A wise pastor once told me the job of parents is simply to prepare children for adulthood. I understand that to mean teaching them to make good decisions, to argue persuasively (not cry or whine), to be kind and respectful of others and to be strong and courageous.
If we succeed in raising strong kids – which hopefully results in high functioning adults, we actually make our job as parents harder. Because now our kids have learned to argue persuasively and can talk us into anything. And they argue with each other – in strong and pursuasive tones. Kind of like the passage from Proverbs – iron sharpens iron.
The problem is while the children are sharpening their iron on each other, the parents take shrapnel in the cross-fire.