Being too lenient in parenting could lead to problems for kids in the long run,hence the phrase "spare the rod and spoil the child". Sometimes we do have to raise hands on the child. Where do we draw the line as we do not want to labelled as abusive parents? Suggestions please.

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giving a bit of a slap or small whack as a one off case is fine, as long as your child does not get hurt. but whatever the situation, from a personal experience, i have realised that a direct talk almost always helps, and also spares us the guilt that accompanies hitting.

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I think, patience is the key to deal with a child or would say with anyone. More so, with children because they have tender little hearts and are experiencing every thing for the first time. My elder bother was such a nuisance while he was growing up that every other day, he would do something or the other that would drag my mother to apologise to people. But I must say, my mother lost her cool. She was always patient with him. And I know that had my mother used stick on him, he would have had become one rowdy grown up. I wouldn't say that one need to be this patient as her patience was something she was born with and I don't think one can develop it. Also, kids do drive you crazy to every extent. But, I think, being a parent, we are the ones who have to calm down first and think rationally to deal with the kid in the most sanest way. And I think nothing better than conversation and a dialogue. If there is some issue, just do not immediately start sermoning the child. Tell him to stop it and do not repeat it and show him that you are angry. And later, you can strike a conversation and calmly and logically make the kid understand where he was wrong and why he should not behave the way he did. Let there be room for him feeling comfortable to ask questions. Two way communication will assure best results.

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Obviously beating black and blue at every small mistake of the child will make you an abusive parent! One light spank in the back won't! But disciplining can be done without raising hands too!