Soap in the mouth for Bad words? Is it abuse or not

Melissa - posted on 07/22/2009 ( 107 moms have responded )

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What do you think. I think used as a last resort it is fine but I also think you still have to communicate and get tot he bottom of the problem, not just shove soap down a kids mouth

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Stefanie - posted on 07/23/2009

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I want to say one more thing before I drop this:
"People are allergic to EVERYTHING and 90% of the time its a SENSITIVITY. "

If you want to get technical it is not a "sensitivity" or an "allergy". It is poisoning. Why? Well, soap has chemicals in them (depending on what you are using it could be really bad or mildly harmful). If a man dies from ingesting arsenic the Dr. doesn't say, "Oh, he died from an arsenic sensitivity..." No. He says, "He died from arsenic poisoning."
An allergic reaction by definition is when your body acts up from a NATURAL source, not a chemical source. When it's a chemical source it's called poisoning.

Just b/c a parent doesn't spank or use soap in the mouth doesn't mean they don't parent at all. My kids are some of the most well behaved children I've ever seen. Just b/c a mother doesn't agree with you doesn't mean her parenting is somehow inferior or nonexistent. No two children are perfectly alike so you can't say there is only one way to parent either.

Jessica - posted on 07/23/2009

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I've never even considered using soap in the mouth as a punishment! It's never come to mind! and to be honest, I agree with what someone said that swearing in itself isn't bad! It's the inflection of tone and intent behind the words that is bad! for eg, I wouldn't allow my son to call someone a dickhead, or a bitch. If, however he uses it in a phrase like... lets say "shit, that hurt" then I wouldn't really see anything wrong with it! After all, words are just words! It's the meaning and intent behind the words that can cause harm and pain!

Kate CP - posted on 07/23/2009

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"Posted by Lyndsay MacDonald (10:58 am)
My parents did that to me, and to be honest it didn't work at all. I think it's better just to try and teach your kids that there is a time and a place for everything. If you're just hanging out at home, then who cares? But if she's telling her teacher to fuck off, that's totally different."

That was *totally* my point. I pick and choose my battles with my daughter. She never cusses outside of the house if she does cuss. It's usually after my husband or I get frustrated and slip up. The worst she's ever said was "Jesus Christ!". Kids mimic what they see and hear. When I slip up my daughter will say "Mommy, don't say that! It's not nice!" and I'll apologize to her because she's right-it's not nice. I'm not a big fan of PHYSICAL punishment of any kind, really. I'll admit I've swatted my daughter on the butt a few times but we don't use swats as a regular form of discipline in our house. More of a last resort.

Andrea - posted on 07/23/2009

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For those parents that belive that putting soap on a child mouth is a a bad fisical action . I would like to read on other fisical actions that can be more appropriate for children.Cause there are more out there. Hopefully it can help Melissa and other parents ,like me. Allot!!! Spanking and some inflictions are overrated.

Chantel - posted on 07/23/2009

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I got soap in my mouth once for swearing at my mom. I never did it again. Not even now do I even swear in her presence!! lol. As for the hot sauce, I have a cousin whose son was a biter. They tried everything, I mean everything to get him to stop and he was drawing blood on kids at daycare (which happened to be ran by my aunt, his grandma) Finally my aunt put a little hot sauce in his mouth and told him that's what he'll get every time he bites. He never did it again.

Melissa - posted on 07/23/2009

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I agree Andrea I am not a spanker but I do believe in respect, firmness and communication there is no room in my house for words that do not better my children,.

Andrea - posted on 07/23/2009

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Consistency and Communication is the key for good parenting. But sometimes a fisical action is needed. Depending on the childs stubberness. Lets face it using bad words inside and outside the home is not good. Some parents are just TOO SOFT on thier children. One reason why adults are messing up on our society.

Lyndsay - posted on 07/23/2009

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My parents did that to me, and to be honest it didn't work at all. I think it's better just to try and teach your kids that there is a time and a place for everything. If you're just hanging out at home, then who cares? But if she's telling her teacher to fuck off, that's totally different.

