Took my four-year old to Wal-Mart this morning. We do this once a week, have for years. Two days ago, he had a blue ball with green stripes "break". It went flat and became trash. His father and I agreed we would buy another for him. My son and I inspected the balls for sale. There was not one like the one that "broke". He said, "I don't want one of these." We moved on and bought groceries.
As I was loading up the conveyor belt with groceries and waiting on the older, female customer in front of me, my son said he wanted to go back and get a ball. I said no. He didn't want one and no way in hell was I re-packing a cart, suck it up, Buttercup. He shouted, "I am MAD. I don't like you. I'm going to go get one.". Grin. I replied, "I know you're mad and I don't care because now I'm mad at you. I don't care if you like me, I don't like you right now. If you go where I can't see you, I will spank you in front of God and everybody." He walked away.
Now, I had choices. I had a cashier and a customer all ears and ready to judge. I had a child who needs to know that some decisions are final. I have me.........chuckle, a bad person. So.........I took four steps and rounded the corner of the candy racks. My son looked like a deer in headlights. I said, "Come here." and went back to unloading my cart. He sidled up. I spanked him. Three swats, then continued on about my business. He knew. I knew, hell, everyone knew.
Yes, he whimpered a bit, then, he apologized, he apologized to me, he apologized to the cashier and the customer. As he "helped" load the cart with bags, the cashier told me she'd been doing this for 21 years and has had to void more check-outs as parents scurried to cater to a child's wants than she thought possible. She AND the customer before us, smiled at me. Works for me.