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I heard from my children all the time how unfair and strict I was compared to "so and so's" mom. That she doesn't spank, or make them go home that early, go to bed that early, etc.
And I will admit, I was certainly a strict mother. I have always tried to be fair, but I also always felt it is better to be more strict than less and have firm and established boundaries.
That said, I also know my children also exaggerated about how lenient friend's mothers were. And I knew they exaggerated because I was also friends with many of those moms and knew their views in regards to discipline. Many of them were just as strict as myself, even if they didn't spank. Some of those moms my children found out 'as a surprise' on how strict their friends mothers were. Similar to the situation that happened with your youngest daughter, when visiting a new friend's home for the first time.
Where we have sometimes expressed our frustration on this forum with the very lax parents in our more current times, I really do think there are more strict parents out there than we like to admit. I agree with you, where I haven't sent my children to my room or used many of the more current methods of discipline, it is good to see the mothers (parents) setting firm boundaries and discipline with their children. In whatever method works best for their family.