I distinctly remember going over to babysit my neighbors kid as a young teen. I knew from my interactions with his mom, that he got a lot of spankings. During one such baby sitting session, I remember the kid fiddling with a lamp that would probably shatter if he didn't stop playing with it, so after 2 warnings, I stood up and raised my voice at him to get him to stop, and the kid literally backed up into a corner and cowered in fear like a scared dog. I remember being so taken aback by the look of absolute terror in the kids eyes at the thought I was going to beat him. Instead, I took him by the hand and led him away from the lamp and had a conversation about what he was doing wrong and why it was unsafe, and that was it. Re-directed him to something else, and we moved on with our day, no belts necessary.
I've never understood why it's okay to beat a child that is a third of the size of their adult counterpart. All this kid knew from his interactions with his mom, was fear, but that didn't stop his bad behavior. He wasn't now a model child who never did anything wrong or stopped getting in trouble. To hear people speak about spankings like it's the holy grail of discipline is odd, because if it worked so incredibly well, why would you have to keep doing it over and over again? It also is a walking contradiction to what parents tell their children about how one shouldn't hit someone else if they are fighting over a toy or they shouldn't punch someone if they skip the line, but yet, the child's own parent is an absolute hypocrite by beating their own children as a means to a solution to a problem. I mean explain to me how a parent can be called in by a teacher to discuss a child hitting another child, and then that parent takes the kid home and tells him how wrong he was for doing it...by then hitting him?!?
When a parent says, beating a child is the only way, clearly it isn't. You want to institute discipline and set boundaries for your children where they know, once they cross a certain line, enough is enough, but that doesn't mean pull out a shoe, or a switch, or the hand to beat them down. My mother in particular had "the look." From across the room, if she sensed we were doing wrong, she would shoot "the look," and my brother and I knew, if we kept doing what we were doing, we'd be without tv, without video games or any other fun thing, without dessert, without social activity or anything until we understood very clearly that you don't mess with the look.
My mom didn't get that power from beating us down. She got it from constant discipline, teaching us about respect, and from consistent follow through---if she said we were going to be grounded and/or have stuff taken away, it happened, and it suckkkkeedddd! A beating lasts a few minutes, but not being able to go to your best friends birthday party that all your friends talked about afterwards for weeks...a tragedy.
I think parents who believe in beatings as the only true way to get their kids to comply, should really ask themselves, why is it that they, in all their adult age and wisdom, can't seem to figure out how to discipline their own 6 year old child without resorting to violence? This also pertains to any aspect of dealing with other people---if you can't figure out another solution other than beating someone to a pulp or physically putting your hands on them, why is that? People who do this end up in jail. We don't allow other adults to beat or spank children, men to beat women (and it should also be women to beat men), bosses to "discipline" bad employees, and on and on, and yet, somehow, in some people's worlds, it's okay that they should be able to do it to small children. Something is wrong with that picture.