Maxie's story was kind of a trigger for something I've been thinking for a while. Have you noticed that parents are more confused nowadays? They don't want to be strict authoritorians like their parents were but if they are democratic with children, it doesn't work. Parents go back and forth between being strict and democratic, and that confuses children.
I guess I'm on the stricter side. As a result, I see that my daughter is more mature than an average 3y.o. An example: we are on the beach, there's a couple with a child who is around 3y.o. They both hover over him, both walk with him to the water. He even has baby-like gait. My children, they run to the ocean by themselves. That's 30-50 yards away (30 - 50 metres). My daughter goes into the waves up to her belly and frolics in it. My son is afraid of the waves and I know that he will be running from them away. That couple with a child looks around looking for a caregiver for these little children and finally notices me. They turn their heads back in forth in disbelief. I can read that they are ready to call Children's Aid Society.
I, on the other hand, make an effort to be a hands off parent. I can't believe how over-protective parents are nowadays and how whimperish the children are as a result. I believe that giving them space to realize their place in the world is the best way to bring up a healthy and responsible adult. My daughter was under 2y.o. when my son was born, and she was expected to respect his nap times and respect his toys. Now, at 3 y.o., she prevents him from going down the stairs unsupervised, she is proud of her "strong muscles" when she helps me to carry something. I don't think I scream at them. I think they respect my voice. When my daughter went through her terrible twos she had her share of the naughty chair, but we don't use it now at all. It's just she has a mind of a 5-year old and we can talk to explain things and the consequences and that's it.
I guess the main thing that I was on lookout for was whining. They know that I wouldn't tolerate whining per se as a way of expression, long before even considering the reason for whining. You know how to talk and you can say in normal words. I will understand better.
I know that I won't be a regular at their school, won't sit with them through their homework. Though I'm strong in math and may help them when they ask. But let them muddle through life as much as possible by themselves is my idea of good parenting. ↓