March 19, 2012 | in Nanny
I’ve mostly heard of people doing subjecting their kids to some pretty foul-tasting items when dealing with a child that bites, but I can think of a few other occasions when it might be used as a punishment. And while I’m not a big believer in this type of discipline, I would say it’s a better tactic than hitting your child. Here are ten nasty tasting items that are sometimes used to discipline kids.
- Cider vinegar: This bitter-tasting vinegar is often put into a small bottle with a dropper. Whenever a small child bites another person you immediately put a dropper full of cider vinegar in their mouth. The idea is that they will equate the biting with the nasty taste and thus stop the behavior.
- Tabasco: This method has been called “hot saucing” and has made it to the mainstream in the news. It has been touted as being a form of child abuse because of its spicy nature. I can see how it could be if used too often or if you give them too much, however in moderation it’s just another way to deter bad behavior in a child. For instance, instead of giving a child a spanking they get hot sauce in their mouth.
- Soap: Have you ever had your mouth washed out with soap for saying a naughty word? The threat of getting your mouth washed out with soap is a pretty common one, and I know people who have say that once you’ve had it done you don’t ever want to do anything that causes that sort of punishment again. I know I’ve tasted soap by accident before and it is a pretty quick response to start spitting it out.
- Mavala stop: If you aren’t familiar with this product by its name, it is a product that you can by online to stop nail biting. Many parents have lost their cool trying to get their son or daughter to stop biting their nails, and have tried several tactics with no success, such as trying to shame them out of it by telling them that their nails look terrible and that it’s a disgusting habit. Unfortunately once this habit takes hold it becomes a coping mechanism to relieve stress in both kids and adults alike. With Mavala stop you there’s been some success though; to use it you paint this product on the fingernails and the taste is supposed to make kids immediately take their fingers out of their mouths and eventually break the habit entirely.
- Femite: Another often embarrassing habit is having your child suck their thumb past when it’s considered an acceptable behavior. Parents try to discipline their child in any number of ways to get them to stop sucking their thumb, but if nothing is working then you may want to try using Femite. Similar to the Mavala stop, this bitter tasting product is painted on the thumb and it will stay on through multiple washings. Some people think it’s mean because children use thumb sucking for comfort, but parents can be willing to try anything to get the behavior to stop.
- Lemon juice: Lemon juice is often considered bitter or very sour and unpleasant for kids and adults alike. Sometimes when parents are having problems with their child biting another child or saying bad words they’ll use lemon juice as a form of punishment. People even recommend dipping a child’s thumb in lemon juice to get them to stop sucking their thumb.
- Thum: This is another product that you can buy online that is a commercially produced product with a less than pleasant taste that can be used to discipline a child who sucks their thumb or bites their nails. The product is painted on for thumb sucking or fingers for nail biting.
- Control-it: A product created in order to help kids control their nail biting, this stuff tastes really bad and will stay on your hands through many hand washings. Punishing kids for biting their nails is very common. I know that parents think that they are helping and will use any method out there as the end result will be worth any amount of flavor punishment for their child. Nail biting has been linked to other self-mutilations as a child gets older and can lead to infections.
- Pepper: By dipping a child’s thumb in lemon juice and then pepper the pepper will stick to the child’s thumb. It is a very nasty flavor when the child forgets that they aren’t supposed to suck their thumb and they put that straight strong pepper flavor in their mouth. They will probably be coughing and looking for water when this happens. Pepper and pepper sauce are both used for disciplining children.
- Bitter apple: When I hear this I think of the stuff you spray on chair legs or something to stop your puppy from chewing. Apparently there are parents that also use this product as a form of disciplining their children. Like several of the products listed here, it’s usually used to stop them from biting other children or to stop them from sucking on their thumb or biting their nails. In fact, the bulk of these nasty tastes seem to be related to stopping a behavior related to biting, chewing or sucking. The tabasco is the only one I’ve heard for general disobedience.
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