I wasn't the kind of kid who fought with her parents constantly, but we did have a good selection of arguments over the years that helped prepare me for parenthood. I didn't have an embattled childhood, constantly screaming at my parents or moping with angst in my room, but some arguments are rites of passage and teaching children acceptable behavior isn't always the most peaceful process. It turns out, not only did I learn what was acceptable behavior, the fights I had with my own parents actually prepared me for motherhood in a lot of ways.
My mom used to hate when I would mope and she used to admonish me, saying on more than one occasion, "Stop acting like a prima donna." I don't know where she got that phrase because, to this day, I've never heard anyone else use it. But use it she did, and it used to drive me bananas. She meant, "Stop acting like a brat," but the English teacher in her must have needed a better way of describing my overall mood. A quick 25 years later I still don't think she knows how much that phrase made my skin crawl, probably with pre-teen angst.
But whenever I think about ways my parents prepared me for motherhood, that's one of them. I know I'm probably going to have to tell my daughter to stop acting like a brat at some point in our lives, but you can bet by the time we get to that point I'm going to come up with another word to use than "prima donna." You're welcome, my dear (and thanks, mom).