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4 year old's hitting has gone on way too long

Question

My son is 4 years old and does not listen to direction and hits at home and school ( mom, younger sister, school friends and teachers and occasionally dad). This behavior has been going on for at least 2 years now. I have been told over and over its the "terrible two" and "horrible three" and when the turn 4 it's like a switch flips and theY get better. Well, that hasn't happened. I'm stressed out and tired of hearing negative behavior reports at school pick up time.
I know the issue is likely my doing ( inconsistent with punishment, reacting to bad behaviors, and taking his actions personally). We have spanked, timeout (he doesn't stay unless it is dad giving timeout).
I have no idea what to do to correct this behavior and get it under control. I am failing miserably!

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