This can vary from state to state. Are you talking about physical, mental or emotional abuse or neglect or abandonment? Are you asking about criminal behavior, or behavior that could get a child removed from a home? Are you asking about your behavior, or someone elses? If it is yours, if you have any question as to whether or not it is abusive, don't do it. If it is someone else, and you have a question about whether it is or is not child abuse, report it to your state's child protective investigation agency and/or the police and let them make the call. If you give us a little more information, we might be able to give you a more specific answer.
Thousands of books and publications are written on this subject---this question cannot possibly be answered in a meaningful way without knowing precisely what the issues are that you face. Our laws are especially protective of children, and it is no longer the case that parents can view their children as their "property". Parents who engage in physical violence to discipline their children can be deemed to be abusive---it it not necessarily the case that parents have the right to hit their children for disciplinary purposes. Likewise, parents cannot deprive their children of education, food, decent clothes, and health care without engaging in child abuse. Likewise, parents who fail to adequately supervise their children or leave them alone can be held to engage in child abuse. If you have concerns in this area, then you should retain family law counsel to guide you.
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