"Hot Saucing" as a method of child corporal punishment
Manufacturers' comments. Legal aspects.
Book review. Public opinion poll results.
What do sauce manufacturers say?
|McIlhenny Company of Avery Island, LA manufacture Tabasco. The owners of
the company condemn the use of the product for child discipline. President
Paul McIlhenny called hot saucing "strange and scary" and "abusive."
|Glenn Garner, marketing manager for the producer of Texas Pete
hot sauce also rejected the use of hot sauce as a discipline method. "Obviously
that's not something that we condone or believe in at all....As a child I
ate [hot sauce] because I enjoyed it, not because it was forced on me."
Legal aspects of "hot saucing:"
|Virginia's child protective services agency groups hot saucing along
with forcing children to kneel on sharp gravel or locking a child in a
closet as "bizarre behaviors." 1
Manager Betty Jo Zarris said: "We have to have some community standards
for what's appropriate to do to children. Common sense would tell you [hot
sauce] is not appropriate for a child. The common man on the street would
know this is offensive." |
|In Michigan, a child care center was
sanctioned for using hot sauce to discipline a child. Allegedly, a mother of
a 18-month old infant gave child care workers permission to use hot sauce to
discipline her son who was biting other children.|
|A childcare center in Georgia was investigated
after it was discovered that workers used hot sauce to discipline some
Reviews of "Creative Correction:"
"Creative Correction," by Lisa Whelchel, is a Focus on the Family book.
Focus is a fundamentalist Christian agency centered in Colorado Springs,
CO. Its founder, James Dobson, is a psychologist who recommends spanking
infants and young children from the age of 18 months upwards as an effective
Amazon.com, the world's largest online bookstore, allows individual book
readers to post their comments. This book received a range of ratings from 1
star (the minimum) to 5 stars (the maximum). The average rating of 50
reviewers was 3.5.
|5 stars: "Lisa does a fabulous job of using different
examples of her own kids and how she actually tried some of the methods
in the book and was very careful to admit not everything works for each
|1 star: "If one of Lisa Whelchel's kids came into my
schoolroom complaining of being forced to drink hot sauce, having
his/her hair pulled as punishment, having water sprayed in his/her face
like a dog, or having meals withheld from him/her, there is no question
that I would be duty-bound to report it' as a teacher." (This
reviewer is misrepresenting the hot sauce technique. The child is not
forced to drink the sauce. A small quantity is placed on their tongue.) |
|3 stars: "I liked how she used Scripture to back things
up. She even explained why it is so important to use Scripture when
raising your children."|
|1 star: "...the child exposed to this type of "parenting"
will grow to remember the cruelty of the "correction" rather than the
action that prompted it. Treat children with respect and they will
respect themselves....Unfortunately, many atrocities have been committed
in the name of Christianity, and this book, in it's uniformed cruelty
towards children, is just another."|
|5 stars: Each child is "...a future adult. God has given
you this gift to raise him in His light. Lisa stepped out of the "box"
of today's parenting, if that is what you call it, and gives a
refreshing, creative way to deal with issues. Get the book, try some of
the tools and see what happens...you will be surprised!"|
|1 star: "I cannot imagine a book worse than Whelchel's
'Creative Correction.' It's overly preachy, pithy, and full of really
bad 'hints.' I realize it's published by Focus on the Family, but
this isn't the way to go if you really want to try and discipline
children. Hot sauce! Really! A LOVELY childrearing hint."|
|5 stars: "I have found this book to be incredibly helpful,
mostly because for each problem, there are several suggestions for how
to handle them. ...Not every parent will need or use every idea, but it
sure is nice to have the choice."|
|1 star: "Lisa is a fundamentalist 'Christian' who has no
clue about raising children. I predict her own children will spend years
in therapy and end up hating their mom, once they are old enough to
learn that their childhood was far from normal. Avoid this book. It is
|5 stars: "This is a wonderful book. Lisa Whelchel not only
covers the traditional methods of discipline, but also gives some very
interesting and "creative" ideas....It will give some scriptures and
some ideas that will refrain you from pulling your hair and also help
you explain to the child why it's wrong to be acting the way they are
and have a suitable punishment for it. ...the book would be a good start
on how to discipline children." |
|1 star: "I was reminded more of techniques used by
torturers than of loving parents."|
|5 stars: "I also like the one that says if you catch your
child playing with matches, pick something very special to him (like a
favorite baseball card) and burn it. Wow...that'll send a strong message
to never play with matches again. Let's get real. Kids need discipline
and structure. To all the parents that imply this book is too strict or
disrespectful to children....get a clue and be a parent!"|
|3 stars: "I fail to see the logical connection (or biblical
support) for putting hot sauce on a child's tongue [or for] ... spanking a child. In Canada, a parent who
employs the hot sauce method risks being charged with assault and having
their child removed from their home. The same applies to parents who use
paddles, straps, switches, etc."|
|The ABC News web site, in a non-scientific poll, received over 8,000 votes.
|65% said that hot saucing is an unacceptable form of discipline.|
|35% said that it was acceptable.|
|WLMT-TV of Memphis, TN conducted an informal poll of visitors to their
web site. Results were:|
|74.8% felt that it is an unacceptable form of punishment|
|16.8 felt that it is acceptable|
|8.4 were not sure.|
The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above
essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.
Alison Buckholtz, "Feeling the Heat. Some Parents Apply Hot
Sauce to a Child's Tongue as Punishment. The Practice Has Some
Experts Burning," The Washington Post, 2004-AUG-10. Page HE 01. Online
Bo Emerson, "New flavor to punishing kids: Sting of hot
sauce. Drops on tongue popular option. Parenting experts call it distasteful,"
Cox News Service, 2004-SEP-02. Published in the Toronto Star, 2004-SEP-03, Page
- Pamela Page, "Tabasco
Discipline: 'Hot-Saucing' Your Kids," WOAI TV, 2004-AUG-25, at:
Copyright © 2004 to 2009 by Ontario Consultants on
Originally posted: 2004-AUG-28
Latest update: 2006-MAR-29
Author: B.A. Robinson