So, did you hear about the mom who was found guilty of child abuse for making her son drink hot sauce? Y'all knew I was going to bring this up, right? The legal side of me and the mom side of me are mixed into one, so how could I resist talking about this?
If you haven't heard the story, then you must not watch the news! This Alaska mother of 6 was found guilty of one count of child abuse for making her son drink hot sauce, a discipline tactic she admitted to when she appeared on the Dr. Phil show. Apparently this mother made her son (who was adopted at the age of 5) take cold shower, drink hot sauce, and even do jumping-jacks until he was exhausted. I am incredibly intrigued by this story, so I just thought I would share a few of my thoughts.
First of all, please note that I am not condoning this mother's discipline methods. My questions simply lie within the rights of a parent. In my opinion there is a line between discipline and abuse, and I'm not sure the mother crossed it. This mother had gone on the Dr. Phil show in order to get help in how to make her son obey. She wanted HELP! She realized that the methods she was using were not getting the desired result - even when she used hot sauce. Granted, I was not in the court room and did not hear all of the prosecution's testimony; however, I know that raising children can be hard.
I guess my ultimate question (and fear) lies in this - at what point does the government have the right to step in and dictate how parents discipline their children? In the past I remember hearing so many stories about parents who spanked their child in public and then saw CPS on their doorstep. These are our children, and don't we as parents, have the right to say how WE discipline them? My parents spanked me, washed my mouth out with soap, made me sit in time out, grounded me - you name it - but not once did they even come close to "abusing" me. So what is the line - at what point does the government get to say "Hey, you can't do that?"
Anyways, I know I'm rambling but these are just my thoughts. This mother is due to be sentenced soon and faces up to one year of jail. I think it will be very interesting to see what her punishment is. What are your thoughts on discipline? Did this mom go too far?
Want to know more about this, or watch the Dr. Phil video? Click here.