My parents never spanked/hit/smacked/punched/beat my sister and I, and we turned out just fine. They used other methods to punish us when we acted up, like making us copy from the dictionary, making us sit in the corner facing the wall for 30 minutes, taking away toys/games/privileges, etc. My mother was abused as a child, though back then it wasn’t called “abuse,” it was just called “good parenting.” My grandfather’s idea of “good parenting” was hitting my mom so hard that her head went through a wall. As such, she vowed never to lay a hand on any of her kids when they misbehaved, and she didn’t. Neither did my dad, though he didn’t grow up the way she did. His family had other issues (like my grandfather’s alcoholism), but not that.
Maybe not having children of my own means I don’t have the correct perspective on this, but if your child makes you so angry because of something they’ve done, your first instinct is to put your hands on them, even just to spank them, you need to step back and ask yourself if that’s an appropriate response. Would you want your employer doing that to you at work if you screw up on a spreadsheet or accidentally click “Reply All” instead of just “Reply” in an e-mail? I just don’t understand it. Your children shouldn’t fear you, they should love and respect you.