Mom defends disciplining her daughters with a time-out on the supermarket floor

After her parenting tactic divided social media, a British mother has defended making her misbehaving daughters sit on the floor of a supermarket.

Louise Palai, a 35-year-old mother of three living in England, made Alisa, 6, and Ebony, 7, sit in silence in the vegetable aisle of a Tesco supermarket because they were running around and making too much noise.

Louise Palai made her daughters sit on the shop floor after they misbehaved. (Photo: SWNS)
Louise Palai made her daughters sit on the shop floor after they misbehaved. (Photo: SWNS)

After pictures of the girls were posted on Facebook, they quickly went viral. While Palai received plenty of support from other parents, some believed she took things too far.

“They were running around and in high spirits,” Palai explained to Britain’s SWNS news service. “I’d told them to calm down a couple of times but they didn’t listen.”

She decided to intervene when Ebony almost got hit by a woman’s shopping cart.

“I didn’t lose my temper, but I couldn’t have them behaving like that in public,” she said. “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.'”

Palai said she took a picture of the girls on the floor to remind them what happens if they act up in public.

“I just did it to calm them down,” she added. “It’s a tactic I’ve used before and it works.”

Louise Palai defends her parenting move. (Photo: SWNS)
Louise Palai defends her parenting move. (Photo: SWNS)

After her daughters calmed down, the mom explained why they were being disciplined.

“I always explain why they are being punished,” Palai said. “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 it’s gone viral since.”

Palai says that the mixed feedback on her parenting tactic hasn’t bothered her, and she maintains that she’ll stick with her discipline trick.

“I think that if your child is being naughty then they should be punished there and then — because if you do it when you get home you might forget, or the child could forget what they did wrong,” she said.

“I was brought up in the ’80s and parenting was a lot stricter back then,” Palai continued. “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.”

And many others on social media agreed that nipping bad behavior in the bud is a good stance to adopt.

But other parents thought the public time-out was excessive.

“Humiliating your children like this is just wrong,” one Facebook commenter wrote. “Treating your kids like prisoners in Guantanamo Bay is not good parenting, it’s immoral.”

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