The American Academy of Pediatrics has issued a policy statement against this practice
. We all should spare the rod, but will a swat or two really hurt?
Dr. Neifert: If we continue as a society to condone spanking, some kids will get really hurt. Let's say that you can strike your child effectively and never lose control -- another parent who's more stressed out or doesn't have the support at home may not be able to do that. Spankings are also a confusing way to teach a child a lesson about aggressive behavior.
Gore: I think many of us have spanked our kids at some point. I think we're human and our kids need to know we're human -- but I do think it's something to apologize for.
John Rosemond, Ph.D. (from John Rosemond's Six-Point Plan for Raising Happy, Healthy Children): A spanking is a spanking only if the following conditions are adhered to: The parent administers it with his or her hand only. The parent's hand makes contact with the child's rear end only. The hand strikes the rear no more than three times....
A spanking accompanied by a period of restriction or a brief reprimand will have a much greater positive effect than a spanking alone....The less parents spank, (though,) the more effective each spanking will be.
Lerner: Spanking may stop behavior instantaneously, but chances are the kid will do it again because he hasn't learned anything. If he's been drawing on the wall, has he learned what to do with a crayon? No. He's learned that when people are angry, they hit. And parents almost always spank in anger.