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Good Child Discipline or Child Abuse?

I'm always looking for ways to make the house run smoother. I pay close attention to the ways other parents seem to make this happen in their homes. I confess that sometimes I get really envious of moms with quiet, obediant kids when my babies are whining, sassy or just plain hard to control! I find myself wanting to ask total strangers their secrets of dealing with the strong-willed child and what forms of discipline they find to be successful. The only thing holding me back is that I'm afraid that the wild look in my eyes might frighten them!

I try to think of creative, kind and effective methods of mob control, but I'm telling you that there are days when nothing seems to work. On those occasions I feel like such a blooming failure at parenting. I love these children so much and I want them to be functioning members of society, but how do I do this if I can't get them to behave?

I typed all of that in order to rat another mom out, I'm sorry to say. Here's what happened and y'all tell me if I'm wrong to be a little disturbed.

Today as we were leaving homecoming at church I met a lady that I knew from one of the civic groups I belong to on the four lane that runs through this small town. This lady is one of the women that I consider to have an orderly well-behaved brood. This is a person to whom I would (before this incident) have paid a reasonable sum of money for a blueprint of her methods of making her kids behave.
Churches all over town were letting out and traffic was moving slowly in all lanes.

This lady was going north and I was travelling south. She was conversing with one of the kids strapped in a carseat while looking at him/her through the rearview mirror. I was waiting for her to turn her attention back to the road ahead so that I could raise may hand to wave in greeting (laying the groundwork to weasel my way into her graces to obtain her secrets) when she swung around and started whaling the tar out of the baby in the back seat's little legs with one arm while driving the mini-van with the other.
Not to mention that she was swerving on the road because she was so busy meting out punishment to the passengers!

Parenting is a tough job and there is SUCH a fine line between child discipline and child abuse! I'm trying to remember more about a video that was taken of one of those Travellers awhile back. It seems the mom might have had her child taken from her because of a home video that caught her standing in a parking lot whipping her little girl, if I recall correctly. Well, this was the moving traffic version of that kind of spanking and I wonder what might happen if somebody HAD taken a video.

I tell you my friends, this makes me feel MUCH better about my rambunctious bunch! I'm not judging this woman, but it's my opinion that I was NOT watching a productive form of child discipline. In fact, (here I go judging when I said I wouldn't) it seemed more like child abuse!