What is the difference between "discipline" and "corporal punishment"? Literally, discipline means to teach or instruct; usually referring to helping children learn self-control. However, when parents speak of discipline, they often mean corporal punishment. Corporal punishment, though, involves the application of physical pain in response to undesirable behavior. In my opinion, I strongly believe that parents should not spank their child because there are other alternatives and spanking can cause long-term effects. So, why risk it?
Spanking can be ineffective because it does not teach an alternative behavior. Children may feel resentful, humiliated, and helpless after being spanked. As a result, the lesson they learn appears to be they should try harder not to get caught. Also, it sends the wrong message to children. Spanking can demonstrate that hitting is an acceptable way to solve problems, and that it is all right for a big person to strike a smaller one. When spanking is a frequently discipline method used it may have some harmful long-term effects such as increasing the chances of misbehavior, aggression, violent or criminal behavior, impaired learning, and depression.
Instead of spanking, the first response to do is to calm down because when your angry or upset you may make choices that you wouldn't under calmer circumstances. Then, you may think of alternative approaches to discipline. Parents need time out too; they should go for a walk, take a warm bath, read, and something to help keep them focused. Parents should be firm, kind and rational. Set down rules, let the child know if it is not negotiable and then what the consequences will be. Let the child know, if possible, whether the child has choices, and that as you the adult are the authority. Let children know ahead of time what is acceptable and what is not. If they know your rules and the consequences, all you have to do is follow-through with the pre-determined action.
Children are too young to understand the lesson they are bound to learn. It is very difficult message for any adult or child to understand, "I hurt you because I don't want you hurt." Ineffective methods are often based on unrealistic expectations about what children are capable of learning. You should make the right decision as a parent to love and nurture your child without the use of corporal punishment. Plan ahead, and have a list of disciplinary actions to choose from that doesn't include spanking.