First of all, even the pain of punishment will disappear, the scars on body and heart somehow will remain for the entire life. With no doubt, teaching children not to spill the milk on the floor by simply slapping on their bottoms would be a rapid way to warn them not to make the same mistake again. However, I think your children would remember how bad you treat them more than the lesson they’ve learned and reflect this rage on their children in the future by teaching them in same way. In addition, some researches even have shown the causes of some criminal’s psychological problems can be traced back to their parents’ serious physical punishment or even abuse. The former dictator of Iraq Saddam Hussein would be a good example.
Second, without violence in the house, I believe children will have a happier childhood and get along with their parents better when they grow up. If we observe the relationship between parents and children more carefully, it is not hard to find out the happiness existing in the house is not only connected to children’s behavior but also parents’. After all, simply punish them physically can’t make them easier to understand what exact the mistake they make because they only know it’s wrong but don’t know why it is wrong. However, although it takes more time, if you explain to them why they do is wrong and what bad results they may cause instead of punish them, then it would be easier to make them understand this mistake can not be done again without making an awkward atmosphere in the family.
Finally, to let the children know what is right and what is wrong, I
think the best way for them is to experience and judge by themselves. Like I mentioned above, the most important principle is let them know why it’s wrong. Once they find out, then their brain will naturally tell them not to do it before they get hurt (no matter by themselves or parents). For instance, even you strongly warned your children don’t get too close to the fire, they still want to touch and feel it what it is. But once they suffer from the pain of burning, I assure you they don’t dare to do it again on purpose.
To make a conclusion, I think physical punishment is not the best way to train children. Although it is fast and effective sometimes, you will never know what consequences it may bring in the future. After all, compared to the bad relationship and many problems it may cause, the long time it takes to teach a child in a liberal and gentle way seems very worthy.