Originally Posted by Tokyo Slim
+1 It's evidently pretty easy for people to forget that there really is no "right" way to teach or discipline all kids. There may be a "right" way to teach or discipline YOUR kids, but the one you are most comfortable with, may not be the "right" one for your child. That's a judgment call that as a parent you have to make for yourself. I've seen plenty of parents make the wrong decision. For some kids, spanking will work better than talking, or time outs, or diagrams, or reading a book, or learning by example, or anything else. For some kids, one of the other methods works better. The learning of discipline and teaching of how to behave should be determined by the child - not the parent. As a parent, you can say "I will never spank my child". And if your child needs to be spanked - you will have just failed to teach your child something they probably need to know. It's a much more complex dynamic than just stamping children out of a cookie cutter mold and expecting them to conform to whatever your ideal is. It's the goal of any educator, whether parent, priest, or schoolteacher - to get the point across. It's up to you to determine the best way to do that, of course, but a simple spanking is no more inherently generally "wrong" as a teaching tool than a time out. Depending on the child, they can both cause similar levels of trauma. That being said, many parents who choose to use spankings as punitive discipline, do so for the wrong reasons, and it gives it a bad name. I'm generally of the opinion that most people have little to no business being parents. In my eyes, ignoring your children can be just as bad as beating them.
This. Some kids need a spanking once in a while, some kids, less so. Sometimes my daughter requires a stern lecture, the anticipated swat (never comes out of nowhere, it's always, "Okay, I told you that you would get a spanking if you did not stop doing X, and you decided to do X right after I said that, so now you need that spanking") an elicited apology, and then corrective action on the child's part (e.e.g. cleaning up the mess they made when they threw the ball for the third time after being warned. Then, after she recovers emotionally in the corner, she seems to retain an idea of what she did wrong, and to not do it again (she is a few months from being 3.) Boys seem to need a little more. I think that physical labor gives them time to think about things. "Okay, here's that rap on the head. Now, 30 pushups and then you get to sweep the kitchen floor." The anticipation that the punishment is coming, and that it is punishment, is more effective than the punishment itself. My swats, honestly, are lighter than some of the roughhousing that goes on in the house otherwise.