Disciplining your child is a hot topic these days, and it seems as if everyone has an opinion on the subject.
Folks are still talking about the “Hot Sauce Mom,” also known as Jessica Beagley. The Alaska mom of six made waves after videotaping herself punishing her 7-year-old-son by dumping hot sauce in his mouth and then shoving him into a cold shower.
The reason for this horrific video tape? Beagley was desperate for a chance to appear on the Dr. Phil show to get help for what she described as her out-of-control son.
After becoming the subject of media scrutiny, Beagley was charged with misdemeanor child abuse. She could face up to a year in jail.
While some believe justice in the case is being served, others are quick to say the government has no business telling us how to punish our children.
What do you think?
As the mother of a child who has suffered from , I definitely have been pushed past the brink of frustration.
With a little one who can be a quarrelsome child, there have been days I cried because I felt so stressed. Kailee wasn't able to speak until she was 3 1/2, and that caused a lot of frustration in our family. Kailee was forced to communicate the only ways she knew how, by sign language, gesturing -- and temper tantrums.
Despite her lack of verbal communication, Kailee is quite intelligent, not to mention fiercely independent. At that time, she knew what she wanted to say, she just couldn’t say it. It was a huge source of anger for her not to be able to communicate her wants and needs to us. Meltdowns, and the flinging of various objects, would occur almost daily because of her speech delay.
As if having developmental issues wasn’t enough, Kailee also is the baby of the family. Besides the normal doting affections typically bestowed on the youngest child -- especially with siblings who are teenagers -- we spoiled her rotten because of her disability. That definitely didn’t help when it came to her temper.
We have since seen the error in our ways. Kailee did overcome her communication obstacles, and we now are holding her accountable for her actions in way that is reasonable for a child almost age 4.
This has led to a lot of headaches.
There are days when I feel my child says nothing but “No!“ and “Mine!“ As much as I love Kailee, I've been at my wits end before. I may have yelled at her on those days, and I may even have spanked her butt. After a good cry, and possibly a glass of wine, I regained my strength and moved on -- all without the help of hot sauce or cold showers.
I admit I've yelled at Kailee when I should have taken a breath, and I have spanked her little bottom more than once. Looking back, I'm sure there were other methods I could have used to diffuse the situation. Unfortunately, I didn’t take them.
Now that I have admitted in a public forum that I've yelled and spanked my child, I wonder if social services will be knocking at my door?
If they do, I'll gladly allow them into my home. While this home may be a stressful place at times, there is nothing but love and affection here. Not a soul in this world could say I abuse my child -- even if I have spanked her.
I don’t think our country has gotten to the point where social workers are called in every time a child gets spanked, but some parents are afraid of disciplining their child.
Where is the line drawn?
I don’t want the government butting its nose into my family’s business, but I sure am grateful when it steps in because a child is forced into a cold shower.
There are appropriate ways to discipline your child. I am a firm believer that sometimes a swift swat on the behind is what a child needs. Lord knows that I had my fair share growing up.
The problem is when the parent loses control. Shoving a child into an ice-cold shower is going to breed anger, resentment, and fear. Effectively punishing a child involves respecting the fact that your child is a human being. Children need to know why you are upset and how to resolve the situation -- not just that you are stark raving mad at them.
That being said, I don’t think the appropriate punishment for the hot sauce mom is jail. I think Beagley is in over her head and that she is begging for help.
I hope she gets it.
Only you know what works for your family. I just hope that all parents realize the need to stay in control -- even when their children are out of it.