DISCLAIMER: I am not a perfect parent. I am well aware of this. However, I am trying to work hard to get better, and keeping the end goal in mind: raising faithful, responsible young men and women. I am completely willing to take my lumps on this.
Here are two key parenting concepts that seem to be getting lost into our society:
1. You have no (get that? NONE!) RIGHT to be a parent. You are not 'due' a kid, you aren't entitled to offspring. Parenting is a privilege. A kid is not a puppy, a trophy or a belonging. A kid is a human, who deserves and needs certain things to be a good human. A self-centered, needy parent ain't one of those things.
2. If and when you get to be a parent, the whole thing stops being about YOU and starts being about the KID. Whatever the kid needs is what the kid should get. Kids need a mom and dad, a stable home, a faith life to stabilize them and the world around them, and rules. Kids always come first. What you want always comes second. Maybe third. Hey, you know what? Your 'wants' may not even make the list.
Taking your 15 year old daughter for birth control pills because you don't want to worry about her does not constitute good parenting. Allowing a man who is NOT your teen daughter's father to move into your home, making said daughter feel uncomfortable and unwelcome in the process, is not good parenting. Leaving on a trip that you want to take and leaving your kids home unsupervised is not good parenting. Living out your dreams by forcing your kid to do something like play a sport he doesn't like or compete in beauty pageants at the age of two is not good parenting. (I wish I were making these things up.....)
If we could get all the big people to start to work on these two concepts, the little people in our society would be doing a whole lot better.