"Kids are brighter than you think". Exactly.
I have three kids, ages 15, 13 and 4.
When I first became a parent I was all for old-fashioned discipline having seen the mess that most parents seemed to have made of their kids. But although I was always careful to keep control of myself when applying discipline it wasn't long before I realised that the "harmless clip round the ear" and the "bend over you're going to get a smack" routines, whether applied coldly, sadly or with apparent anger, were only terrifying and confusing my toddler son. If I'd kept it up I honestly can't say whether it would have succeeded in making him obedient, but I do know it would have caused him a lot of suffering and emotional torment and driven a wedge between us. So I abandoned this approach and began using calm reasoned explanation backed up with nonviolent sanctions.
That son is now 15, a grammar school student at the top of his class. He has a polite and friendly nature, a wide and diverse circle of friends, and he is a credit to himself and to his family.
My 13 year old daughter, whom I've never smacked at all, is a balanced and well-mannered young lady with a kind and loving nature and many talents including stage acting and music. She picks her friends carefully. She's quite happy just being 13 and doesn't get up to any of the disgusting nonsense that so many of her cohort do who dress like tarts and can't seem to wait to get boozed up and lose their virginity.
My 4-year old daughter, also never ever smacked, and almost never even even shouted at, is brighter than either of them. When she gets upset or naughty all I have to do is speak to her quietly, she always gives me her full attention, and then she is calm. And why? Because the most important thing to her is that her Daddy is so very, very proud of her.
As time has gone on, experience has made me a better father. Just about the very first thing I learned was that smacking is counterproductive, at best. Since then I have concentrated on learning what *does* work. Positive reinforcement, sympathy, understanding, and most of all, love.
Beating infants is a symptom of a primitive society in which children are merely another resource to be controlled and exploited. But as we all know, child abuse has a tendency to repeat from generation to generation. STOP AND THINK WHAT YOU ARE DOING.