There is controversy about spanking a child. There are arguments for both sides. However, there is a line that is drawn in any argument where abuse and lack of control can supercede training (discipline). This line is where abuse (long term effect of hurtful manipulation) can become a habit and method of choice. In any case, between physical and emotional abuse, neither is worse than the other. Both create serious on going problems. In fact, many adults could logically trace their adult behaviors back to one sentence that stuck in their head even when they are not in an abusive upbringing. For example, there are adults who during their teens were told they would amount to nothing. Now, they seek to prove that wrong by overachieving without actually realizing that is where this obsession with achieving comes from. There are also adults that grew up in a home where spanking was normal and not considered abusive. Later in life, when they do what their parents did, they may recognize, in an emotional breakthrough, just how much it hurt them and just how much they shoved down. These are great examples of how a seemingly normal childhood has later effects and baggage. How much worse are the future effects and baggage in a textbook abuse case. The real question is how can we raise our children to be well mannered, conscientious, intelligent, happy, upstanding young men and women. The answer is by holding them to that standard, treating them as though they already are, and showing them an example of what that is. We can't be perfect but we can express to our children when we make mistakes so that they can learn from us not someone else. More important, and mostly underutilized, is patient consistency ALL OF THE TIME. Mean what you say and say what you mean, then stick to it.