public bathroom
Jade Small
Jade Small
January 11, 2024 ·  4 min read

Mom’s Bathroom Pushup Punishment Goes Viral On Facebook And People Are Torn

As parents, our views on discipline are constantly being challenged by a sea of opinions online. Learning about the psychology of a child in each of their different stages of development has become more important than ever. We always hear about weird and wonderful parenting techniques. But, the more experience we gain as parents the more we find that simply being consistent in your support of a child is by far the most effective long-term solution for building a sense of discipline. For this mom, her choice of discipline is a bathroom pushup punishment.

Mom disciplines child with bathroom pushup punishment

In Killeen, Texas, the astounding parenting methods of one particular mother suddenly became the subject of a frenzy of attention. The funny part was that Molly Wooden, who witnessed the incident first hand in the restroom of a Hobby Lobby store, was actually in full support when she later posted her views along with a photo on social media. Molly’s photo showed a mother holding one of her two children while she forced the other to do push-ups on the bathroom floor. Molly stated on her Facebook post about her bathroom pushup punishment:

“To the woman in the Hobby Lobby bathroom. If my hands weren’t full of children I would have applauded you. As your son gave you the back talk of the century, you stayed calm and collected. While adding 10 more push-ups to his already growing number. We need more parents like you. Who aren’t afraid to parent their own children because of what someone else might think. He said, ‘Mama, this is the bathroom floor, grossssss.’ She said maybe you shouldn’t have been acting obnoxious. (They have soap for a reason.) 10 more.”

Mother leaning against a wall while holding her other child in her hand.  This in a public bathroom while her child is punished and doing push ups on the floor.
Image Credit: Molly Wooden | Facebook

It is doubtful that Molly had any idea that her post about bathroom pushup punishment would start an online chain reaction when she posted it. The post amassed 72,000 shares and over 14,000 comments. And, in no time at all, with a large percentage of people celebrating the mother’s stern parenting methods. Inspired by the incident, one mother commented, “This right here is what America needs to get back to… parenting!” under the Facebook post. It looked as if many parents out there seemed to think these no-nonsense parenting ideals were a fast track to a child’s healthy development.

Some agree, some don’t

Some commenters claimed the two boys belonging to the unknown disciplinarian mother were now far more likely to grow up into well-adjusted and respectful men—the bathroom pushup punishment compared to doing additional housework. In contrast, others believed that those who disagreed with this style of parenting probably didn’t have children of their own. They felt perhaps they would view the matter in a different light if they did. Many said that using bathroom pushup punishment as a penalty was an effective coaching method, the same kind used in all types of sports, making it easy for them to adopt at home. 

Like any controversial topic, not everyone was on board. A large group of naysayers believed the mother in question had taken things a step too far. They instead had the belief that children are not that hard to predict, so having them accompany you while shopping was a poor judgment call in the first place. Others even confessed that this type of parenting isolated them growing up and created a lasting divide in the relationship between them as a child and their parents. 

Did she take it too far?

David Turner left a comment on the post from his Facebook account:

“I’m all for it… real consequences for running that mouth. Keep it up and u will be the buffest kid out there. That’s [why] so many of these feel the need to say and do anything with no repercussions. I do the same thing. Made my son jog about 10 blocks cause he was being disrespectful. The lesson this will not be tolerated and if u continue it will be consequences.”

Rather than discussing parenting values meaningfully, it seems that the internet simply loves toying with the idea and the high entertainment value of extremist parenting. If we look back to the ridiculous moment in 2012, when Tommy Jordan, a rather gung ho father from North Carolina, decided to empty the clip of his Colt .45 into his daughter’s laptop as a form of punishment, we can now clearly see in hindsight how the collective online media reacted. Each situation and each child is different, so it’s always important to have our own firm grasp as to what good parenting means and how to do it constructively. 

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