The new thing now is to choose to believe that certain people were doing the best they could at the time they did whatever they did to hurt another. You know what I mean. I was abused during my childhood both physically and psychologically. I am completely against hitting children after the age of five. I believe after that age there are more efficient ways to dealing with children that will not totally rob them of their self-esteems as beatings do.
Whenever I mentioned the abuse, or hear people who have been abused talk about it and have something to say against it, people inevitably try to get me to see how my parents, etc. were only doing what they knew to do at the time. My mother even tried to make light of beatings by saying "That's what we did back then." Not everyone beat their children. Some where more enlightened, or simply went on the principle of treating others the way you want to be treated.
People rarely give their best to anything anymore. Most are living such a mediocre existence until it is frightening. We have become a country of excuse makers, but I will not accept that the best you knew to do to a three year old is beat it because they had an accident or wasted something.
It makes us feel good to let folk off the hook, but it does nothing for the person being left off the hook. Nine times out of ten, they think they are right and the hardcore will deny any wrong doing even after they affects of their abuse is obvious. Abusive people know better and will rarely do better unless they are stopped.
The next time sometime tells you they "did their best," tell them to show proof they have learned from their mistakes and are doing better. I think you will find they have not changed and will use any excuse to be who they are no matter who they hurt.