I understand what you're saying about PTSD. You're right that it can occur outside of military service. I know the panic attacks you speak of, though mine happen whenever I give any real thought to my son's birth.
I've been following this thread, but not posting much. It raises the blood pressure a bit, you know?
I think it was you, Willowy, who pointed out that if a child is at the age where he or she can't be reasoned with, then he/she is also at the age where being hit won't teach him/her anything either. If they can't understand why they shouldn't touch the stove (it could be hot), they're also not going to be able to understand why they're being hit, either.
(Have I said this before?) Contrary to popular opinion, children are as deserving of respect as adults are. If we, as parents, can't respect our children enough to not hit them, how can we expect their respect in return? I think it was Dr. Phil who said, "You teach people how to treat you," and although I don't think he said it in regards to parenting, that sentiment still holds true. You teach your children to be respectful, caring, loving, thoughtful, etc. by being those things. If *you* as a parent can't control your temper, how can you expect your 2? 3? 4? 5? 6? year old to control him/herself?
No one wants to think they did wrong by their children. That, in part, is why I think pro-spanking parents are so adamant that you HAVE to spank children in order to teach them. Because, if that's not the truth, and they hit their children anyway, then they did wrong by them. They hit because they didn't have the skills or tools to *not* hit. They perpetuated the idea that hitting is ok-if done for "disciplinary" reason. And, as has been demonstrated numerous times on this thread, their children are likely to perpetuate the cycle further.
I don't claim to be a perfect mom. I lose my temper. I raise my voice. But, BUT!, I admit my mistakes and I'm working on learning how to *not* lose my temper and *not* raise my voice. I *know* that my son deserves to be treated with respect, and that if I treat him well, he'll treat me and others well, in turn.