Is spanking a child, child abuse?
I think what is missing in this discussion is intention: what is the intention of the parent who is doing the spanking? The child is able to perceive the motivation of his parents; whether spanking is an act of frustration from a loving parent, or an act of revenge and retalitation from a hateful parent. To create a hard and fast rule about something with so many nuances -- (how hard, long, etc. was the spanking, plus the attitude of the parent doing the spanking) is an over simplification of the issue, and misses the point altogether -- the meaning of the spanking in the parent-child relationship. Because of consesus thinking, spanking is now considered taboo. Even the so called experts are confused. All that proves is how frightened and confused the general population is about child abuse. Fear influences the thinking of the population, and does not contribute to the sum of knowledge and truth about human relationships. How little we expect parents to do the right thing regarding their children. That is a pretty sad message to send to the population. We forget that children kow when they are really valued, spanking or no spaking.