Modern Humanists parents don’t spank.
Or most don’t. Why? Because it’s counterproductive, meaning it isn’t a very good discipline technique because it doesn’t really work to create discipline. It can create temporary compliance, but it does nothing to instill a sense of self-discipline in a child.
And isn’t that actually what most parents want? Kids who are self-disciplined? Kids who choose to do the right thing because, … it’s the right thing to do?
How can we help our kids learn to make good choices that are pro-social in most instances and yet, still encourage them to disobey when disobeying is the moral thing to do, because sometimes disobedience is the moral thing to do.
The answer is to respect our kids enough to not only let them make their own choices but to encourage that even when they disagree with us. The answer is to ask them questions so that they can practice choosing behaviors for themselves.
Does this take longer? Yes. Is it worth the effort? Yes. It is more ethical? Yes. Does it work to create powerfully ethical kids? Yes.
See: http://nospank.net/pt2011.htm For more information on why spanking is bad and doesn’t work.
To understand why other more “positive parenting” models of discipline work better – you need to read up on operant conditioning (see: http://facultypages.morris.umn.edu/~ratliffj/psy1051/operant_conditioning_example.htm and http://sites.psu.edu/psych256fa13/2013/09/13/106/
Or get my book The Bully Vaccine (which explains how to extinguish behaviors you don’t want using operant conditioning techniques). And yes, I do realize your child is not a bully, it’s the techniques that work that matter (http://thebullyvaccine)