It is funny the generation gap between people in my age group and their parents. Back when I was growing up my parents used to hand down physical punishments and even chase us kids around the house with a belt. It was normal, and completely acceptable to spank and smack your kids around. Now the day has changed and if you smack your kids it borders on physical abuse.
So what is a parent to do when a spanking is deserved? The answer is simple: Sit the kid in timeout. Start the clock. If the kid is 3, he gets 3 minutes, 5, five minutes. At the end of the timeout you have to explain to the child why they are in trouble and make sure they understand. This is usually done by having child verbalize the reason to YOU and then you re-enforcing the lesson.
Spanking is not an answer. There is just nothing positive gained except teaching the kids that violence is acceptable as a punishment. It might make the parent feel “good” for a second out of frustration but think about how sick that statement is.