I was at Lowe's this evening with my dh and ds when I was very disturbed to see a woman hit her toddler in the back with a handful of paint sticks/stirrers!!! The are long and flat, not round, and I've actually known a woman who used one as her spanking tool. YIKES!!! Anyway, this woman hit him in the mid-back, not butt, when the child was bending over to (assuming) touch something he shouldn't (he was sitting in the big part of the shopping cart). It was just once but hard enouch that it was very audible, and I know it hurt, even though the child didn't cry. I assume this means he's used to it.
Anyway, I was stunned and shocked and didn't know what to do. I should have turned around and stood up for the child, but I've never done that before, and I was so scared about what to say.
Dh and I reitterated our promise to our son and ourselves that we will never hit him. He's only 16m, so he doesn't understand what we're saying (it's mostly for our benefit since we were spanked as children), and I hope he doesn't learn what a spanking is until he's much older and hears friends talking about it or something.
ANYWAY, WHAT DO YOU DO IN SITUATIONS LIKE THIS??? LET IT SLIDE OR SAY SOMETHING???