Advocates against hitting children for discipline are not against discipline. Even the people who say not to beat your kids discipline their children. The problem is people who do nothing except feed their brood and shove them off to school without proper discipline. Rowdy kids are a problem, trust me I know! Many parents should count themselves lucky there is not a “rowdy children” hunting season. There are a few ways you can get your kids to step into line.
1- Have children smart enough to think ahead to how what they are doing could be bad.
2- Punish your children psychologically.
3- Just hit the damn kid.
Good luck getting kids smart enough to look forward before the age of dead. This method needs to be taught to the child and reinforced from a young age. Most of the people I know who had quality hands off parenting (and graduated college) had two things - siblings their age (within ten years), and video games.
While it may sound rather crazy in the light of gore filled gunfests of orgasmic recoil, those aren't all that games are about. Many games are very simple, simple enough for kids to play, and punish you for not thinking ahead. Eventually kids will be forced to think playing games, "But the fire monster is somewhere around here, so I should take this bucket of water." While it may seem rather lame causing such a simple thought early in life can do one thing, make it instinctual for your child to look before they leap. So instinctual they do not even know they are doing it.
If you want to punish your kids psychologically it takes more than harsh words... sometimes. When you take away a toy, you need to take away a toy AND render it inoperable, because they WILL find it. Do NOT make them break it or burn it in front of them, psychological scars last forever and result in those kids you see smiling at you as you ask them to let you out of your burning garage.
To really work the mind angle in child rearing you need to have a knowledge of your brood. What do they value most? Now take that shit away! Xbox? Have your friend hold onto it for awhile. Books? PLUCK THEIR EYES OUT! Haha, not really, but take them away. Perhaps they are one of those kids with an imagination, what the hell do you do to them THEN! OH you got me now... No. Make them do manual labor. Take away their time... Some keys points to avoid here are making them hate things you want them to like. Don't take away their time by making them do school related things like math. Most of the good jobs of the future will require math, and a deep seeded hatred of basic arithmetic would be quite the stumbling block. No, add chores, make some up, have them rearrange the furniture or something. I don't know, you are the parent! Whatever you do, the CHILD needs to be able to DRAW A LINE connecting THE PUNISHMENT AND THE CRIME. if you EVER say "You know what you did bobby!" then you have failed. Even if they DO know, if they ask, tell them!
Never forget, go through with the punishment. If you say: "Bobby, if you watch television before you are done with your homework ill have Uncle Jim come over and take away the television until you can finish your homework reliably." DO THAT! Don't half ass your punishments, otherwise your kids will learn... that you are a pushover.
Violence is not inherently evil, and for some reason people seem to forget how effective it is. Just remember, you aren't bad for hitting your kids, you are bad if you hurt them. The problem with all punishments are that people will eventually work around them. Take away one thing, they learn to love another. While this is true of psychological things, pain has a rather... strange place in our lives. And it is a stimuli that can quickly be taken as pleasure, but ill elaborate on that later. For now, lets talk about tolerance.
When something happens, you get more used to it and desensitized to it. SO if you spank your kids, they will eventually have a higher pain tolerance, and be less responsive to the spanking. This may cause some parents to spank their kids so much they have an almost infinite pain tolerance! Which is cool if you don't remember that an enraged parent knows no fear and has the strength of the gods. You can hurt the kid. An occasional slap has it's uses, but you want more than half the effect to be that you actually hit them! Surprise and shock should be the main sensations the kids feel, not pain. If your kids look at you after you hit them with a face that says "Is that all you got?" you are probably hitting them too often...
On the “pleasure” cross over... awkward isn't it? But it is true. A great philosopher once said “There is no torture so horrible that a human won't eventually fetishize it.” And so much is true, humans are sick sick creatures. That is all I am going to say about that, i'm sure you can elaborate.
Last thing. I am sure you want good kids, smart kids, and kids who will one day not put you in a retirement home, and to raise smart kids you need to keep them thinking. Don't be predictable in your punishments, unless it is something like “Bobby you tracked mud all over the floor get in here and clean it up!” those are always the best punishments... But don't ever rely on one thing too much. Don't always take away the video games, don't always reduce allowances, don't always send them into siberia with just a knife. Change up your punishments,
It's the beauty of negative reinforcement.