Most of us are familiar with using hot sauce to spice up food. Just a few drops certainly gives a jolt of flavor to many popular items. Hot sauce has also come to the forefront recently as a method for disciplining children. This practice is referred to as "hot saucing" or "hot tongue" and refers to a parent punishing a child for bad behavior by putting a drop of the highly seasoned substance on the tip of their child's tongue.
This may be some parents' way of trying to make sure that the punishment fits the crime in situations where the youngster has been caught lying, biting, or using inappropriate language. Some other parents choose to use this method of discipline for other types of unacceptable behavior, like hitting.
While this way of dealing with children originated in the traditions of the South, news of it has gone nationwide. No statistics are available with respect to how many parents have tried it, but many experts who deal with children's health issues on a professional basis are certainly aware that parents do resort to the hot saucing.
The word about hot saucing has been referred to in a parenting guide, a written publication aimed at women of the Christian faith, and on various Web sites. It has been the subject of several heated discussions on Internet message boards.
The controversy hasn't been confined only to parents. In some states, legislators have waded into the debate. A day care center in Michigan was issued a warning because it was discovered that workers there had used hot sauce as a punishment for biting. The twist to the story is that the mother of the child in question in the 2002 incident had given the center's employees permission to deal with the child in this fashion.
The state of Virginia has added hot tonguing to its list of unacceptable disciplinary practises, so called "bizarre behaviors". Other disciplinary options so described include confining youngsters in closets and making little ones get on their knees on a hard gravel surface.
Not surprisingly, this issue has caused heated debate between those who advocate using hot sauce and those who would not recommend it. Those individuals who have posted message on online discussion bulletin boards have received several responses with other parents enquiring how they can justify using this method for trying to stamp out bad behavior. Those who do try it are quick to point out that they save hot saucing as a last resort, to be used only when other methods of discipline have failed. The other methods tried, without success, are cited as being such methods as time out, negotiation, withdrawing privileges, etc.
It should be noted that child rearing experts do not recommend that parents try hot saucing as a form of discipline. Perhaps we should just keep the hot sauce for our food?
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