Re: The spanking debate.
My DS is only 20 months, so we definitely do not spank at this point. I don't plan on spanking, but I'm not willing to make any blanket statements.
However, I always find it interesting that spanking gets such a bad rap, and yet nobody blinks about people yelling at their kids. I was spanked occasionally as a kid, but the default was my mom yelling at me. I have no scars from the spanking. But the yelling? Oh my goodness, I can't really describe it without getting anxious and getting a knot in my stomach, and I'm in my mid 30s. Think about how I felt about it 20 years ago! If I had to pick a parenting style to label as "lazy, done in anger, and possibly abusive" it would be yelling at your kids, not spanking.
I remember being around my pastor and his kids one time. One of his kids did something they weren't supposed to do. He said in a very calm voice, "M, you know you aren't allowed to do that. You are going to get a spanking when we get home." The kid was obviously upset, we finished up what we were doing and then we went back to their house. They went into M's room, I heard him describing what happened, why M was disobedient, and what he expected. Then there were a couple of smacks on the bum. They came out, and M snuggled up in his lap whimpering, but clearly not injured, while he gave her hugs and kisses and told her he loved her. That is spanking used appropriately.
So yeah, compared to my mom screaming at the top of her lungs, "Why can't you ever listen??? Can't you do anything right???", before storming off and leaving me alone and sobbing, his spanking was much much more instructive, more loving, and less abusive in my humble opinion.