As a newby mom, I didn't know too many other tools for disciplining my child. I have since learned many and for the most part avoid physical punishments, and yelling as well. Actually, I try to avoid punitive discipline at all and focus on teaching appropriate behavior and expectations. I agree that corporal punishment is not beneficial, and I don't doubt it is related to mental illnesses. However, admittedly, when I am very tired or very frustrated, the "work" Leon spoke of tends to just feel like too much and I resort to my own raising as an example, and I do what feels good. Fortunately I pretty well have discipline under control enough now that my kids don't really try me too often, including when I am tired and not up to doing a good job.