A strict mum has defended her actions after a viral photo showed her two daughters sitting on the floor of Tesco as a punishment.
Louise Palai, 35, ordered six-year-old Alisa and seven-year-old Ebony to sit in silence in the vegetable aisle for ten minutes after they almost hit another shopper’s trolley.
After pictures of the girls, wearing their school uniform, were posted on Facebook the images went viral, Louise received hundreds of messages of support – as well as criticism.
Single-mum Louise, who also has a 14-year-old daughter CJ, said: "I’d picked the girls up from school and taken them to Tesco to get that night’s dinner.
"They were running around and in high spirits. I’d told them to calm down a couple of times but they didn’t listen.
"They were running around the place and Ebony almost got hit by a woman’s shopping trolley.
"I didn’t lose my temper but I couldn’t have them behaving like that in public.
"Very quietly I went up to them, took them to a quieter area of the shop in the fruit and veg aisle and told them to sit down.
"They looked at each other but they didn’t argue. They sat cross-legged facing the shelves with their heads down.
"I got a few funny looks from people but an old man who’d seen everything gave me a nod as if to say ‘good for you’.
"I took a picture of them on the floor because I wanted to remind them what happens if they mess about in public.
"I just did it to calm them down. It’s a tactic I’ve used before and it works.
"After they had calmed down, I explained to them why I made them sit down, I always explain why they are being punished.
"They both understood and said sorry and then gave me a hug – so they learned their lesson and we carried on shopping.
"I told a friend of mine what I did and she thought it was great – she put the picture up on Facebook and its gone viral since.
"I’ve had hundreds of positive comments from people saying its great parenting but I’ve also had a couple saying I embarrassed my kids but they don’t see it that way.
"The positive comments outweigh the negative.
"The two knew they had done wrong and apologised afterwards and it was all fine.
"I think that if your child is being naughty then they should be punished there and then – because if do it when you get home you might forget or the child could forget what they did wrong.
"I was brought up in the 80s and parenting was a lot stricter back then.
"I don’t really use this method very often only when the kids are being really naughty or have done something wrong.
"I’ve done it before and it worked so it’s a good method – I find it better than shouting at them or hitting them, I would never do that.
"If they mess around at home I tell them to sit on one of the step on the stairs for ten minutes or take away an electronic device.
"They’re not naughty all the time it’s just the odd occasion just like any other child.
"The last time I made them sit on the floor we were on holiday and they wanted a gift but they had been messing around.
"You don’t reward bad behaviour – so I made them sit down and just like the other day they apologised afterwards and calmed down.
"Both of them are actually fine about it, because I always explain why they are being punished.
"We went to Tesco yesterday and they both behaved really well.
"I also did it to my eldest when she was 12 – she wanted a magazine and I said no so she started to misbehave so I told her to sit down and she did.
"A little bit of tough love is good. I would never, ever, use physical punishment against my children but this kind of measure works.
"I want my kids to behave in public and grow up to be respectful adults.”
Louise, of Ilkeston, Derbyshire, who works as an Avon lady, disciplined her children during the shopping trip to Ilkeston’s Tesco on June 5.
Social media users have been split in their reaction to her tough parenting.
John Mellor posted: “Give that woman a medal" Fantastic example to kids and parents. Too many wimpy parents let their kids run riot.
"At last one mum says enough is enough. Keep up the good work!”
Rebecca Stannard wrote: “Parents of the UK listen to this woman. Kids need discipline and they clearly love their mum more for it. So good to see kids having respect for their parents.”
Meanwhile Adele Wilson wrote: “Humiliating your children like this is just wrong.
"Treating your kids like prisoners in Guantanamo Bay is not good parents, it’s immoral.”
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