If parents are not going to spank their children when their children are big and strong enough to physically overpower their parents, it seems to me that choosing to spank them when they are small is somewhat thoughtless, and perhaps even cowardly. I believe that every human being can be thoughtless and cowardly at times, so I am not condemning people who spank their children. If parents choose to spank their children, I can only hope that they do so with broken hearts rather than out of anger.

Parents who don't spank their children still discipline; they just do it in ways that don't involve hitting. Although some parents may equate spanking with discipline, the two are not synonymous: "Discipline is teaching; spanking is punishment. " According to the American Association of Parenting, taking away privileges and issuing time-outs yields better results than spanking.

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Some experts don't endorse spanking, because it is not effective in the long term, this can hurt a child's self-esteem, and can cause physical harm. Spanking -- the act of striking a child's buttocks with an open hand -- is a form of corporal punishment, a catchall term that includes hitting with a belt, paddling with an object (such as a stick or a large wooden spoon) and slapping with an open hand on the face.

Most child-development experts include acts such as tapping a toddler's diaper-cushioned bottom when he misbehaves and smacking the hand of a kid protectively as he reaches for a hot stove in the same category. To discipline out of anger makes the discipline more about the parent's lack of emotional control rather than about teaching their children how to mature into well functioning adult.