Andrea - posted on 07/23/2009

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I remeber when I was about 12 years old ,I had neighbor firends that made it easy for me to use bad words. Cause bad words was the fad of out side talk. My Mom tried to talk to me about the use of bad words,but I would sometimes slipp and use them in the house. This went on for a week then My parent decide that soap in the mouth was the only way that I would think before I used a bad word. After the the next week I learnd the hard way. It was really gross to have a bar of soap in my mouth, But eventually I stopped using bad words inside and outside of the house. I lost some firends, but I made my parents proude of me. They helped me by choosing words that made more sence and didnt offend anyone ,like evil and bad, mean, gross, silly, animal,worng. Communication used the right way is key!

Samantha - posted on 07/23/2009

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my grandfather tought my son to say bullshit now he wont stop saying it. i have tryied the soap as a last resort and it didnt work. i even put peper on his tounge and it still doesnt work. nothing works!!!!!!!!!!

Melissa - posted on 07/23/2009

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Delete Are you sure? Yes | No Flag as inappropriate Are you sure? Yes | No Posted by Lisa Moreau (8:00 am)

My goodness...yes, I consider that quite wrong. Concerning the 'natural' qualities of some soap, doesn't matter if it's 'natural' it can still be harmful.



How about finding out the source of the bad words, and being repetitive in reminding that we don't say those words (and being an example yourself).



Now, I'm sure that any parent here would not want her own mouth soaped (and I'm sure that most of us have let a word or two fly without thinking!)- why in the WORLD would we do that to our child?!



In response to yours I said earlier she got the word from a boy she WAS hanging out with not me or my husband

Kristina - posted on 07/23/2009

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My oldest daughters are 4 and 5 and I use soap in their mouths when they talk back to much or when they lie. It's not often but I do it. Now days everything you do to disipline your child(that works) is considered abuse. Honestly I think the Gov. and other people are way to involved in how we raise our children.

Kate CP - posted on 07/23/2009

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My daughter is only 3 years old. I have never had to wash her mouth out with soap and she has cussed one or two times. She doesn't know what the words mean but if I make a big deal out of it then she knows it will push my buttons. All I have to say is "Some words hurt peoples feelings and that is one of those words. We don't say that word." And that's it. She never says it again. When you start making a HUGE deal out of a word then they see that the word has power and they will use it more.

As far as the "sensitivity versus allergic reaction" comment earlier...I am *highly* allergic to Sodium Laurel Sulfate which is found in all most ALL soaps, detergents, and toothpaste. If I use a toothpaste with SLS in it I get huge ulcers in my mouth that are very painful and last for a week. If I use soap with SLS in it I break out in hives. If I use detergent with SLS in it I get a rash after wearing my clothes. My husband has to do the dishes so I don't have a reaction to the soap in the water. So yes, it's a serious allergic reaction. And my daughter is already showing signs of a sensitivity to the chemical. Tobasco is just cruel in my opinion. But do I think soap in the mouth is abuse? Like I said, I don't know. I think making a kid EAT it is. That'll make a kid really sick.

Jes - posted on 07/23/2009

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Before I was a mother my younger (by 8 yrs) brother swore at me one time while I was babysitting and I dabbed the bar of soap on his tounge and made him hold his tounge out for a min. Of course I let him wash his mouth out afterwards. That was 9 yrs ago and my little brother, now almost 18, has still never swore in front of me again. He even jokes about it. It obviously didn't hurt him, and I don't feel that it is abuse. If you're making your kids chew and swallow it, that is a whole different thing, and I believe that would be abuse. There are too many people out there who cry abuse at the slightest form of discipline, which is why most children today have little to no respect. I think that a dab of soap on the tounge. Of course this would depend on if the word was used with intention and understanding of its use, or if it was just repeated. I don't feel it is an appropriate punishment for young children who really have no clue what they are saying, but for older children I feel it is an exceptable form of punishment.

Minnie - posted on 07/23/2009

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My goodness...yes, I consider that quite wrong. Concerning the 'natural' qualities of some soap, doesn't matter if it's 'natural' it can still be harmful.

How about finding out the source of the bad words, and being repetitive in reminding that we don't say those words (and being an example yourself).

Now, I'm sure that any parent here would not want her own mouth soaped (and I'm sure that most of us have let a word or two fly without thinking!)- why in the WORLD would we do that to our child?!

