It's hard to be a parent. I know this because I am one, and I totally get how not easy it can sometimes be to just manage simple things every day.
When I first became a parent, I recognized that it was my responsibility to make sure that my little person turned out to be a decent human being, a decent grown up. Some kids are easier than others, and no two situations are ever the same, but the general ideas that I had to accomplish this were pretty simple. The most important lesson that I wanted my kids to learn was respect. Respect for themselves and others, specifically. I kind of think that respect is the building block for all of the other life lessons out there.
I'm not in the habit of judging other parents, partly because I know I am not perfect, and I know I don't do everything "right" and by the book all of the time. Sometimes, you have to adjust your thought process to accommodate the kid. But for the most part, I'd like to think that us parents are all in this together, that we all have the same general goals in mind when it comes to our kids.
There are some parents though, that really make it harder on the normal parents, like myself, of course.
The parents that let their 3rd grader have a cell phone definitely make it hard on the parents who (a) can't afford to add another freaking line to their plan, (b) recognize that an 8 year-old who can't even keep track of her own eyeglasses (that she wears on her face) has no business owning an expensive bit of technology, and (c) kind of have to wonder who the hell an 8 year-old is going to be calling anyway.
The parents that don't give their kid a curfew make it hard on the parents who believe that teen-agers need to really be home and in bed, asleep, before the night turns into the next day. Kids need rest. And they need to know that they don't get to be the boss of their time til they are out of the house or in college.
The parents who don't give their kids chores make it tough on the parents that believe chores build character, and help make kids more responsible and hard working. Even putting water in the dog's dish every day can give a kid a sense of accomplishment, and the sense that her place in the family is important and valued.
The parents who say "not my kid," make it hard on the parents who take responsibility for their child's actions, and in turn, expect them to take responsibility for their own actions, even if it sucks, and even if the lesson learned was a hard one.
The parents who send their kid to school sick make it hard on the parents of the other healthy kids in the class who are definitely touching your kid's snotty, germy, sneezy things. Then of course, your now unhealthy kid is inadvertently bringing that home and getting their family sick, snotty, germy and sneezy. It doesn't hurt to have a sick plan in place.
The parent who makes the perfect cupcakes makes it hard on the parents who try, but just cannot pull together the green frosting-ed cupcakes with the rainbow sprinkles in the shape of a rainbow, and the faux pot-o-gold (how the hell did they fit all of that on a cupcake anyway??), while entertaining a teething toddler, cleaning the cat vomit off of the living room couch, and attempting a shower before the big class St. Patty's Day party.
The helicopter parent makes it hard on the parents who think that sometimes it's OK for kids to have a mild tiff in the sandbox without interruption. Kids need to learn how to deal with conflict. Give it a moment before you jump in and yank your kid out of there while giving the other three year-old the evil eye. It might surprise you when they work it out!
The parent who never says no makes it tough on the parents who believe that kids need to actually work hard for things to appreciate and value them.
The parents that let their kid wear slutty clothes and costumes make it tough on the parents who think that 2nd graders (or teen-agers, actually) have no business wearing shorts so short that you can see their buns. Or sexy costumes with plunging necklines, thigh high stockings and super short skirts! A kid that age doesn't need to wear a sexy vampire costume for Halloween, seriously. Who are they being sexy for?? There's plenty of time for experimenting with clothes and make-up, we're lucky right now because we have all of the power in what our kids have in their closets. And a little modesty goes a long way.
This in tongue in cheek, obviously, because really, we are all in this together. But wouldn't it be great if all of the parents could be pretty much on the same page? My page, specifically.