Studies show that kids who were strongly and frequently spanked developed self-esteem. But even if you only do it “sometimes” (and with a light hand) parenting expers believe that it’s counterproductive. The goal of discipline is to replace an unwanted behavior with an acceptable one, and kids don’t get that if all they remember is being hit. The more logical way of accomplishing that discipline goal is to set clear rules and expectations, explain that breaking rules have consequences, and give them responsibility. For example, if your child broke a vase because he threw a ball in the house (despite repeated reminders) tell him that the vase cost x amount, and that will be deducted from his allowance. Eventually, this kind of approach will give children a sense of critical thinking (“If I do this, that will happen”) instead of fear of authority.