Mom Publicly Punishes Her Girls at the Grocery Store & Her Tactics Have the Internet Divided

Louise Palai

Louise Palai
Louise Palai

Louise Palai is a no-nonsense kind of mom and she isn't afraid to follow her gut when it comes to parenting -- even if others around her don't agree. This mom England has two girls, 6-year-old Alissia and 7-year-old Ebony, who sometimes act up in public. But instead of just trying to diffuse the meltdowns or wait until she gets home, Palai opts to employ what she considers "positive parenting" and deal with it right there. After a recent episode at her local grocery store, Palai shared her technique on Facebook and it quickly went viral as some parents slam her method as public humiliation

  • When her girls were acting up while at a store, Palai put them in time-out right in the produce aisle. 

    Louise Palai
    Louise Palai

    "I was in Tesco doing my shopping and the started messing about like kids do, running about, being silly poking each other, and almost bumping into a [shopping cart]," Palai tells CafeMom.

    She asked them to calm down once but when they still continued misbehaving, Palai instructed her girls to sit down -- right where they were -- and they had to remain in "time-out" for around seven minutes. "I stood with them while they were in time-out, out the way of shoppers, and some people looked at us funny, some smiled, and a gentleman did praised me for what I did," she says. "After time-out finished, I spoke to both of them about why they had been in time-out, gave them a hug and kiss, they said sorry, and we carried on shopping."

    Her friend, Fay, shared Palai's tactics on their local community Facebook page and people had mixed feelings on this public parenting method. "[Mom] says she will put them in time-out where ever she is. No matter what anyone says / stares," Fay wrote on Facebook. I think this is a fine example of great parenting. More people should be like her." 

    Since then, the story has taken off with people sharing impassioned opinions on this type of parenting.

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  • Many agree and are celebrating this mom for her example of "parenting done right."

    "Great parenting in action right there," one person commented.

    "The problem is so many people don’t discipline their kids in public these days because they afraid of all the Judgey McJudgeFaces!" another user wrote. "I’d do what this Mom did, it’s more than appropriate I think!"

  • But others think having them sit in aisle is public humiliation and mom should be ashamed.

    "There are different and more respectful ways to involve children in cooperation," one person wrote. "Also, did she really need to go public? It looks to me an attention-seeking action. Last, but not least, public humiliation (including online shaming) doesn't work. Never."

    "Too many people these days expect children to be little robots," another user wrote.

  • The bigger problem for some is what she did after: taking their picture and posting it for the world to talk about.

    "I think it's reasonable to take your kids to a calm down spot if they are getting hyper, but I don't agree with taking a photo and publishing it for others to see," one user commented.

    "Taking photos and sharing seems wrong to me," another person added. "Just do it, it's not something to share!"
  • But some couldn't disagree more and don't see it as smart -- not public humiliation. 

    "For all of you going on about public shaming, you don't want to embarrass your child but you are perfectly fine letting a child act like a feral animal and them embarrassing you," a user commented. "Sitting them on the ground and getting them to think about their behavior for a couple of minutes and calm down is not shaming your child."

    "Oh. That’s not public humiliation. That’s keeping kids and others safe and giving Mom time to cool down and finish shopping," another parent added. "I usually have mine sit further apart from each other though."

  • Many are big fans of this tactic and suggest you try it before you knock. 

    "I've done this before in the fruit and veg department of a grocery store...I kept shopping whilst my daughter was in time-out facing the wall," she wrote. "I got a few stares and tuts but I also got a few comments from elders who thought I was being a strong mom and following through with discipline...she learnt real quick to be respectful in the shops."

    "Works a treat! Thankfully they didn't take long to learn not to run around in the supermarket lol," another parent added.

    "My son knows there's a naughty corner anywhere and everywhere we go 😉," another wrote.

  • No matter which side you're on, it's important to remember how hard public meltdowns are to deal with -- without losing your cool.