Fleur de Dee (silverdee) wrote,
Fleur de Dee

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Giving Tabasco A Bad Name

When I was a kid, I knew of parents who used hot sauce as a disciplinary tool. Luckily not in my house because I might have learned to be afraid of one of my favorite things - Tabasco!

Lisa Whelchel, Blair from "Facts of Life", is now a proponent of "hot saucing" or "hot tongue" and so are many Christian parents.

Lisa Whelchel, actress and author of "Creative Correction: Extraordinary Ideas for Everyday Discipline", defends the practice.


"A correction has to hurt a little," she said. "An effective deterrent has to touch the child in some way. I don't think Tabasco is such a bad thing." Her book suggests a "tiny" bit of hot sauce be used, and offers alternatives such as lemon juice and vinegar.

"For lying or other offenses of the tongue, I 'spank' my kids' tongues. I put a tiny drop of hot sauce on the end of my finger and dab it onto my child's tongue. It stings for a while, but it abates. (It's the memory that lingers!)"

"Creative Correction" provides long lists of scriptural passages that, in Whelchel's view, justify a variety of disciplinary practices. For example, she quotes the Book of Proverbs -- "The mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom, but a perverse tongue will be cut out" -- and follows with this suggestion: "A short pinch by a clothespin on the tongue can discourage foul language."

Hot saucing is a topic of debate in some Christian circles. In 2001, an article in Today's Christian Woman magazine advised parents to use hot sauce on a child's tongue to teach the importance of not talking back. But not all Christian groups agree. For example, the Christian Homeschool Fellowship on the Web states on a prominent page of its site, "We do not believe that some discipline methods are appropriate -- such as applying hot sauce to the mouths or tongues of children."

Tabasco is the proprietary name of a single brand of sauce, made by the McIlhenny Co. of Avery Island, La. The owners of the company condemn the use of their products for child discipline. In an interview, company president Paul McIlhenny called the practice "strange and scary" and "abusive."

Giorgio Kulp, a pediatrician in Montgomery County, said that the risk of swelling as well as the possibility of unknown allergies make the use of hot sauce on children dangerous.

The full article from The Washington Post is here. Requires registration.

Tags: childhood, news, religion

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