It would take the hands of everyone I know to count the spankings I got as a child and that is counting their feet too. I grew up in very different times. I could be spanked for wasting shampoo when washing my hair or leaving dirty dishes in the sink. I got the kind of spankings she wanted to hold a conversation through. Every contact from the switch with a word, "What did I tell you, how many times must I tell you." My mother wanted to make sure I never saw the inside of a jail cell. The way she was going to ensure that was to keep me in check at home under her watchful eye and switch. She succeeded.
If my mother ever heard me use my "that's 1, that's 2, that's 3" method of discipline with my children, she would have spanked me and them. What is that she would have asked? You can use that time beating the sense into them. My father in-law called his belt "the hearing aid". He said kids just hear better when it is around.
I don't know the right answer. I have been on both sides of the spanking pendulum. Personally, I prefer not to spank. Some would say it depends on the child. On this point at least I disagree. Either you use it or you don't. You don't talk to one child and then turn around and spank his brother.
I do know that as parents we need to use all the tools in our took kit to raise our children. I believe it begins with patience and a willingness to talk things out. This includes hearing and being heard.
I grew up never being allowed to question my mother. "Do as I say, not as I do."
Giving our children a voice and allowing them to express their points of view in a tempered manner is extremely important. Showing them there are consequences for bad behavior, expressing our disappointment, admitting our culpability, all lead to well adjusted children who will one day become well adjusted adults.
It is always easier and more expedient to threaten our children, knock some sense into them. But a lingering question I am confronted with is this....what have we really accomplished in the long term? What were we really teaching them?
I truly doubt my kids will spank their offspring. Largely because they don't have that orientation. They have not been taught spanking as a general rule. Perhaps theirs will be the first generation spanking-free.