About coddling children, agree 100 million % (trademark Randy J lol). Is it really any wonder that so many fail at life? They don't achieve any of their dreams, goals, aspirations because they are not pushed. There is nothing wrong with pushing your child and being firm. The trick is knowing when to back the heck off. Most kids are naturally lazy, motivate them and get them going and they will learn a very valuable life lesson (about working hard to achieve your own personal level of greatness).
I think this whole kinder, gentler notion is a huge failure and it irritates the heck out of me.
Before everybody flames me, think about it. How many times have you personally seen a child acting up in public? How many times have you watched the parent leaning over and saying in a soft and gentle voice "Now Timmy, is this the way we behave in public? Is this using your inside voice?" or some other type of "gentle" cajoling (aka begging) their child to behave. To which the child laughs and continues on because they know there is no real consequence to their bad behavior.
Again, too much coddling going on. Like Proshay, I am by no means saying it is OK to abuse a child (verbally, physically, emotionally). I am saying that perhaps society has swung that pendulum too far in the opposite direction.
I have watched this episode TWICE and I've yet to see anything that I would consider verbal abuse from Abby. Neither does my husband (although he did think Abby was an idiot and rather ridiculous, he laughed at her and mocked her and said he wouldn't have a daughter of his at her studio because she was a fool). The ones doing the abuse are the alcoholic mothers who are clearly in this only for the fame whoring.