My answer to that has always been a very definite no. Yes, I always thought one could get away with not spanking.
There is a profound verse in Proverbs, and the first time I read it, it was a big wake up call for me. I didn't like spanking, no parent does, but when we don't discipline our children, we actually don't love them enough. But how can that be, I always thought I loved them too much to go around causing them physical pain through spanking?!
Proverbs 13:24 "He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes."
bedtimes - (figuratively) be (up) early at any task (with the implication of earnestness); enquire early, rise (seek) betimes, seek (diligently) early, in the morning). That, to me, means we have to start disciplining early in life.
I am against spanking when spanking implies a smack on the bottom, and that only causes spinal injury. Going around "spanking" a child on the bottom for each little offence is no discipline at all. Firstly it doesn't hurt, just like hitting a dog with a newspaper only produces a lot of noise, and actually just frightens the poor animal, the same happens with a child. After a while the child gets used to the noise from behind and will just carry on being disobedient.
Disobedience must be corrected and punished, no matter what age.
Children are incredible quick learners! Have you noticed how quickly they will learn negative behaviour? Positive behaviour can also be learned! Just like obedience is something that is learned. No child gets born into this sinful world being obedient. Obedience comes from training and learning.
"...but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes."
Chasteneth - properly chastisement; figuratively reproof, warning or instruction; also restraint: - bond, chastening ([-eth]), chastisement, check, correction, discipline, doctrine, instruction, rebuke.
Chastisement - pain inflicted for punishment and correction should be a last resort.
I am not against a good hiding when it is meaningful, does in fact cause physical pain and discomfort, and is not done when the parent is upset, angry or irritable.
“The rod and reproof give wisdom” (Proverbs 29:15). Reproof is delivered in words. Reproof is designed to impart wisdom and understanding. Reproof corrects the child’s perspective and gives him a reason to obey that is higher than fear. The rod alone may create fear but reproof creates wisdom.
How ever you as a parent choose to discipline, be consistent. Spanking, no spanking, isolation, extra work, reproof, instruction, whatever... be consistent! Children are remarkable quick learners. If you apply the rules consistently, they should learn very quickly!
To play fair, children need to be aware of all the rules. Don't make them up as you go along. It is best if these rules are visible where everybody can see them. Older children appreciate this when they are aware of the game plan...