thanks for your comments. I am one who received spankings as a child and I do not have rancor or criticism for the parent who spanked. On the other hand, the punishment I received from the other parent has hurt to this day.
I was the second oldest of (eventually) nine children. Obviously there were years when there were fewer children. My parents--but especially my father-- explained right and wrong behavior and how to assess the value of my actions. He was a soldier. Tough but fair was how another man measured him.
Dad was remarkably ethical in many difficult situations that I witnessed growing up. He had the challenge any man or woman who went to work and came home with to-do lists and a growing family and a spouse and the need for a little space of his own. His word was valued in the home. We generally did as we were told. He would fire "a shot across the bow" before a spanking occurred. When it came, we knew we had engaged his superior force by choice. Although I was slapped once without warning when I made a sneering remark to him as a sassy 11 year old. I was embarrassed to think I had been so disrespectful to him. In retrospect, he might have sat me down and talked to me about my behavior and I would have been just as ashamed. But there were 7 kids in the family so I will not fault him for his flash response in the thick of it all. I have no scars from any of his words or actions toward me -not mentally or physically.
My mother didn't spank us really. We were harangued--In fact,(and this will sound bad to some), when dad would be near enough to hear the bedlam, he might sort it out, saying as he did at times: "Reason, sweet reason, Joanne--hit them!"
Poor mom. There was a bit of anarchy in the house when dad was gone. It is difficult to manage a mob like we were. But it was mostly when the population grew and we older children were getting to be in our teens that her way of dealing with discipline or instruction was troubling. She had words that would demean and humiliate that were not instructive. Her words would cut your hope of ever measuring up.
there is what i have to add.