I've never spanked my son pictured with me. But making that work takes a completely different understanding of humanity that is not Christian. Christianity and most religions teach we are born with a sinful nature and it is dicipline which includes spanking or (not sparing the rod) that sets us on the straight and narrow. Science does not support that religious dogma. There has been lots of lab work done with brain scans that has determined that empathy is normal human nature and our childrens brains are wired to naturally want to emulate their parents. If parents show their pleasure and admiration for what their children do well, the children will want to be that kind of person. As an example I'm reminded of an incident that occurred not to long ago. My four year old boy and I were enjoying an afternoon at the towns pool. At the time we were throwing 6" hoops back and forth and catching them on a finger like a ring toss. While we were playing he noticed another child had been just standing and not playing with anyone. He spotted a toy floating and spontaneously went to get it; brought it over to the child; showed how to play with it and handed it to her and came right back to continue playing with me without giving another thought to what he had just done. - I was moved to tears of admiration. Trying not to make an embarrassing display, I asked him to come over and hugged him and held him and said in his ear, "You're such a good boy. That was really nice of you to get that toy for her. I hope I can always be as good as you." I gave him another squeeze; set him down and we continued playing. - What happened? A long list of "Christian" virtues were spontaneously displayed in that incident by a four year old child who can't yet read the bible or any thing else and has never been to Sunday school or had any other religious instruction and, his atheist dad.
Very good question, and I can't wait to read other's responses to this. My first reaction is "Sure, why not?" However, I had my share of "spankings" that were pretty freaking traumatic for me, and looking back on many of them, I realized the punishment was not "controlled" nor in many cases did it fit the crime. There will be those who answer this question and say violence of ANY type is not to be fostered on children. I kind of agree with that too, but that type of rhetoric is usually spouted off by those who are either in a position of comfort, or are just spouting off BS that they themselves don't abide by, or perhaps they are just really rational stable people that don't need to apply that type of punishment. I suspect those types of people are few and far between. If not, then I suspect I have been really screwed in my life.
No. Never. There is no reason to inflict physical harm onto a child. I don't care what the bible says, I don't care that our parents hit most of us, I don't care that some people think there is a difference between a swat and a beating. I have a 17 yr old son who has never been physically disciplined and he's been a respectful, sweet caring kid. You get back from children what you put into them.