Hard Lessons

(scene opens in gloomy foyer)
Me: What took you so long?
Beta: I had to put my shoes on.
Me: Well, Gamma left without you.
Beta: (sounds of outrage and distress)
Me: You’ve been mean and rude to her all morning, she’s convinced you don’t like her, and now you’re going to be upset that she walked to school without you?
Beta: (Distress intensifies as he fights with his jacket)
Me: What did you think would happen? No one is going to waste time trying to be friends with someone who’s mean to them. And now you’re on your own. Have a nice day at school.

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Why does this even need to be said?

A mile walk to pick up the car from the shop included lighthearted conversational topics such as:

“Beta, accept the fact that you are wrong. Do not be that guy that has to justify why you had to be mean to someone. It is not her fault you have to be a jerk, it is your fault you wanted to be a jerk. No one wants to be friends with that.”

And

“Gamma, breaks are for the weak. We do not stop for a rest at the end of every block, we walk until we get to our destination and then we rest. The longer we take to get there, the longer we will be walking.”