Everyone has a different definition of what good parenting means.
Some define good parenting as giving up their career to take care of their children full time. Some define good parenting as working their hardest so that they can provide the best life possible for their children.
Some define good parenting as being strict on their kids; no sweets, no snacks, no nonsense. Some define good parenting as listening to what the child says and accommodating the child’s desires.
Even those who don’t have kids (yet) have a definition of what good parenting is. They observe their friends who are parents, and form their own opinions of what those parent-friends are doing, whether or not they know the kids as well as the parents.
In the name of “good” parenting, we as parents set certain rules and standards for our children. We think that these standards will make our children better people. We hope that with these rules and standards, our children grow into adults with the right moral standing, and achieve to their fullest potential.
In the name of “good” parenting, we learn to pick our battles and bends those golden rules in times when we think it’s okay to be a little more lenient. Then we pick up the pieces after that and try to enforce that golden rule again when we feel like the rule should not be broken.
In the name of “good” parenting, we decide on how meals go for our children. Some of us give our children the freedom of choice, because “as long as they are willing to eat, that’s all that matters”. Some of us make sure our children swallow every bite of what is served, because “every meal must be a balanced meal”.
In the name of “good” parenting, our children are sometimes forced to share their toys and prized possessions, whether they like it or not. Because after all, “they must learn to share”.
In the name of “good” parenting, our parenting rules sometimes sway, depending on how many people are watching. Our children get confused because something was okay in public (where many strangers watching), but that same thing is not okay at home. Or it could be the other way around.
In the name of “good” parenting, some of us have sent our children to the best schools we can find. That very school either has the best records or the possibility of connections that we think will set our kids up for better prospects.
In the name of “good” parenting, we have reflected on our own parents’ methods and decided what we would keep from our childhood, what we would discard and what we would add so that we are better parents than our own parents.
In the name of “good” parenting, we have all done different things that we think make us good parents.
In the name of “good” parenting, what have we done that doesn’t just make us look like good parents, but make whatever we do be about the best for our children, disregarding whatever other parents (and non-parents alike) say or think about our “good” parenting?