It's one of the biggest debates among parents: To spank or not to spank.

Years ago, it was common place with just about everyone, but not anymore.

"I used to get spanked all the time as a kid. I don't think he's ever been spanked,” mother Cathy Towns said. “I agree with it, but I don't think we've spanked him."

"When we were kids, our mothers didn't give two seconds to even think about hitting us real quick,” Jeannie Bonilla said.

Now, people are thinking twice about the move, especially after a recent judicial ruling.

Last week, a judge in Corpus Christi, Texas, made that clear. He told one mother spanking was off limits.

"You don't spank children today,” Judge Jose Longoria said. “In the old days maybe we got spanked, but it was a different quarrel. You don't spank children. You understand?"

The woman, Rosalina Gonzáles, was arrested and lost custody of her kids after spanking her 2-year old daughter with her open hand, leaving red welts on her backside.

The little girl's grandmother noticed the marks while giving her a bath and took her to the hospital.

"Mostly with little ones, you don't have to,” Marilyn Paulson, a grandmother of two little girls, said. “You can love them into doing anything you want them to — most of the time anyway.”

She thinks issuing timeout is a good maneuver, as does Tampa child psychiatrist Wendy Rice.

"It has a short term effect of stopping the behavior possibly, but it doesn't do much to teach kids anything in the long run." Rice said.

Still, there's the old saying “spare the rod, spoil the child.” But Jeannie Bonilla, who has five kids of her own, disagrees.

"If they get out of control and you can't handle them, you have to find another solution. Physically hurting them is the wrong step," she said.

For more stories from WTVT in Tampa Bay, Florida go to myfoxtampabay.com

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