Educator and childhood counselor Eda LeShan's thoughts on:

*Childhood. "No childhood is 'happy' as far as I can see. I think childhood is terrible mostly, but even where it's fairly decent, children are caught up in a period where they don't know what's going to happen to them."

*Consistency. "I don't think it's important at all. In fact, parents should not be consistent. It's a nice idea to be a consistently serene and understanding mother, but that goal isn't so easily attained on the fifth rainy day in a row when you're trapped indoors with two wild kids who have bad colds."

*Spanking. "There is only one appropriate reason for spanking, and that is when one is so frightened or so angry or so impatient that one spanks without trying to justify it at all; it just happens because you can't help it."

*Overreacting. "Five minutes later you can say, 'I'm sorry. I'm human and I lost my temper and that punishment was a little too severe,' or 'I don't believe in spanking because I don't believe in violence, but I just was scared to death when you ran across the street without looking.' You can make all the mistakes in the world, as long as you say you're sorry."

*Child abuse. "When you have had at least a degree of decent nurturing and feeling of being loved, then you can feel the rage and craziness but you can stop yourself. The problem today is that those that have not had that kind of nurturing, and are hungry and feel lonely and isolated . . . they go ahead and beat up the kids. The whole issue of child abuse is related to this rage within them."