When 12-year-old Lydia and 8-year-old Jake wouldn’t stop squabbling as the family did their supermarket shop, their weary dad cooked up a very mean punishment for them – and shared it with the world.
Lee drove them to a McDonalds drive-thru where he ordered himself a quarter pounder with cheese and fries and made them watch him eat it, before taking them back home for beans on toast.
He admitted he isn’t actually proud of what he did – in fact, his son was so upset he ended up in tears – but he felt he had to do something so the pair understood their behaviour in the shop just wasn’t acceptable.
He had been out with the kids on his own while their mum Joanne was having her nails done ready for a party that evening. The plan was to go and get the groceries, and then all have a McDonald’s takeaway as a treat once the shopping was done.
However, Lydia and Jake would just not stop fighting as they made their way around Tesco, leaving Lee at the end of his tether.
The final straw came for the furious dad when Jake threw his shoe at Lydia’s head.
Livid Lee then drove to the McDonald’s as planned, but ordered only for himself, and savoured every mouthful in the car as Lydia and Jake looked on – before being taken home for their less-than-Happy Meal.
“Lydia noticed as soon as I didn’t order anything else at the window and she immediately understood what was going on,” Lee told The Mirror.
“I got a look that I don’t know how to describe but if looks could kill, that’s what I got. She was sat in the passenger seat and tried to turn her back to me but she kept glancing over to me with eyes burning.”
Lee went on to explain that his son didn’t realise straight away that his dad was actually following through with his threat.
“Jake hadn’t twigged and as we waited for my quarter pounder to be made he actually asked me how long his food would be.
“I felt a bit harsh at this point but I didn’t regret it. They had really frustrated me and they had pushed too far.”
Lee also told The Mirror that his wife was totally supportive of what he had done – although she wouldn’t have been brave enough to do it herself.
“My wife loved it and thought it was brilliant, but admitted she doesn’t think she could have gone through with herself. She worries that the aftermath would be too much to deal with so couldn’t see it through,” he said.
Though he added: “I’m not proud of it. My son is only 8 so he was crying about it but I believed he needed to learn how he had acted was wrong and I needed to see through the punishment.”
His original Facebook post (warning – there are some SWEARS in the status and the pic of it below) and pictures of his miserable kids soon went viral with some 10.2k shares and almost 6.5k comments.
He wrote on the social media site: “Kids completely f***ed me off in Tesco fighting and showing me up, so just took them to McDonalds and only ordered for myself. They’ll be having beans on toast shortly when we get back home.”
Most of the reactions were positive – the phrase ‘proper parenting’ being used along with a hashtag, but a couple of posters thought Lee only had himself to blame for his kids’ behaviour.
One person wrote: “No wonder why they play up for you when your willing to embarrass and shame them like this. I personally think this is disgusting and feel sorry for them!”
A few Facebookers even shared their own similar stories – one dad ‘fessed up that he “once did similar with my 2, they were arguing over a pack of sweets, so i put every single one in my mouth at once, chewed them and spat them in the bin.”
Another said his kids had “played up in the car so many times whilst driving them to school, one day I had enough and pulled the car over and made them walk to school then they had to explain to the teacher why they were late”. (Eeek).
“Revenge might not be the right word, but I wanted them to be as annoyed as I was in the shop. Then they would understand why what they had done was so wrong,” Lee concluded. “They both understood they were in the wrong. They sat in silence and ate their beans on toast.”
And (most importantly, perhaps) he added: “I think they might be different next time we’re in the supermarket. They have been acting differently already.”
We can totally understand Lee’s frustration – and of course, it is so important to follow through if you threaten a punishment for bad behaviour – but would you have been able to do this?
Let us know in the comments or on our Facebook page.