I’ve recently encountered quite possibly the most unpleasant child ever. He only speaks to his mother and rudely rebuffs anyone who tries to engage him. When they were preparing to leave our house, he went to our outdoor toy chest to take out a basketball. I told him that he needed to put it back, because his mother was waiting for him at the car. He yelled, “No!” and tried to wrestle the ball from my hands. I held my ground because I refuse to be bullied by an uncivilized brat. I brought him to his mother with tears in his eyes. What did she do? Took him around back to look for the basketball! Fortunately, she couldn’t find it.
The only possible justification for his behavior is that his father is a traveling salesman and is sometimes gone for days on end. This is undoubtedly difficult for the entire family. However, under no circumstances is it permissible for a child to treat an adult the way he treated me. This was not the first time he was cranky and rude to me and other parents. If he were my child he would be made to apologize and take a time out. His mother, on the other hand, either placates him or totally ignores his obnoxious behavior. Sure, it takes more effort to discipline a child when you’re a single parent (temporarily or otherwise) but come on! She needs to teach her child common courtesy and respect. It’s only fair to her son and those who need to interact with him.