The big thing for punishing kids these days isn't a thwack to the butt. It's a "time-out," which, if you ask me, is a pretty darn cushy way to spend five minutes.
Which is why I'm always shocked that my daughter treats time-outs like I'd sentenced her to lick the carpets clean. She'll scream and howl and moan, thrashing herself around the couch like I'm trying to murder her, as I sit there, hoping like hell our neighbors don't call the cops on me for murdering (what sounds like) a chicken.
I don't think my kid realizes how cushy she's got it. Because if I got five minutes alone? I'd make the MOST of it.