My aunt has 4 "adult" children. When we were kids, she always said my mother was too strict with me and my brothers. Her kids were never spanked or really disciplined at all. She reasoned with them and eventually gave in or they just did what they wanted anyway. She believed in "positive parenting" where the lack of reward was the punishment. Her kids did not do chores because they were only kids for a little while and everything they did was someone else's fault. Now her kids are grown and they all have criminal records. Her oldest is in jail and I am adopting his son. The other three are on probation. None of them went to college and two didn't finish high school. Two live off of PA and the other bounces from one dead end job to another because she can't hold down a job when she's lazy and stoned all of the time. They all have drug problems and they have no respect for authority. They all have multiple illegitimate children with multiple partners and they don't have custody or support them. I do love my cousins very much. We were all so close when we were kids and it has broken my heart to see them waste their lives this way. I pray every day for them to straighten out and do right.
That being said, my aunt accepts what she did wrong with her kids. She cut off support and refuses to bail them out.
My daughter is almost 2 and her grandson, whom I'm adopting, is 3. They have chores. They are expected to clean up after themselves, within reason, and when they do something wrong, they are held accountable for it. If I tell them no, the answer is no, no matter how loud they scream and their temper tantrums are punished. My aunt is always telling me that I am too strict with my kids and that I should give them a free pass because they're little. I explained to her that, giving them a free pass because they're little eventually leads to them thinking that they deserve a free pass when they are adults. My mother flat out told her to leave me and my brother alone because we just don't want our kids to turn out like hers. She wasn't trying to be mean. She got sick of being critisized for raising disciplined and well behaved children and it pisses her off to see her own children critisized for doing the same. When your kids are wastes of space, you are the last person who should be handing out parenting advice.