Personally I'm fully confident that if nothing else works, beating won't help, either.
Then what do you do? Take my kicking example. Do you just suffer years of bruised shins? Do you hope they grow out of it on their own? What happens if they kick someone else, another kid, who doesn't decide to take it?
I would never jump to spanking or yelling first. It's the last option...but it's an option. I also don't threaten to spank. I hate it when parents threaten to spank and count down.
Parents get exhausted, frustrated, and feel like failures when the things they try don't work. Parents are human. Parents do things wrong. Parents make mistakes.
As I said, my mother spanked me once and she regretted it. She was scared for my life. She was scared that I might have run away for some reason. She was hysterical. She hit me. She felt like a monster. I cried and it hurt. Was it the best reaction she could have had? No. But it was the one that happened. I don't fault her for that.
I hate to make references to television, but I loved watching Roseanne growing up. It reminded me a lot of my family in the first few seasons. A family scraping by on very little and making it work. I related to Roseanne's family more than I did the Bundy's or the Cleaver's.
Roseanne reminded me a lot of my mother. Especially in an episode that DJ steals a car. He was a kid and he did something really stupid. Roseanne was terrified over what could have happened to her child and horrified over what he'd done. She spanked him. She regretted it. Her character history says her father was a screamer and a spanker. She said she never wanted to spank...but she did. Yes, it was a scripted show, but it was real. Those things happen. Parents freak out and it happens.
I think what matters is what happens after the spanking. Roseanne, like my mother, came to me and talked to me. She told me about how scared she was for me, how much it hurt her to do what she did, and how she hoped I understood. I did.
My father never spanked me. But he did my brothers. They resented him. While one turned out fine and the other not so much, maybe it wasn't the spanking that caused it. Maybe it was the fact that he never apologized, that he never talked, that he never told them how much it hurt him to do it. Maybe it didn't hurt him to do it. Maybe he was just able to ignore that hurt and just do it.
Whatever the reason...parents are not without flaws. Spankings happen for a variety of reasons.
And you know what? I don't think "don't hit others" is a big fat lie. I still believe in talking it out first, but I have no problem throwing a fist.
I'm not a perfect human. I have depression. I have gender issues. I've been told I'm a sociopath (what a load of BS). I've been told I have no heart. But I've also been told I'm the most caring individual. That I'm a lovely human. That I'm incitement and intelligent. No two people ever see anyone the same way.
Just because I am willing to use my fist (though not on a child), doesn't make me any worse a human than anyone else. Just because I'd be willing to spank if I run out of options or if I fail as a human doesn't make me any worse a human than anyone else.
I should be judged on the reasons for my actions and my actions after that. Not by someone who sees me do something without knowing why. I'm willing to kill for my child. I'm willing to die for my child. If I spank my child, those that know me know that means I reached the end of options and I mean to exhaust that last one before accepting failure. Those who don't know me...well, they are free to see me as a heartless monster.
But whatever. Everyone has an opinion and no one is exactly right. Views can change as we age. I was silly enough to tell myself that I would never tell my child No. Because all I ever heard growing up was No. It's laughable to think that now.
I'm imperfect. So were my parents. So is everyone.