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Is it ok to spank a child in public?

I have current temporary custody of my 11 year old nephew. Yesterday while at the mall, he began to throw a tantrum in the middle of Target. He was not allowed to get a toy, while we shoppe for a birthday present for his cousin, and basically blew up. I spanked him right there in the toy aisle, and made him stand...

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I have current temporary custody of my 11 year old nephew. Yesterday while at the mall, he began to throw a tantrum in the middle of Target. He was not allowed to get a toy, while we shoppe for a birthday present for his cousin, and basically blew up. I spanked him right there in the toy aisle, and made him stand facing a wall while I finished browsing in that area. He cried a bit, but after I was done, he came with me and we had no more problems for the rest of the trip. The thing is, several people were staring at me after I spanked him, and gave me dirty looks. A few kids who were in the aisle with us scattered. One lady even told me I deserve to go to hell. I didn't see it as an issue, but is it not OK to spank your child in public?