'We need more parents like you': Mom praised for disciplining son with pushups — but is it OK?

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Nicki Quinn was photographed disciplining her son in a Hobby Lobby bathroom. Image via Facebook.

A Texas mom is receiving praise for the way she creatively disciplined her sons during a trip to Hobby Lobby.

Molly Wooden said she was shopping with her children at the craft and home decor store when her four-year-old child asked to use the washroom. Wooden entered the restroom and saw a mother having a serious talk with her son, who was sitting on the bathroom floor defiantly.

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“I walked in, and originally the mother had been standing there with her arms crossed. Her son was sitting in the opposite corner, sitting on the floor kind of giving her attitude,” Wooden said in an interview with TODAY Parents. “I was kind of minding my own business and then she was like, ‘OK, I gave you a warning, you're at so-and-so many pushups, you're about to get 10 more ...’ She was like, ‘Let's go, right here.’”

Impressed by the “strong parenting” she witnessed, Wooden snapped a photo. She originally intended to show only her husband.

“I was standing there in awe,” Wooden recalled. “I was like, ‘Yes! You are amazing! I'm getting chills in this bathroom right now!’”

Wooden decided to share the photo to Facebook with a heartfelt message to “the woman in the Hobby Lobby bathroom.” The post quickly went viral.

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“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 pushups to his already growing number,” Wooden wrote. “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, gross.’ She said, ‘Maybe you shouldn’t have been acting obnoxious (They have soap for a reason). 10 more. Random woman of Hobby Lobby, I love you. Keep on raisin’ them boys right!”

Nicki Quinn and Molly Wooden appeared together on the daytime talk show, "The Real." Image via YouTube/TheRealDaytime.

The post earned more than 43,000 shares on Facebook and helped Wooden connect with Nicki Quinn, the mother in the photo.

Quinn, a stay-at-home mom whose husband is deployed in the U.S. Army, said she has relied on pushups and physical activity to reprimand her son, who was diagnosed with attention deficit hyper-activity disorder (ADHD) and oppositional defiance disorder (ODD).

“He's bothering his 3-year-old brother, taking stuff off the shelves, bouncing balls around,” Quinn explained. “I'm like, ‘Stop, don't do that, quit, stop’ ... He gave me an attitude, started talking back and being ugly, and I was like, ‘We are not doing this.’”

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Quinn said she moved her sons to the bathroom for privacy as she told her son to “drop and give me 10.”

“I'm the person that has to teach them," said Quinn. “I gotta do what I have to do to make sure my son is respectful to me, because when he's respectful to me, he's going to respect everyone else, like his teachers and his fellow students.”

Quinn said she was initially surprised to learn from a friend that she had been photographed by Wooden.

“I was like, ‘Kind of strange, OK’ But when I read the post and saw why (Wooden) had done it, all that feeling kind of went away," she said. “I was like, ‘Well, thank God she didn't shame me. Thank God there was another mother with sense.’”

While the response online has been mostly positive, Quinn said she has had to deal with numerous comments criticizing her body and parenting.Wooden was equally as surprised to see the response online, but believes ultimately, the photo was too powerful not to share with other parents.

“At the end of the day, we started a debate about something,” Quinn said. “You have so many people out here with these kids that are unruly, and they don't know what to do because they're afraid of discipline, to get in trouble, to have people sticking their nose in their business and making them feel inadequate as parents. So they can't parent properly, and it's not fair. I am not going to let my child run me.”

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The two women connected via social media, and even appeared together via video call on the daytime talkshow “The Real.”

Host Tamara Mowry-Housely asked Quinn why she felt so strongly about disciplining her son,

“My son, he’s biracial. To the world, they’re not going to see that, they’re going to see a black boy who’s acting bad. And I need my son to come back to me...especially in the climate we’re in,” Quinn replied.

“I was in pure awe...I couldn’t believe what I was seeing in a good way,” Wooden said. “I was minding my own business at first...trying to not look. But she was just so powerful to me.”

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