Dad’s ‘sick’ parenting method slammed
It's a scene many parents will find all too familiar.
Your child, sat at the dinner table perched in their high chair with their meal in front of them, but they're refusing to eat.
It's undoubtedly frustrating and can leave mums and dads feeling desperate and at their wit's end, willing to try anything to get their bub to eat.
But would you try bashing one of your kid's beloved soft toys in front of them, scaring them into taking the food?
That's what some parents are doing in a "disgusting" and "truly awful" parenting trend that has left the internet in shock.
The horrifying technique has gone viral after a 28-second clip was shared on Twitter with the caption: "When kids don't wanna eat … this is what you gotta do."
In the video a man tries to feed his young bub. When the child refuses the spoonful of food, the man grabs a mickey mouse toy nearby and smacks it multiple times.
Then he grabs the spoon and again tries to feed the baby, who this time accepts the food.
While the person who posted the video - who says they are the child's aunt - accompanied the post with a laughing emoji and the hashtag "imdead", not many others laughed along.
"Anyone who has studied psychology would know how disgusting this video is," one person wrote.
"Yeah emotional abuse is so funny," another added.
"This is horrible. Threat of violence and children's trauma is a real thing," someone else fumed.
While one said: "There's so many ways to get your child to eat and you chose a very disturbing way. Such good parenting!"
"Yeah this is likely to teach the kid if he's not getting his way, violence gets results," another chipped in.
Other descriptions of the behaviour in the footage included "disturbing" "truly awful" and "sick".
Not everyone was outraged though, with some defending the bizarre parenting technique.
"He didn't hurt the baby at all," one person pointed out.
"Y'all are soft," another added.
Since the clip was shared last week, it has been viewed over 16 million times, retweeted more than 115,000 times and received more than 6000 comments.
The overwhelming horror caused the woman who shared it to respond to the criticism, writing: "To all the hurt and sensitive people that see the video."
She then added a meme showing singer Rihanna giving a sassy twirl to the camera that read "stay mad".
She later shared another video of the baby in the original clip twirling for the camera. The caption read: "My nephew saying 'cheese' to all your negative comments on the video. He eats normally and is loved by his family. Mind your business and move on if you're hurt."
The terrifying technique has caused an outraged dad to take to the platform to show a positive way to use stuffed toys to encourage kids to eat.
"Hey dumb f***ers using stuffed animals to exhibit negative reinforcement to get your kids to do something, watch this …"
In the video, he uses his child's toy penguin to help him eat, earning praise from other parents.
Despite being slammed, parents are continuing to try it with their kids, filming their efforts and sharing the results online.
"I had to try this … OMG I'M DEADDDDDDDDD," one woman wrote alongside a video shared on Facebook of her trying to feed a baby.
When the baby refuses, she then proceeds to beat a teddy, resulting in the child eating.
While it's a hot topic at the moment, BuzzFeed News reports the trend isn't new, stating videos of the bizarre feeding technique dated back as far as November last year.
What do you think of this disturbing parenting technique? Do you think this is a good way to encourage kids to eat or has this gone too far? Let us know in the comments below.