Good Parenting and bad parenting is not absolute. It is purely relative and a matter of perception, as also through which window a particular event or a series of events is looked at. No parent, however evil or vile, would want to be a bad parent. Nobody would deliberately be a bad person. A negative act at the time of occurrence in full conscience, happens only when the individual inflicting believes that the act is right and appropriate in the given situation and circumstance.
Parenting practices are subject to the knowledge, competence, and awareness of the parents themselves. For instance, a drunk father battering the child, which would leave indelible marks on the psyche of the child, does so in the belief that the child is wrong and needs to be disciplined, and indulges in the act of disciplining, as he deems appropriate at that given point and time. However, for the rest of the world such battering is deemed to be a highly inappropriate act and has been termed as a negative parenting practice. It is the window from which an individual views the act, the causes, and the repercussions of actions that makes anything relatively good or bad.
Having taken a strong stance on subjectivity of what is good and what is bad, there are however, principles that involve the core of life and the continuity of value systems in the society that govern the good parenting practices.
Good parenting practices involve teaching the children values that are appropriate for civilized living in a society filled with naturally good acts and good behavior. Being kind, considerate, empathetic, and courteous form the very core of good parenting practices and through such practices, these values are imbibed and transferred to children who will pass it on to the later generations.
Good parenting practices also must teach the value of education, hard work, and need for pursuit of appropriate professional practices and setting a career goal for oneself, all within the framework of the civilized and social living norms and behavior. The dangers of lying, deceit, theft, and other such inappropriate behavior are inculcated through practices that begin at home and form the basis for good parenting.
Along with accepted value systems, good parenting practices also pass on the importance of spiritual pursuit in form of church going or bible reading or any such similar activity. It also simultaneously transfers the importance of living cooperatively, creating practices of interdependence, and collaborative behavior that form the basis of strong mature adult behavior. Good parenting practices also lay emphasis on the importance of joy, blessings and appropriate practices of pleasure required to be followed in a society and community context. Importance of pursuing leisure activities are also encouraged and emphasized.
Good parenting practices are imbibed in human adults either by natural inter-generational communication and transmission. Failing which, in case of existence of awareness of lack of being able to be a good parent, a human adult can also endeavor to learn such better parenting practices through formal and informal methods of learning. Nobody would like to learn and indulge in deliberately bad parenting. While good and bad parenting still remains relative, good parenting practices form the very foundation of ethical living that sets an example for others to imitate.
Ann Marie Halpenny, Elizabeth Nixon & Dorothy Watson. Parenting Styles and Discipline: Parents' and Children's Perspectives. Summary Report. Office of the Minister for Children and Youth Affair. Dublin: The Stationery Office, 2009. Web. 28 January 2016. <https://www.tcd.ie/childrensresearchcentre/assets/pdf/Publications/Parenting_Styles_and_Discipline_Summary_Report.pdf>.