Is it illegal to hit your child in the US? It's not here, not yet anyway, and I honestly think it can be a positive thing if used correctly.
My dad used to hit my sister and I probably to levels that would register child abuse now, but it certainly kept us in line. The main form was a clip around the ear, or a slap across the cheek for mistakes, but if you did something wrong on purpose you were taken out to the cow shed and taken to with a leather strap.
I don't think levels like that are necessary to teach discipline, but until children reach a certain age where you have taught them to understand the meaning of right and wrong, a small, non damaging (bruises show up to social services
) whack across the thighs or something can certainly teach a child that whatever they did was wrong. How are you meant to reason with a two year old that throwing papers around and yelling is wrong, if not giving them an deterrent that they can understand?
I'm sure everyone has seen situations where there is some pathetic mother begging with her child to stop rampaging and to be good. I think a firm hand, both literally and figuratively is needed to curb this blight that is menacing our American way of l... uh. I think it can be used effectively.