(Aug. 25) -- Any parent will tell you it's not always easy to get your child to behave. It's a tough job and sometimes it takes more than a time-out or "go to your room" to change their behavior. But one method of discipline that's been around for ages is drawing renewed attention -- and some criticism.
It's called "hot saucing." It's when a parent puts a dab of hot sauce or Tabasco on their child's tongue as a form of discipline. It's now a hot topic after a recent article in the Washington Post reported that it's a growing trend, especially among Christian conservative Christians.
Ann Rubin, with Clark County Child Protective Services, says, "I've been in this business for 16 years and for 16 years I've heard of parents using hot sauce as a discipline technique for their children. So it's nothing new."
Rubin works with abused and neglected children everyday and she's heard stories from children who've had hot sauce used as a means of discipline. While Rubin doesn't condone the technique, she does admit it's just one of the ways parents try to control a situation with their children.
"We all know years ago parents put soap in children's mouths and some people thought that was a horrific practice, other people say it worked. I never look at anything in isolation," Rubin said.
The practice of hot saucing is once again drawing attention because of a recent article in the Washington Post, which points to a book called Creative Correction where author Lisa Whelchel -- an actress best remembered for her role as Blair from the TV series The Facts of Life -- suggests using hot sauce as a deterrent to lying.
Whelchel is also a contributing writer for Today's Christian Woman, another place where she advocates the practice. But child psychologist Dr. Julie Beasley believes techniques like hot saucing doesn't work long term.
"I'm not saying that it probably doesn't work for some children. I think for some children it probably will. They'll probably stop for fear of that happening again. Again, that's parenting out of some fear and that's a powerful parenting technique. Spankings are fear based."
Ann Rubin, with Clark County Child Protective Services, says, "I think there are a lot better discipline techniques you can use with your child than putting hot sauce on a tongue."
Eyewitness News talked with a few parents who've used this technique, but didn't want to talk with us on camera. It seems the success rate was mixed. From trying to stop "thumb-sucking" to disciplinary problems, the parents we talked with only used the hot sauce when all other forms of discipline simply didn't work.
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