If my belief is correct and our children model their behavior on ours, then the little girl who was just standing in line at the grocery store next to me is going to grow up to be a major jerk.
Sure, right now she's perfectly wonderful. She's everything a child should be: curious, energetic, playful and adorable. Her mother, on the other hand, must feel that her little girl is demon spawn, because she would not stop yelling and cursing at this poor child—to the point that even the cashiers were firing out the occasional, "Whoa, lady!"
It all started with a piercing outburst at the poor girl when the mom discovered the "little brat" had actually dared to open the pack of candy wafers she had given her. Keep in mind, the child is no older than two. (For awhile, I actually thought her name was Little Brat, but I later figured out she had a more acceptable traditional name.) I was so flustered by the parent's scream that I instantly blurted out, "Then don't give them to her!" but that only served to calm her for about a minute...
Her stream of yelling and insults at the girl continued until she took a phone call, but after she hung up she immediately started yelling again—and this time, also cursing.
It was so loud and obnoxious that my son began pounding on the counter. "She's swearing, mom!" he exclaimed.
"I know buddy, she's not using her best manners," I replied. It was the best response I could come up with. My head was spinning from all her contradictions and commands. "Come here!" "Go away!" "Stay here!" "Go sit down!" "Here, take this and shut up!" "Don't open that! I haven't paid for it!" Oh for Pete's sake, lady! Even I don't understand what you want! And I'm really trying to! Keep reading...
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