I am aghast that we are still debating spanking children. Spanking creates pain and fear. It is not possible for a child or an adult to think clearly when the brain is in survival mode, loaded with steroids, and when only the most primitive part of the brain is working.
Punishment is the severe handling or treatment.
Spanking: verb (used with object) 1. to strike (a person, usually a child) with the open hand, a slipper, etc., especially on the buttocks, as in punishment.
Hurting a child is harming a child; it does change the brain's response mechanism. Children cannot think clearly when being frightened or hurt. Nor does their "I'm sorry, Dad" or, "I didn't mean to, Mommy" equal forgiveness. Hopefully, children with use compassion to help the parent find another way to help them succeed in pleasing Mommy and Daddy. I am really hoping these parents are not striving for blind obedience from their children.
From www.endcorporalpunishment.org: A 2013 study compared approval of corporal punishment in Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Poland and Ukraine through surveys of 500-1,000 people in each country. It found that in some countries which have prohibited all corporal punishment, the proportion of people believing that corporal punishment should never be used had increased since a similar survey in 2005. In Bulgaria (which prohibited all corporal punishment in 2000), it had risen from 47% to 54%, in Latvia (which prohibited in 1998) from 39% to 51%, in Moldova (which prohibited in 2008) from 37% to 50% and in Poland (which prohibited in 2010) from 35% to 47%.
(Nobody’s Children Foundation (2013), The Problem of Child Abuse: Comparative Report from Six East European Countries 2010-2013, Warsaw: Nobody’s Children Foundation)
A study carried out between October and December 2007 examined five European countries: Sweden, Austria and Germany, which have prohibited corporal punishment, and France and Spain which had not prohibited corporal punishment at the time of the study (Spain prohibited all corporal punishment in December 2007). Five thousand parents (1,000 in each nation) were interviewed about their use of and attitude towards corporal punishment, their own experiences of violence and their knowledge and beliefs about the law.
Nearly all forms of corporal punishment were used significantly less in countries which had prohibited than in those where corporal punishment was still lawful. For example, while over half of French and Spanish parents had “spanked” their child’s bottom, only 4% of Swedish parents and around 17% of Austrian and German parents had done so. Nearly half of Spanish and French parents had used severe corporal punishment (a resounding slap on the face, beating with an object or severe beating) on more than one occasion, compared with 14% of Austrian and German parents and 3.4% of Swedish parents.