Things not to do !

August 10, 2004

The Washington Post has a disturbing article on the use of hot sauce as a punishment for young children. Parents, mostly in the authoritarian-with-hugs style, apply a drop of the sauce to a child's tongue as punishment for transgressions involving the mouth - biting, speaking rudely, and so on.

It is a terrible idea. It is dangerous - hot sauce can cause serious reactions. It uses pain as a coercive device. It is effective, but only because it is so painful. I, as an adult who likes hot sauce, blink a little when I get a dash of tabasco on my tongue.

The correct way to use hot sauce is to put it on the kids' food, when they ask for it, and then mix it in so there is no one hot spot. Our toddler eats spicy food, in part because we feed him what we eat and we eat a moderate level of spiciness.

Posted by Red Ted at August 10, 2004 02:30 PM | TrackBack

We tried German luewensemf (literally: lion's mustard) on my son's hands to get him to stop biting his fingers. He liked it and wanted more. He probably recognized the taste from dads burgers and wursts. It wasn't a punishment though, we tried it as a deterrent.

Posted by: Ted at August 10, 2004 07:23 PM
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