The American Academy of Pediatrics and many other professional organizations are strongly opposed to spanking. The author of this article is opposed to spanking. While all children need discipline on hundreds of occasions, there are alternatives to spanking. Redirecting (distracting) the child, taking away a privilege, or sending a child to his or her room are some of the other ways to discipline. We can raise children to be agreeable, respectful, responsible, productive adults without ever spanking them.
There are several good arguments for not spanking. Spanking carries the risk of an angry chain-reaction that sometimes ends in child abuse. Also, spanking makes aggressive behavior worse because it teaches a child to lash out when he or she is angry. Other forms of discipline can be more constructive, leaving a child with some sense of guilt and help them form a conscience. Parents who turn to spanking as a last resort for "breaking their child's will" usually find that they have underestimated their child's will.
Also consider the legal argument. If physical punishment were directed against another adult, it would be called assault and battery and that's illegal. Currently most European countries, Israel, Japan and many others prohibit physical punishment of children by law. Physical punishment by school staff is illegal in all countries except the United States and South Africa. On the brighter side it is currently prohibited by the State Board of Education in 37 out of 50 states.
It is preferred that you not use spanking at all to discipline your child. Less than 50% of American parents still use some physical punishment in child rearing. It's gradually becoming less socially acceptable to spank. So if you have not changed your mind after reading these facts, please use restraint and follow these safety guidelines: