The other day I went with my foster kids (age two and three) to a play centre with my friend and her "spirited" as she likes to say, two year old. Afterwards we went to Mcdonalds for lunch. The whole of the time at the play centre her daughter was throwing tantrums because she wanted all of the toys and would not share with any of the other kids. My friend was running around after her continuously and then got into an argument with another mother because her daughter bit the other woman's child. During the meal she refused to sit at the table and when she did, she didn't eat anything, just poked her burger and mashed it in her hand. My friend then gave her cake when she wasn't eating it.
My foster kids all know that they share their toys or they don't get to play. If they are naughty, they get a time out. At meal times, they sit at the table, use manners to the best of their ability and they make an effort to eat their food. They do this or the food is taken away and they go hungry. It didn't take them long to learn these boundaries. I don't think this is cruel because they have a choice whether to behave or not, if they choose not to behave they have to live with the consequences.
After this play date, my friend asked me what I did to make my foster kids so well behaved and when I told her she seemed really shocked that I was "so strict" with them. She said she didn't believe in being that hard on her daughter because she is only two and she didn't want her to grow up without any confidence.
I feel that discipline is something kids need in the same way as love. They need guidance and it is our job to teach them acceptable behaviour. I think there is too much of this new political correctness in raising kids. Generations have tuned out fine getting told "no!" by mothers, so why are we worrying now? If you are not being abusive in discipline, your kids will be fine. I think more parents need to think about that.