So speaking of John in Something Wicked, I wanted to point something out because I think people miss it.
So you know how Dean and Sam ended up using that kid as bait for the Shtriga? How they watched him through that camera while he pretended to sleep, waiting for the thing to show up?
Well, given that the entire episode was a parallel for an event in Dean’s childhood, it pretty heavily implies that John was using his kids as bait.
I mean, think about it. Sure, he probably ditched his kids in hotel rooms plenty of times, but why the strict orders to stay inside? Why the additional paranoia? And why, when the Shtriga did arrive, was John so quick to burst through the door on the thing’s heels?
And I know what you’re thinking. But Dean used a kid for bait so it can’t be all that bad. Except of course the part where Dean was opposed to the idea and then insisted on informing the child of the risks (only agreeing after the child insisted that he wanted to save his brother).
9 year old Dean, on the other hand, had no idea. Because he never would have left Sam to go play vids had he known. So not only did John use his kids as bait, but he also gave them zero information about the risks they were undertaking.
Tell me again he was a good parent. Tell me again he was doing the best he could. Because there’s a fine line between child abandonment and child endangerment, and John Winchester salted and burned that line long before the Shtriga.