I'll get right down to it. I have a friend that I have known for the last year, and she has a very spirited 4 year old daughter.
Her parenting style is MUCH more authoritarian style. Recently, she has begun disciplining her daughter physically. We had a playdate last week with the friend and another family. Friend's daughter hit another child in the head with a plastic baton, pretty hard. She left a lump and a large bruise where she hit the other little girl. Friend immediately grabbed her daughter, dragged her to the kitchen and I heard the sounds of either a spanking or a hand being slapped, and the daughter crying.
The sounds of the discipline were loud enough that my own 4 year old overheard it in the living room, and asked me what was wrong with her little friend. I explained to her that she was having a talk with her mommy, and that we should pick up a few toys and get ready to go.
This is not the first time we have experienced public corporal punishment, and I'm sure it won't be the last. We have seen it at a neighbor's house, at the park, and even at the library.
How do you explain corporal punishment to your littles? I for one, am at a loss.