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When Tough Love Is Good Love

What is the best way to discipline your child? Do you talk to about what's right and wrong in a nurturing manner, or send your kid for a time-out? What about when your child's behavior is really crossing the line?

It turns out that every circumstance may need a different solution, as found in a new study out of Oklahoma State University, where researchers interviewed 102 moms of children from 18 to 30 months old who provided detailed descriptions of five times they had to discipline their toddlers for hitting, whining or defiance, and found that toddlers need both reasoning and punishments.

MORE: Why Punishment Derails Potty Training

Yahoo News dove into the topic to see what moms did with their kids, and the results varied.

Some parents preferred to offer love and hugs to their kids who were having tantrums.

"Parents can really use it as a teachable moment to show their kids how to problem-solve and to teach them how to express themselves," Yahoo parenting senior writer Elise Sole told ABC News.

Other parents went with a time-out.

"When a child is really being defiant, they're hitting, they're overwhelmed with emotion; that child is best suited for a time-out," child and teen development specialist Robyn Silverman said.

MORE: The Most Bizarre Punishments for Wayward Kids

But experts say that every situation calls for a different response, and to go with your gut. Depending on the severity of your toddler's behavior, you can tailor your response.

"The first thing to remember from this study is there is no 'one size fits all' way to discipline your kid. Every kid is different. It's about knowing your kid," Ericka Souter, mom.me's parenting expert, said on Good Morning America. "The second great thing is that we're hearing that time-outs can be a good thing and we should utilize them when it's appropriate."

So don't be afraid to send your kid to his or her room when bad behavior is becoming an issue. It turns out that tough love may be what your kid needs.

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Image via Twenty20/darby

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