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This Mom's Public Time-Out Tactic Is Outraging Some Parents

The proper way to discipline a child is one of those parenting subjects no one can agree on. While some prefer old-school methods like spanking, other parents are embracing gentle discipline techniques like redirection. For British mom of three Louise Palai, her method of choice was making her two daughters sit on the floor of a supermarket, facing the shelves—and then taking photos of them. And as expected, some people are downright outraged by it.

As Yahoo! reports, Louise used her time-out tactic because her daughters Ebony, 7, and Alisa, 6, were running around and making too much noise. So she decided to have them sit in silence in the vegetable aisle. “They were running around and in high spirits,” Palai told Yahoo! “I’d told them to calm down a couple of times but they didn’t listen.” The final straw was when Ebony almost got struck by a woman's shopping cart.

“I didn’t lose my temper, but I couldn’t have them behaving like that in public,” she told Yahoo! “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."

That's when the girls started to calm down. “They looked at each other but they didn’t argue. They sat cross-legged facing the shelves with their heads down," Louise said. According to the Derby Telegraph, they sat on the floor for 10 minutes. "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.'"

While the kids were being disciplined, Louise took photos of her daughters to remind them why they were being punished. “They both understood and said sorry and then gave me a hug—so they learned their lesson and we carried on shopping," she said.

Louise eventually told a friend what happened, and her friend put the now-viral photos on Facebook.

End of story? Not quite.

Since learning about Louise's parenting tactic online, many shared their support. "Well done, I applaud you for having control over your children. Children need to understand they cannot run around, shouting their heads off in public, causing a nuisance of themselves …" said one Derby Telegraph commenter.

However, some viewed what Louise did to her kids as humiliating. Another commenter wrote, "Not being able to just have your kids behave with a discreet verbal warning must be a failure on the parents part as they have had to resort to a public punishment in order to get a result. I think there is a time and place for punishment, and I don't feel that a shop floor whilst others are going about their daily business is one. I'm sure there was something else this mother could've done to teach her kids the wrong in their behavior."

Still, Louise defends her actions and even thinks other parents should try her strategy as well. "Sitting them down in the shop means they are seen by loads of people and it is humiliating for them, but they learn from it … I would encourage other parents to do the same thing. If their kids are having a tantrum, they soon learn that there will be consequences for their behavior."

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