I remember one day there was a child constantly wanting all the attention for him. He was also a bit of a loner in the group. It was a good kid; unfortunately he wasn't used of dealing with other children. When the mother was there to pick him up, you could notice straight away she was pampering and overprotecting him.
Upon asking her if he had any problems at school, she replied none whatsoever. The same evening though she came to me and asked me how I could know he had problems at school.
It was not my place to judge her or tell her how to raise her child. At the time I was young and hadn't enough experience to give advice. Today, when giving advice, I try to make people see what they are doing and let them assess for themselves what and how.
Children need guidance and consistency. When an adult has done or said something wrong, they seem to have problems admitting it to a child and apologising. Personally I never had any issue with this. Admitting is definitely not a weakness, it does confirm the child that you too are human. During my work with children, it has strengthened the rapport I had with them. They knew I respected them and they respected me.
A friend once told me: you need a licence for everything, except not for having a child. He referred to people who have no control over their children. Mostly they are children themselves. No education and no one is allowed to educate them.
How many times have I seen a mother shouting after their child, as the child was wandering away? Shouting does not help, it will frighten the child or the child will understand HE's in control, not the parent.
Most of the time my look, no words is enough. I wonder own my children will (re)act. As long as they keep the values my father taught me: Respect people. Live and let live.