A mom’s Facebook post praising another woman’s parenting tactics is sparking a massive debate about disciplining young kids.
The now-viral photo, shared by Texas mom Molly Wooden, was taken inside the bathroom of a Hobby Lobby in the town of Killeen.
In the image, the other woman, who remains unidentified, can be seen standing over her son while he does push-ups as a punishment for “back talk.” It was a disciplinary move that Wooden said she fully supported.
“We need more parents like you, who aren’t afraid to parent their own children because of what someone else might think,” Wooden wrote in her post. “He said, ‘Mama, this is the bathroom floor, grossssss.’ She said, ‘Maybe you shouldn’t have been acting obnoxious. (They have soap for a reason).”
Wooden continued her post by writing that the mom had found her social media and thanked her for sharing the post.
“We’re hoping to grab coffee sometime … while supervising push-ups that is,” Wooden wrote.
The post has been shared more than 36,000 times since it was posted on Feb. 22, and Wooden has continued to publicly praise the mom in her photo, telling ABC News she felt compelled to share a show of “strong parenting.”
However, Facebook commenters were somewhat more divided on the situation. Some criticized the mom’s actions — including her choice to make her son touch the bathroom floor, and the way she was carrying her other child under her arm.
“This is just weird. This sounds like military-style punishment and not to mention that’s absolutely disgusting making your kid lay on the floor of a bathroom like that,” one user wrote.
“This is a disgrace,” another added.
Many were extremely supportive of the move though, noting that the mother was avoiding both physical and verbal punishment while teaching her son that his actions have consequences.
“Much more prefer this type of punishment than verbal or physical. [But] I hope they all washed their hands,” one person wrote.
“Absolutely love parents who teach their children respect, boundaries and consequences,” another added.
“That is actually a good idea keep calm and do push-ups lol,” another wrote.
Wooden told ABC News that she believed the post would receive a supportive reaction online, but she never thought it would go viral.
“I knew many of my family members on social media would approve of her tactics so I decided to post it, not realizing just how many times it would be shared,” she said.
The mom added that the push-up punishment perfectly fits her own parenting style, which is, “parent first, friend later.”
“When you’ve asked your child for something, like the simple request to behave or to clean up after playing, and it’s not being fulfilled — whatever consequence you’ve stated for their lack of actions must be followed through firmly,” she said. “You can’t back down.”
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