Nothing in this mouth but toothpasteThe spanking vs. time-out debate is such a hot button topic, we tend to forget there's another discipline technique out there worth debating. Nasty tastes. Would you believe there are parents out there who won't spank their kids but think it's perfectly OK to dab some Tabasco on kiddo's tongue?
Heck, an article over at Nanny Net takes it even further than OK. The way they see it, dosing kids with something that tastes foul is a "better tactic than hitting your child."
Sorry folks, different body parts don't make this different, at all. You can hurt the tongue or hurt the tush, it's still all one big pile of hurt.
I'd say I hate to break it to you, but I really don't. I just hate that people are still fighting for the right to hurt their kids.
Let's get this straight: whether you're using lemon juice, femite, soap, or cider vinegar, you're still causing a child to feel discomfort. Sometimes it's significant, sometimes it's long lasting, but it's always uncomfortable, or you wouldn't be using it as a potential deterrent to begin with. Now what would you do if someone dosed your food with any of those tastes? Would you get angry? Would you feel hurt? Would you be upset?
So why would you want to do this to your child? I don't spank, frankly. And I don't discipline in order to make my daughter feel hurt or angry with me. I discipline because I know she needs to change a certain behavior.
I think the problem is nasty tastes don't leave the same physical scars on a child, and they're easier for a parent to do than spanking. That sounds better, right? No bruise means you "can't be hurting them" ... not really.
Scary to think this, but that may make this an even trickier road! The mom who can feel the sting of smacking her kid on the bottom gets a warning sign to stop! The dad who fears the mark on the butt will be construed as child abuse will back off. But a form of physical violence with no consequences for the adult? Now you're really asking for trouble with boundaries!
How about we just rule getting physical off limits and take it from there? Who's with me?
Image by Jeanne Sager