I'm a firm believer in giving a child a smack on the rear when needed. I was paddled when I was growing up, and I turned out ok (well, that's opinionated
I have 2 children whom I love dearly, even when I spank them (which is few and far between). When I spank them, it's not so much how hard (or soft) I hit them, it's more of the fact that they're getting spanked. I've never smacked my kids so hard that they cried from the spanking. They cry from the act of being spanked instead, as I know I'm not hitting them hard enough to make them cry. I've tried other forms of punishment, as I said "I'll never spank my kids", but they didn't work as well as a spanking did. Put them in the corner and the talk to themselves while they pick their nose. Send them to their room, and they play with their toys, watch TV, play a video game or talk on the phone. Grounding them isn't to much of a good thing, as they've got other things that will occupy them (games, phone, friends etc.). Give them a spanking, and it leaves a lasting impression, as they'll stop to think...."hmmm....last time I did that I got spanked.....better not light the cat on fire."
I also believe that they way a child is disciplined sticks with them as they mature into adulthood. Have you ever seen a child that kicks and screams and yells and hits their parents without fear of reprimand? Those are the kids that grow up to be jerks or bullies in school, and then go on to do bad (possibly illegal) things, like criminal mischief in general. I'm one of those parents that say "if my kids ever acted like that I'd smack them", but (and I firmly believe this to be true) I spank my kids and am very firm and strict when it comes to disciplilne, so my kids are well behaved and they'll be better off in the long run. I know that people don't look at my child and shake their heads with disgust because he/she is laying on the floor kicking and screaming at the top of their lungs and punching me in the middle of the mall becuase I won't get them a toy. Nope. My son tried that when he was 3. I told him that if he didn't get up off the floor and follow me so I could finish shopping, then I would drag him around the floor by his ankles after I spanked him. He screamed "NO YOU WON'T!!!!!". Needless to say, after a spanking and being dragged an isle, he had had enough and was ready to walk on his own and be good. Spank your kids.....it'll do them good.
Now, with that said, I'm all for spankings, and all against child abuse. No one else yells at my kids besides me (and the wife), and the day that someone besides me lays a hand on one of my children.......may god show them mercy because I won't. I've actually seen a kid getting abused in a city and I stopped my car in the middle of the street and began yelling at the dad. He was punching a kid that (come to find out) was 4 years old. We argued for a minute until he hit me. I then began to abuse him, and by the time the cops showed up, he was lying on the ground in a daze. The child was taken to the hospital, then taken by social services. The father ended up in jail, and assualt charges against me were dropped before they even made it to court becase I was "saving a child from physical abuse". There's a fine line between "a good spanking' and abuse, and that line is about a million miles wide.
Needless to say that I don't see how an occasional spanking would do anything but help to "shape" a child as they grow, as long as that spanking is within reason and is well deserved. I know that when I take my kids out in public they'll behave. When someone tries to get them to do something illegal, they'll say no. There's a difference between teaching your children the difference between right and wrong, and enforcing the difference between right and wrong.
I'm not saying that you should spank your kids, or that you shouldn't. As long as you're not beating your kids, and your kids aren't beating me, I don't care how you discipline your kids.
Even though I spank my kids, they know that I love them more than anything on this earth. I've always told them that there's nothing they can't do, and that only they can hold themselves back. I've encouraged them to "go forth and do great things", and that they are capable of anything and everything as long as they try, and that the only time they'll fail is when they don't try. Even when my son lost a wrestling match to a girl, and he was devistated and thought that life was over as he knew it, he knew that I still loved him and that I would help him with his troubles.....even though I spanked him that morning for constantly arguing with me. Respect is the key: Teach your kids respect, and they'll help to make the world a better place. Dang, I oughta send that one to Hallmark!
Just my humble opinion, my "2 cents worth". I'll not argue or "discuss" how my beliefs are better than your's, or hers or his or theirs. Just my opinion, and we all know what opinions are like.....