Saturday, 23 January 2010

Natural authority

is a wonderful thing to have.
There were two little darlings, around about four and six - old enough to know better - running up and down the aisles of the supermarket yesterday. Their mother, apparently oblivious to their squealing, was standing at one end of the aisle chatting to a friend. Other people were frowning and someone went so far as to say, "Don't do that." They took no notice. They knocked down some biscuits from a display in the aisle and did not appear to notice.
There was a gentleman pushing a trolley ahead of me. We had just turned the corner in time to observe all this. He stopped. They stopped as well.
"That is enough."
The words were quietly spoken. The two little darlings looked at him. He looked back.
"Now pick those up."
They stared at him and then, slowly, picked the biscuits up and put them back.
Finished, they slunk off back to their mother with nervous, backward glances.
A little later he joined the queue behind me. We exchanged smiles. I comment positively on his intervention.
"Thirty-eight years in the army taught me something."
I wonder what rank he attained.

3 comments:

Rachel Fenton said...

It's all in the tone. I find a pointed arch of the eyebrow works wonders, too - only not on my own children for some strange reason...must practice more perhaps...

catdownunder said...

Some teachers have it naturally - my parents!

Donna Hosie said...

The older I get, the more I feel the need to discipline other peoples unruly children. It's definitely all in the tone.