Please allow me to further clarify myself.... I am not one of these parents that will be showing up at the school, talking to a teacher about my child failing a test. If one of my girls fails a test, she is responsible for that grade. I am also not one of those parents that pushes a child to succeed to a point that it is an annoyance to everyone around, including the child himself or herself. I expect my children to give their very best in whatever they do, and the best way they can learn that from me is by example. My children know when they mess up, and they don't need harsh reminders from me most of the time it happens.
Having said that, if you mess with my kids, you better look out. If you are a grown-up, BE A GROWN-UP. If you are a child, I will deal with you like I would my own child.
Let's take the child one first. I recently had an incident that happened to one of my elementary daughters. A student had picked on her in an inappropriate way, and she told me about it that afternoon when we got home. I addressed it right away, explained to her that she had to report it to the teacher immediately, and it was handled properly and swiftly. I was so impressed at how the school officials dealt with it, and I never raised my voice or lost my cool at all. I was professional and respectful, and they were just lovely to talk to. Any time I have had an issue with a child, it has been pretty simple to deal with. Working with 5th graders, I see things all the time that have to be dealt with. I try to deal with things professionally, respectfully, and properly, and I expect the same out of other adults.
This brings me to adults. I also recently had an incident that one of my children was done wrong on something. I tried to deal with it, I was made fun of by the adult in front of a group of people, and I skipped straight to the boss on that one. The boss understood my dilemma and took matters into his own hands. Unfortunately, although I attempted to make things right on my end with the original problem adult, the adult chose to not be so nice about things. I guess he's still pouting, and he's probably still bad-mouthing me to those around him. The moral of the story? Many grown-ups are worse to deal with than kids.
When I deal with an adult in any situation, I expect to be treated with respect. If I have a problem with you, I'm going to tell you, and I expect the same from you. (I haven't always been this way, but I think it's now a survival skill.) I'm not going to yell or scream at you, or if I do I will apologize quickly when the hormones have settled. I believe it is better to deal with a problem head-on, or it will come back to hit you from behind later. Apparently, not everyone believes that way, and some would just rather gossip about you or not deal with you at all.
Listen folks, if you don't have problem solving skills, you better get some real quick. The saying is that this is a dog-eat-dog world. I never really got that until I grew up and realized that the world is a tough place. I never really believed in fairy tales that much anyway, but real life teaches you real quick that it ain't all lemondrops and gumdrops. Jesus was meek, but no one ran over Him. He was kind, but He expected the same from others. He saw a lot of terrible things happen around Him, but when it came to His children, He was willing to hang on a cross for us. That's pretty much it in a nutshell, right? If we don't teach our children to speak up for themselves, who will? If we don't show them how to be kind in unkind situations, who will? If we don't love them with all we have and sacrifice for them, who will? Like I said before.... This ain't Disney World, people.