so after you get their attention, do they stop crying? or cry more? did it help the situation? you stated in this case that they are tired. well, tired kids whine and fuss. it's natural. i can't see how spanking them when they are in this state helps matters. well as BV stated, if spanking is an automatic, no-thought-involved response to an unruly child, it's clearly over the line. at least in my opinion. you state that this is used as a last resort and infrequently, which is certainly better than the above, but i still question what good it does. i dunno, maybe i will change my mind as my kids get older (a few months shy of 4 and 6), but i doubt it. our method is working for us. i got spanked as well (though not frequently; in fact i can't recall any specific instances), and have the same thought of my parents as you do. doesn't mean other ways won't work, and i'm gonna try 'em out. so you toughen up the kids by hitting them? do you raise pit bulls too?