Last weekend when we were feted by district officials, we got a close look at how those "little emperors", or only children become the big terrors that they are.
After a giant banquet dinner, we were asked if we'd like to partake in some entertainment -- karaoke? Oh..... hmmmmm. How about billiards? Table tennis? Oh OK.
We were shown to a recreation room next to a lounge where the KTV was happening. Thankfully the singing didn't penetrate the wall between the two rooms.
One colleague showed me how to play table shuffleboard, sliding the weights or shuckles down the wooden surface covered in tiny silicon beads.
Then after I got the hang of sliding the shuckles so they wouldn't veer off to the sides, I started playing a game with another friend.
But just as our game started getting interesting, a young boy about 4 or 5-years-old invaded the rec room and grabbed one of the shuckles.
We reacted, but his proud mother, who was close behind, was so pleased her son wanted to play shuffleboard than realize they had interrupted our game. She encouraged him to hijack the table and we had no choice but to abandon the shuffleboard.
So we sat down and watched him as he tried to climb onto the shuffleboard table -- with the help of his mother -- and he even walked on the surface.
He came back down, but wanted to climb back up again. And once more, his mother helped him up. I came over and said it was dangerous. So the mum told him to come down, but he had a fit and he didn't come down from the table right away.
That wasn't all. He then grabbed the table tennis ball that another two colleagues used to play a serious game. Again his mother was pleased he wanted to take up this sport and the two people had to quit their game early.
He tried to commandeer the pool table by grabbing one of the billiard balls, but the players shouted at him not to touch and for once he was really shocked he wasn't allowed to do something.
The problem is not the child, but the parent(s) condoning their kid's actions. Not once did the mother explain to her son that they should wait until people were finished playing before they could use the shuffleboard or play table tennis. Instead she delighted in her son grabbing things we were using.
And this is not the only situation I've come across. So imagine a whole generation of children like the one I've just described and how they will turn out 15, 20 years from now.