His son went down to the camp bathroom and accessed the situation. Nope. No can do. The car was a much better option in his mind so he went ahead and plugged in. Within a short time, the car battery was drained. How could such a small device make a car battery drain? He was astonished!
He went to his dad and let him know.
"Gee, that's so sad. What are you going to do about it? " dad said.
"Dad, YOU have to fix it. I don't know how!"
Dad asked if he'd like some suggestions. He wasn't really interested so Dad just let it go. They were traveling with 8 or so other vehicles and Dad knew they weren't stranded and he could let the problem go. They weren't leaving for another day. He refrained from any lecturing or nagging.
The next day with the battery STILL dead the son was asking dad what he was going to do about it. The dad CALMLY passed the problem back to his son and asked if he'd like some suggestions. The son was starting to see it was HIS problem and now he was willing to listen. After offering to go with his son to some of the friends, the son STILL decided not handle the problem. He had wanted dad to do the talking and dad was happy to stand beside him while HE asked, but not do it for him.
After a few more hours everyone was packing up their cars to leave. Their car was STILL with a dead battery and, miracle, the other friends actually came over to the car and offered to help. The son said yes and the car started, no problem.
On the drive home dad talked to his son about the incident and what was so hard. His son confessed he was just so embarrassed about doing something so stupid he didn't want to admit it to everyone. They ended the conversation nicely with a talk about having to solve problems that you create.
The son is now an expert in car batteries. The dad did an awesome job of providing the room for his son to learn from his mistakes -- no lecturing or hovering. Wonderful!