Spanking: Which Side of the Fence Are You On?

Hot Saucing

When actress-turned-parenting-author Lisa Whelchel went on Good Morning America last year to talk about how she dabs hot sauce on her children's tongues when they lie or swear, she shocked many viewers who had never heard of the practice. But apparently, Whelchel's disciplinary method is not unique. "I had a friend who gave hot sauce to her toddler whenever the child gave her attitude," says Bevin Hutchison, a mother from Hampton, Virginia. Still, some experts think such "creative" approaches can be even more harmful than spanking. Kids may see spanking or having their mouths washed out with soap as something that's common, says Jennifer Lansford, Ph.D., a psychologist at Duke University who studies cultural differences in discipline. "But methods like hot saucing add shame to the equation -- kids wonder, 'Why is my mom doing this weird thing to me?'"

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