KILLEEN, Texas — Parents, have you ever asked your kiddo to do something or behave properly and they’ve ignored you? Yeah, you’re not alone.
To combat that behavior, one Texas mom had her son drop down to pushup position in the middle of a shopping trip at a craft store.
Molly Wooden was in the restroom at a Hobby Lobby store in Killeen on Sunday when she saw another mom, Nicki Harper Quinn, disciplining her 10-year-old son. Wooden took a picture of the lesson Harper Quinn was teaching her son and posted it on Facebook with words of admiration.
“‘Strong parenting’ is huge for me, but you rarely see it being implemented,” Wooden told CNN. “So when I finally saw it with my own two eyes, let alone in public, I felt strongly compelled to capture that moment!”
In the photo, Harper Quinn appears to be holding her youngest son in her right hand while watching her 10-year-old son Kingston over her left shoulder complete his punishment pushups.
Harper Quinn told CNN while she was shopping in Hobby Lobby her son Kingston was “doing what normal 10-year-olds do, touching things and bothering his little brother”– not listening to what she had asked him to do.
After giving Kingston one last chance to behave, Harper Quinn said she got very upset and decided to handle the issue right there and then to fix the way he was responding.
Once Wooden posted the photo, people started sharing it on their own page. Eventually, Harper Quinn took notice and the two moms connected.
“I’ve already apologized to her (Harper Quinn) for taking the photo in a ‘private place,’ but she has assured me that she’s thankful I posted it, and is grateful for the outpouring of positive reassurance that has come from it,” Wooden said.
‘It takes a village to raise a child’
Kingston has attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and oppositional defiance disorder, according to Harper Quinn. This means he purposefully does things she asks him not to do because of a neurological brain impulse.
“I took him to the bathroom and I said drop and give me 10 pushups,” she said. “And he was back talking me about how dirty and gross the bathroom floor was and I said ‘well if you don’t quit you’re going to give me 10 more.'”
Harper Quinn said after he finished his pushups he got up, washed his hands and they went back out into the store.
“He had his arms folded across his chest had that scowl but he wasn’t touching anything and he wasn’t being obnoxious anymore,” she said.
The store’s restroom seemed like a private and safe area to discipline Kingston, according to Harper Quinn.
“Moms would understand that I’m disciplining my child in the bathroom because that’s where all moms go,” she said.
After talking to a friend, Harper Quinn said she came up with the idea of pushups.
“Spanking doesn’t work for everyone and it didn’t work for me,” she said. “All I did was make my son even more upset and I wasn’t getting anywhere.”
Wooden, a mother of a 4-year-old and a 19-month-old said it’s important for her to be a parent first and a friend later to her children.
“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.”
Wooden admits that the pushup approach may not be for everyone, but does agree that whatever discipline a parent decides on, they should stand behind it.
For other parents fighting similar battles with their children, both Wooden and Harper Quinn want them to know they aren’t alone.
“Don’t give up when you’re tired when you’re crying by yourself in your room because you feel like you’re not enough and you feel like you’re not doing enough,” Harper Quinn said. “Those little ears are listening and it is working. I support you, I love you. It takes a village to raise a child”
With hundreds of parents voicing their opinion in the comments section of Wooden’s Facebook post, she said she just wants everyone to stop judging each other over their individual parenting decisions.
“None of us are perfect, but at least she’s (Harper Quinn) being a proactive adult, doing whatever it takes to raise her boys to be great men some day,” Wooden said.