Violence is rooted in a sense of powerlessness, even spanking. When parents (or authorities) don’t know what else to do to get children to mind, they spank. When we have a very large repertoire of nonviolent and effective responses to misbehavior, spanking is rare. Furthermore, if spanking is used too easily, it hinders us from expanding our nonviolent repertoire. Spanking is too easy.
I personally believe in “relationship discipline”: having a relationship that is so important to the child that our automatic response to problems is to stop and work together to change what caused the problem. If all we can think of is spank, then we adults have lost our moral power, and the problem is ours, too. Not spanking depends on relationships with exceptional moral power. It is the way of love.