Very good question.
The way to live your life as a Christian, is to find out what the scripture says and conform to that.
I live in America and I spank my child. I have no fear of losing them to Social Services. I play by the rules, using an open hand on the butt. I normally only have to smack them once or twice to get my point across.
I was raised by a 5'4" one hundred and ten pound mom that spanked me. When I get out of line today I still get hit, thanks mom... I can tell you that she did it right, I have the utmost respect for my mother and rarely if ever talk back to any of my elders because of it. The Bible is true folks.
Proverbs 29:17 NIV
Discipline your children, and they will give you peace; they will
bring you the delights you desire.
This is a very, very valid point here. When you discipline your child with persistence, they will learn to respect you when you ask them to do something. They will not always fight you and therefore you will not always have to spank them.
Spanking is not the only answer to this question either. There's some book out called Love and Logic, although the book has its many fallacies as it relies to heavily on the secular, it still has some valid points. This book has some interesting ideas.
It's good to have a specific discipline for different kinds of offenses.
- Cleaning up: 'till this day when I get mad I always start cleaning. It's a good technique to have your child go clean their room when they get into trouble or fights with each other. Probably not the most logical discipline if they're offense was not listening.
- Timeout chair: although this is best used in tandem with spanking in my experience.
- Make them say their sorry: If one child hurts another child I ALWAYS make them show love before the punishment of timeout. "Go give your brother a hug and a kiss and tell him that you're sorry."
- Go to your Room: This is much different then time-outs, which usually involve the corner. If my children throw themselves on the ground or begin crying to get their way I escort them to their room and let them know that they can come out when they're done. These days they stop immediately, but I will not talk to them until they have regained their composure.
Remember that no matter what you do consistency is the key.
Another thing that I have learned is to pick my battles. There have been a few times in mine and my wives lives that we sat down, looked at each other and realized that we were yelling at the kids for every tiny offense.
Think about what you're child is doing before you tell them to not do it. Seriously. One day my child was climbing up on the window sill, 20" of the ground and I had the urge to tell them no. Then I thought about it for a minute, what is it going to hurt? If they fall, they will not die, they're just going to learn why I would be telling them no.
So my child slipped off the window sill and bopped his chin, crying of course he came to me (20 months old). I told him, "That's why we don't climb on the window. So remember, the next time I tell you that you can get hurt, this is why."