, , , , , | Learning | August 5, 2016

(The founder of my taekwondo club has two children, both of whom are also taekwondo practitioners. The oldest daughter, who is ten, is polite and well-behaved, but the youngest son, who is six, is one of the worst spoiled brats I’ve ever met. He is always acting like he owns the place, doing whatever he pleases, and, when he was younger, throwing huge tantrums whenever he didn’t get his way. I’ve always disliked him because of this, but felt bad about it on account of his young age. I haven’t talked about it with others because nobody else seems bothered by him and might consider a talking-to interfering with parenting. This evening, I and one of the other taekwondo teachers are instructing the more experienced kids, and the son is among them.)

Teacher: *brings out a rope ladder* “Okay, time for warm-ups! To start with, run across this ladder as fast as you can and take two steps in every gap!”

Son: “No! One step!”

Teacher: “[Son], please just do as I say.”

Son: “NO! I only wanna do one step!”

Teacher: “[Son], just listen to me and do these warm-ups.”

(The son tries to protest a bit more, but eventually gives up. The rest of the warm-ups go off without a hitch, and real training session can begin. The kids are divided into pairs, we hand out the focus mitts to them, and they start practicing. Once the groups are done, they sit down onto the floor. The son, however, sits on his pair of mitts, which we aren’t allowed to do as they break faster.)

Teacher: “[Son], get off those mitts. You can’t sit on them.”

Son: “NO! I want to sit on them!”

Teacher: *getting fed up* “[Son], get off those mitts right now, or do 10 pushups!”

Son: *smugly* “You can’t tell me what to do, because [Founder] is the best one here. I can do whatever I want here, and you can’t stop me.”

(The other teacher reacts to this by essentially throwing his arms up in the air and checking on the other students. Overhearing this, I actually get pretty angry, so I walk up to the son.)

Me: “[Son], if you sit on the mitts, they break! And when they break, you won’t have anything left to kick on, and that’s not much fun, is it?!”

Son: *pouts* “Fiiiine!”

(He didn’t sit on the mitts for the rest of the evening, but I felt a little less bad about disliking him since. I’ve realized that this has reached a point where we actually have to talk to his parents, as I shudder to think of what’ll happen once he actually starts school…)

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