Posted January 24, 2005 by Nick Lindauer in Hot Sauce News

New Burn Tactic: Hot Sauce to Punish

We have all heard of the saying “Spare the rod and spoil the child.” Well, this old adage has been revamped by some parents into “Spare the hot sauce and spoil the child” as many parents are using this fiery liquid to punish their unruly children.

The practice has been named hot saucing by psychologists and entails a parent prying open a child’s mouth each time their child is unruly, and pouring hot sauce on the child’s tongue, letting it burn until the little one confesses their lies or apologizes for acting up.

In most cases, hot saucing is generally used in cases where a child misbehaved using their mouths. Examples include talking back to adults, lying, biting, swearing, refusing to eat, or spitting on people. Research shows that the practice has roots in Southern culture and has recently begun to spread to other regions of the country.

The practice has become so widespread, that some childcare officials are coming forward to warn parents about the potential dangers of punishing a child in this manner. In the most extreme cases, specialists say hot saucing may cause a child physical harm, trigger unknown allergies, or possibly lead to a choking death.

“Hot sauce can burn a child’s esophagus and cause the tongue to swell, making it a potential choking hazard,” said family therapist Carleton Kendrick to The Washington Post.

Kendrick said parents who try to rationalize hot saucing by saying things like they only use small amounts to punish their children, are still wrong and should stop. “There are many different kinds of hot sauce on the market, and parents who say they know the dilution to use so it won’t sting, or say they only use one drop, are wrong,” he said. “It is done because it hurts, it stings, it burns, and it makes you nauseous.”

Kendrick added, “There is no room for pain and humiliation and fear in disciplining healthy children. I think it is a rather barbaric practice to say the least.”

Despite condemnation from some childcare advocates, some very prominent supporters of hot saucing have come forward and are speaking publicly in favor of parents using the tactic to punish a child. Actress Lisa Welchel, star of the 1980s sitcom “Facts of Life,” says she regularly uses hot saucing on her children. In an interview earlier this year with ABC’s Good Morning America, Welchel, now a stay at home mom, defended the practice. “For lying or other offenses of the tongue, I spank my kids tongue. I put a tiny dab of hot sauce on my finger and dab it onto my child’s tongue,” she said. “It stings for a while, but it abates. It is the memory that lingers…so the next time they may actually have some self-control and stop before they lie or bite or something like that.” Continued…

Nick Lindauer

The Original Hot Sauce Blog