It never fails, if you want to feel good about your mothering skills, spend some time with other people's children.
I've always raised my kids to be kind, especially to their friends. Our rule is, if you make plans with a friend, you don't dump them because someone else calls with a better deal. That just bugs the crap out of me. I can't stand kids that do this and I think it speaks volumes about the mother that let's a kid do that.
I also think that kids should show their friend's parents respect. My children have been told that they are to call a parent Mr. or Mrs. I have had 2 people tell my kids they can use their first name and my kids tell them that their mother prefer that they not do that. They can call them Miss Firstname or maybe Mrs. S instead of the full last name, but I prefer my kids to use titles as respect. I can not stand when a kid comes into my house and calls me by my first name when I've never ever said they could. Again, another thing that bugs the crap out of me and I think it speaks volumes again.
What would you do if someone you worked with told you, based on the stories you tell them, that you are an enabler for your children? This happened to a friend of mine. A male co-worker told her she's an enabler to her children, and they walk all over her for sure. She asked me what I thought on Saturday night and I just smiled at her. She agreed that we are both right. But I seriously doubt she'll do anything to change that. She's going to have track marks up and down her back for years. Poor girl!
My oldest son asked me today what I did that made my 3 kids turn out so good. He spent the night before over a friend's house and saw how those 2 kids acted to their parents. See, as teens they start to realize that acting like a brat is not the way to go. I told him I think it's a mix of a lot of things and I strongly believe it starts when they are young, infants. I think it's the way you talk to them and how you allow them to talk to you. There are things that you have to take control over from the get go and even though many times, it's easier to just give in and throw your hands up in the air, you have to stand strong and realize that you are doing it "for"them not "to" them.
I think you have to take parenting as a very serious full time role! It has to be just as important to you as your full or part time job. It has to be a priority!