In the early to mid nineties, a movement started where many people just entering parenthood said that hitting and spanking children was wrong, and that they wouldn't do it.
Since then, I have noticed, at least in my community, a rising number of kids who are horridly spoiled, have no sense of respect, act out, and are plain trouble.
When I was a kid, I was completely out of control, I behaved so poorly, I had to bring a notebook to class everyday for my teacher to list all the bad things I did each day. And every day my parents would read it and gawk at me.
They gave up on grounding and began spanking me. Sure I told them I hated them and they were horrible parents at the time....but you know what? I sure as hell learned to be a good little boy quickly after this.
When I have ....or rather, when my future wife has children, I will be firm with them, however I will also be caring. I will be the type so, when I hear Johnny pushed Suzy in the mud, or he got in a fight, the second I walk in Johnny's room, he'll know by the look on my face alone that he ****ed up big time. If my child is very bad, they will have a red ass for the rest of the day.
However, I will also be compassionate, I will help with homework, and if they trip and scrape their knee, I'll baby them, at least until mommy comes home.
If you ask me, the ideal parent is looked up to by their children and respected. And the ideal parent is loved most of the time, however the ideal parent should also be feared when the child misbehaves, such that if Johnny acts up, and his mother catches him and intends on telling the father, Johnny should be waiting for his father to come home from work in fear, as if death himself were coming.
I remember hiding under the kitchen table many a time when I heard my father walking up the steps, I had been bad, and I knew he knew. And I knew what was instore for me.
That, is the perfect parent.