How many remember when life was simple enough that we could differentiate between good and bad in terms of white and black? But we have become civilised and progressed so far that we seem to have turned all that simplicity into so many grey areas. The pages of history as well as current mass media are strewn with many examples of bad guys whose parents swore they were good kids, who meant no harm to others even as they were indicted as robbers, rapists or killers. And it's up to the lawyers with their mental acrobatic twists and turns to prove them guilty beyond reasonable doubt.
And now they even think caning a kid for bad behavoir is called 'corporal punishment' and the practice should be banned.
Try wishing back the days of black and white. You can't appreciate the brightness of daylight without knowing the darkness of the night. Everyone has to be shown what's good and what's bad and understand the difference. Or he has to learn it for himself, the hard way.
In bringing up a kid, I believe there's a time to use the carrot and there's a time when you need to use the stick. If a child is told in no uncertain terms he's done wrong when he breaks the rules, and he's punished if he continues to do so, he gets the message sooner or later. Of course, it has to be done with his welfare in mind. But if he gets the mollycoddles all the time and nobody demonstrates what it means if he does wrong, then he gets the message that he can get away with anything.
Unless he's intelligent enough to reason like an adult, (and there are kids who can do that), he's going to be as confused as the pit bull which killed an old lady and wondered why everyone's so fussy about it. He was just acting naturally. The old lady looked threatening to him. And nobody said you can't attack old ladies!
The old malay proverb about shaping bamboo while it's still young applies universally. Since we think kids are smarter now, we have to start them even younger. Parenting is no "walk in the park". And I would add that there's no standard response to standard treatment. What's good for the goose doesn't necessarily mean it's good for the gander. You have to use your intelligence. And the bonus is, if you're intelligent, your kids will be even better if you bring them up right.
So, if you look forward to a peaceful walk in the park without having to pull your kids off the throats of other kids or flower beds they're trying to wreck, then do your job first. Doesn't matter if you do it your way. Just make it clear to your kid what's good and what's bad. And do it with love.
I believe kids are resilient enough to outgrow the 'mental scars' or other excuses that child experts use to discourage "corporal punishment" (using the cane), unless you whip them half to death with a steel pipe which happened to be in your hands. That's not punishment. That's venting your own anger. That's self-centered. And that's destructive.