This question seems to keep popping up here at Hubpages.
My position continues to be the same. Spanking is violence. Just like slapping, hitting, twisting, pinching and shaking. Do you want to teach a child that violence is the way to deal with problems? Do you want to see fear in your child's eyes? Do you want your child cowering and running from you?
Clear, calm, logical discussion where both sides are honored. Where the child's behavior and the expectations are compared and everyone understands the mismatch.
Is all spanking child abuse? No. But all spanking is violence.
As a psychologist with emphasis in child and adolescent, there is little reason to believe that the infrequent swat on the bum is going to scar a child for life. (After all most of us adults today managed to survive such discipline.) That said, even the infrequent physical punishment does endanger the critical trust growing between parent and child. A child, rightly, has good reason to believe that his parent will protect him, not hurt him. A broken trust is very difficult to re-establish, if at all.
Loving, teaching, correcting, defending, supporting, and nurturing is some of what a parent provides. There should be very little room for hitting, slugging and punching (sadly, not all that far removed spanking).
i would not be looking for the magical "acceptable amount of spanking". There really is none. But there certainly is an "acceptable amount of love, honesty and dignity" a parent can give a child. All he can.