There are other ways of discipline besides spanking as you indicated, and parents who abdicate their responsibility to discipline, just because they are against spanking, give me great pause.
I gladly wear the title of “mean mommy”, she says that now, in the fact that I won’t write her a check for what she terms “HER educational fund” but this too will pass. She is a well behaved, well spoken and I never had a problem taking her out in public and wondering if she was going to turn rogue in the process. I think what she disliked most and what got her attention the quickest was when she would act out in public. I believed in where you did the crime, you did the time. She HATED the great unknown of how discipline was going to be metered if she misbehaved in a restaurant or in a store, or in church etc. She also wasn’t keen on the “village concept” and the fact that others who I left her in their care could discipline her AND tell me about her indiscretion for another punishment of my choosing. She once mentioned: “Is there anybody you don’t know?”
The schoolteacher in me, will make me comment to other parents when I’m out and about in reference to their children. I’m quick to tell a parent that their children are well behaved and how nice it is to see mannerable children, and I’m just as quick to tell them otherwise.