ‘Old Enough,’ featuring kids of kindergarten and even pre-school age going to the market on their own. It’s not just adorable, it’s inspiring,” she explained.

“And if you need a little help—or your other spouse does—in letting kids start doing more on their own, ask your child’s teacher to assign The Let Grow Project. That way all the students in the class get the homework assignment: Go home and do something new, on your own, without your parent. It’s easier to let go when all the other parents are doing the same—and all the kids are comparing notes! What’s more, The Let Grow Project materials are free and the assignment takes barely any class time. See how quickly BOTH generations—you and your kids—can start feeling more brave and optimistic!”

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According to Skenazy, these independence lessons can start as early as kindergarten. “The Let Grow Project is for kids K-12. The kindergarteners might learn to pack their own backpack or go two aisles away from you in the store to find the cereal, or even walk to school if you teach them how to cross the street safely and to never go off with anyone. (A better lesson than ‘stranger-danger.’)” However, it’s not just small kids who find the project useful.

“We’ve also heard from high school students doing The Let Grow Project and finally driving more than a few miles from the house, or making dinner for the whole family, or picking up a younger sibling from soccer. All these things are real-world activities that make them feel proud and actually make life easier for the parents. It’s a win/win/win. The Let Grow motto is, ‘When adults step back, kids step up.’ So take a step back and watch your child blossom!”

The author of the post shared some more information in the comments underneath their story

The people reading the story on Reddit were very split on who was in the wrong. Some sided with the parent for taking it upon themselves to teach their child a new skill, encouraging him to be more independent. After all, there’s no ‘perfect’ time to teach someone these things—you take opportunities as you see them.

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Others, however, were far less sympathetic. Some blamed the parent for doing this while there was a line at the self-checkout counters, and suggested that coming back during a less busy time would have been the right way to go.

In the OP’s defense, they noted that there were around 10 counters at the store. It’s also natural that some people use self-checkout quicker than others. Yes, we’re all in a rush. But, objectively speaking, if you feel the need to yell and curse at a fellow customer, whoever they might be, then there are clearly other issues at play here, not spending a few extra minutes at the grocery store.

All in all, the vast majority of redditors thought that both the parent who wrote the post and the woman who got mad at them and their son were in the wrong.

It’s inevitable that at some point in your life, you’ll end up having to deal with rude people. How you approach these situations really depends on your character. Some people choose to ignore their verbal abusers completely because they feel that it’s best to cut off the one thing that they desire the most—an emotional reaction and attention.

Others, however, choose a more proactive approach and set very clear, healthy boundaries. Nobody deserves to be cursed at their local store. Especially in front of their child. Nobody’s saying that you should get into a shouting match with a stranger, but you might want to consider telling them in a calm, firm manner that how they’re behaving is unacceptable. If they continue to harass you, either leave or reach out to a member of staff to help mediate the situation.

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It’s completely natural to feel upset in situations like these. You feel wronged somehow. However, what you really want to avoid doing is holding on to your anger and obsessing about the interaction for days and weeks to come. Try to accept what happened and move on. The best victory is not letting someone who was rude to you live rent-free in your head.

Similarly, if you feel a wave of hatred for everyone wash over you just from standing in a queue at the grocery store, you really need to sit down and think about the core reasons leading to this. Perhaps you’re stressed at work. Maybe you’re overwhelmed by the current bizarre economic situation. Or you might have a lot to worry about at home. That random person teaching their 7-year-old how to scan items at the self-checkout isn’t to blame for that.

Holding on to anger is incredibly bad for your health. It can lead to cardiovascular problems, metabolic diseases, and even digestive issues. Things like therapy, meditation, exercise, spending time outdoors, having a healthier work/life balance, making responsible financial decisions, and spending time with your loved ones can help you tackle your feelings of anger and stress. That way, you might be less inclined to lash out at strangers.

The internet was incredibly split about the situation. Some readers were completely in the parent’s corner

Others, however, thought that either the parent was in the wrong or that everyone acted like jerks

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lested-barbara-a avatar
devotedtodreams
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I commend the "learning by doing" approach to help him become more self-reliant, but perhaps it would have been better to go and do this when the grocery store wasn't that busy.

vikrant-talponkar avatar
Vic
Community Member
1 year ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I completely agree with you. We need to teach our kids, but also have to make sure we are not causing a lot of inconvenience to others. That said, the second lady's remark was totally uncalled for, she could have said the same thing in a nicer way. Sometimes it's not what you say, it's how you say it. Thank you for listening to my TED rant.

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tamrastiffler avatar
Tamra
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I have a child, and I've let him do this very thing, but only when there were plenty of open self-checkout areas, and no line. Had the store been busy, this would have been a no-go for me, and I'd just be sure to let my son try again at a less busy time.

adambelaire avatar
Adam Belaire
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

That's the thing that strikes a cord with me about the whole situation that I can't fathom. The post says there was more than 10 self-check outs. Her and her son used one. The other nine were being used and I'm going to wager people going a lot faster so it's not like she was holding up the entire line herself. If there was one self-checkout and a line then I'd totally agree to either wait or do a few but there wasn't just one. I don't have kids, don't plan to have any but try to be patience at the self-check out.

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amcgregor7419 avatar
Tams21
Community Member
1 year ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

A lot of adults also have problems with self service check outs, particularly the first time. Everyone has to learn and not everyone has the luxury of going during quiet times. I don't think mom did anything wrong and the other customer would have had a mouthful back from me had I been in her position.

miriam-renken avatar
MiriPanda
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Yes, and this is unavoidable, but this particular situation totally was. Don't pick a busy Sunday and up to 20 items, instead let him scan just a few items or choose a moment when you realise it's quiet. It is not that hard...

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lested-barbara-a avatar
devotedtodreams
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I commend the "learning by doing" approach to help him become more self-reliant, but perhaps it would have been better to go and do this when the grocery store wasn't that busy.

vikrant-talponkar avatar
Vic
Community Member
1 year ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I completely agree with you. We need to teach our kids, but also have to make sure we are not causing a lot of inconvenience to others. That said, the second lady's remark was totally uncalled for, she could have said the same thing in a nicer way. Sometimes it's not what you say, it's how you say it. Thank you for listening to my TED rant.

Load More Replies...
tamrastiffler avatar
Tamra
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I have a child, and I've let him do this very thing, but only when there were plenty of open self-checkout areas, and no line. Had the store been busy, this would have been a no-go for me, and I'd just be sure to let my son try again at a less busy time.

adambelaire avatar
Adam Belaire
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

That's the thing that strikes a cord with me about the whole situation that I can't fathom. The post says there was more than 10 self-check outs. Her and her son used one. The other nine were being used and I'm going to wager people going a lot faster so it's not like she was holding up the entire line herself. If there was one self-checkout and a line then I'd totally agree to either wait or do a few but there wasn't just one. I don't have kids, don't plan to have any but try to be patience at the self-check out.

Load More Replies...
amcgregor7419 avatar
Tams21
Community Member
1 year ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

A lot of adults also have problems with self service check outs, particularly the first time. Everyone has to learn and not everyone has the luxury of going during quiet times. I don't think mom did anything wrong and the other customer would have had a mouthful back from me had I been in her position.

miriam-renken avatar
MiriPanda
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Yes, and this is unavoidable, but this particular situation totally was. Don't pick a busy Sunday and up to 20 items, instead let him scan just a few items or choose a moment when you realise it's quiet. It is not that hard...

Load More Replies...
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