Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Some thoughts on hot sauce, discipline, healthy child development and the prevention of child abuse and neglect.

There has been a lot of attention in the media this week about the mother who used hot sauce to punish her child and we wanted to share our thoughts on this story.
  • We know that other forms of discipline, such as giving time-outs, explaining rules, or taking away privileges, have been shown to be more effective than more invasive and punitive forms of discipline like this.
  • Different questions need to be asked:
  • "Why did this parent believe this form of discipline was appropriate and what should we, as a society, do differently to provide more pertinent information that supports healthy child development which also includes providing effective discipline and the structure that children need both now as they transition into adulthood"?
  • "What role did stress or other emotional issues like frustration play in this situation and how do we as a community and as a nation ensure that adequate services, information and help are available to parents when they are needed and as long as they are needed"?
  • Further, we also want to ask hard questions such as, what is the long-term impact of forms of discipline such as this on a child's development and are those long term impacts worth the perceived short-term benefits? ...and if they are not, what are our policymakers going to do differently? Additionally, do children translate the use of this type of punishment as an acceptable means to control and manage others rather than providing more peaceful and more effective means of solving problems?
  • We all play a role in ensuring that prevention strategies, such as home visiting, mutual self-help support programs, and sexual abuse prevention programs, exist in the communities in which we live and we should ask ourselves what opportunities exist to change the culture and norms of our nation to reflect the real value we all should place on children having loving and healthy experiences?


Anonymous said...

I felt your comments relating to the use of hot sauce as discipline were rather ridiculous. I've been a follower of your group of Facebook for some time now and this is the first time I felt you were going overboard. I myself experienced child abuse and am a firm believer that though discipline is needed, there are lines/boundaries that one can cross. There's a difference in being a firm parent and losing your temper with a child. I've never seen any parent hit or spank a child without losing their temper for example. But hot sauce? This along with soap seems a perfectly fine method of discipline, if needed. Since when does having a child eat hot sauce cross the lines into abuse? This is ridiculous. I feel like it's posts like these that help shape parent's views that any discipline is venturing into abuse. And it's this attitude that has so drastically affected our society as those children grow into adults that do not know how to take responsibility for their actions. Hot sauce inflicts as much physical harm and tears as a time out does.

Prevent Child Abuse America said...

Shauna, we appreciate the thoughtfulness of your response, and while we may not agree, we have always wanted to treat forums such as this blog as a place for dialogue. From conversation comes education and from education action. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Be it hot sauce or soap, I find it barbaric, (hope I spelled that right). Why would anyone give a child, hot sauce? What if they can not tolerate it? As with soap? What if there little bodies can not digest the stuff? Then what?
I have heard many a parent say to a child if u say that bad word again I will wash your mouth out with soap! And where do you think that child learned that "bad word"? In the home, most likely from the one of the parents themselves. But hey, this is Just My Honest Opinion, (JMHO)