A family of 5 from LA came on my tour last night. They seemed nice--at least, the mom, the dad, and the son seemed OK. But I swear to you, the two daughters, aged six and probably 15ish, were the most spoiled rotten individuals I have ever met in my life, and I'm pretty sure neither of them has ever received a stroke of discipline.
Exhibit A: The older one, a sullen teen who kept being short with me and refused to go in any of the memorials, dropped her sunglasses on the ground. Her mother told her to pick them up. She refused, whining "I can't walk!" Then, while rolling her eyes, the mother leans down and picks them up anyway.
Exhibit B: The younger one, aged six with demon hellfire burning behind her eyes, whined throughout the tour. "I'm hot, this is boring, how much longer do we have?" She also talked--LOUDLY--during every single stop. And in spite of her mother occasionally saying (half-heartedly) "Honey, listen to the lady," she would not shut up. At all. To boot, I asked at Vietnam if anyone had any questions. Demon child said "Yes...nothing" in what could only be described as a bitchy tone of voice with a smirk (did I mention she was SIX?) on her face.
Exhibit C: Demon child was on a trailer tandem with her father. She accidentally slipped off (this was right at the end of the tour), and she was completely fine, but she started SCREAMING. In the middle of a crowded sidewalk with pedestrians who were trying to get out of the way of the cars on Constitution Avenue. Her father stops in the middle of the sidewalk to coo over her, holding up the rest of the tour AND all of the pedestrians.
Exhibit C: Oldest girl comes back crying on the tour. "Moooomm, I told you I didn't feel well!" Her mom rolls her eyes, calls her a pain in the ass to me, but says nothing to her teenage daughter. They go get ice cream.
Interestingly, this family was Orthodox Jewish. Prayer tassels, yarmulkas, the whole kit and caboodle. The dad had to check to see if our Clif Bars were kosher (they were). Now...here's my thinking on this. Wouldn't adhering strictly to the tenets of your faith (or any faith) involve NOT allowing your daughters to be complete pains in the ass? And to respect their elders? I guess it's silly of me to expect religious people to be nicer, but it just seems intuitive. It's disappointing when any family is that obnoxious, but especially so when they're supposed to be messengers of God...or whatever. It seems hypocritical.
And, religion or no, I will repeat: I'm really sick of having to deal with parents who clearly don't know how to raise their children. Because it makes for really, really annoying families. Having never been a mother, I'm sure I don't know how difficult it really is, but it cannot be that difficult to keep your children from growing up into heinous individuals.