Magan - posted on 07/23/2009

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You can pour about 1mL of dawn dish soap in your ear so clean your ears out....All it does it break up grease. I am not for the anything hot. That is just wrong and insensitive. What if the child honestly can't stand something that hot? That amounts to blisters in the mouth, not eatinng the next few meals, you name it. Its like burning your own tongue on hot chocolate or coffee. Try being in their shoes. I'm not saying soap is the answer but people need to start thinking more logically. I got the soap done to me when I was little. There was no chewing and swallowing. We just had to wash our mouth out. That way it was like washing our hands...enough that the flavor was still there and we had to brush our teeth ALOT to get the taste out knowing we hated to brush our teeth. If you agree with soap and hot products, why not ask the pedi or try time out or a pop on the mouth when they say something or don't use that language around them. I know I am the worst but my child knows that those are 'big people words' and she will get in trouble if she says them and shes only 2

[deleted account]

ummm... my 21 month old thinks soap is yummy and i have to keep it in a high cupboard to keep her from eating it... :P





i do not think it is abuse, but only if it is a teeny bit. i remember my mom made me lick the bar of soap for saying "shit" when i was around 11ish (although i didn't know what the word meant, i had heard it at school). after she did that we had a long talk about cuss words (she gave me a whole list actually) and i never said them again... at leat not around my mom (teenagers will be teenagers after all!), and i make it a point to not cuss in front of my children. :P

[deleted account]

i dont think its abuse at all, i got dish soap when i was younger and my mom didnt shove the bottle down my throat, she put a drop on her fingers and wiped it on my tongue. I've gotten soap,smacked and grounded. Grounding doesnt work for me so i got soap alot lol.

i think alot of people are going overboard with this abuse thing, i had some lady bitch me out the other day cuz i " smacked" rhyas mouth ( no i did not slap her, she was trying to chew the shopping cart and wasnt listening so i tapped her mouth) So i told her to fuck off and what i do with my kids is sure as hell none of her business ,cuz honestly it isnt. Im sick of the "self-rightous" bullshit with this society believes they can interject whenever and how ever they want into others lives.

The lines of abuse are clearly getting blurred to the point where we can barely touch our kids b/c fear of having CYS called on us. ill be damned if some idiot is gonna call on me cuz i "smacked" my daughter. CYS is a joke anymore b/c of this.

Crystal - posted on 07/23/2009

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Michelle I can honestly say 4 years ago I would have more than likely had a similar response to yours. My oldest daughter from day one has been naturally driven to please. I never had to raise my voice. My second child however I looked at my husband in the hospital after only one day and told him she was going to be a handful. She is a boundry pusher by nature. I learned quickly that each child has a distinct personality and that there is no one solution for every child. As parents we need to set the rules and be consistant about upholding them. But if I looked at my youngest and politely explained to her that her behavior was inappropriate (as I have, and this is what works for my oldest) she would politely say she was sorry and do it again. With her I need to use the corner frequently. You have to be able to adapt.

Isabel - posted on 07/23/2009

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I have done it, albeit I didn't want to but I have one of those hard headed children lol I only had to do it twice ( and trust me I didn't let her swallow anything just suddsed it up and got the taste in there) and now if she hears an adult using bad language (even if it's not necessarily bad she just thinks it is or she doesn't like the word) she's say Ooooo you said the E word!!! You want me to put soap in your mouth?!?!? The best part is that I used the soap about a year ago and she still says this so I think the point was well taken :) BTW I have 3 children 7, 3 & 22 months and I've only had to use it on the 3yr old

Michelle - posted on 07/23/2009

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Crystal this was my point before. As kids me and my brothers respected our parents but they never ever smacked us or used any kind of threats, they didnt need to. We just knew our place, knew what the rules where and we abided by them. Why do we need to perform theese acts to get respect from our children? I just dont get it.

Crystal - posted on 07/23/2009

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No I do not believe it is abuse unless your craming it down the childs throat, in that case, yes you've gone overboard. I have a 7 year old that I have never had to use this method and a 4 year old that I have. It only took one time, one lick of the bar and I have never even needed to even threaten it again. People really need to wake up and start being parents again instead of trying to be your kids best friend. Maybe we wouldn't have the disrespect, disobience, and unruliness from so many of the younger generations if parents would take their job more seriously!

Mel - posted on 07/23/2009

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woah i havent seen you comment on the threads ever Penny lol. glad to see you around though

Daniela - posted on 07/23/2009

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I would NEVER EVER think of anything like that!!! Of course kids repeat whatever they hear and if they realize that parents don´t like it it´s even more fun for them. My kids picked up some words like that but I did handle it like that: At home I just ignored it and in public I told them that this is not polite. It did work out pretty good, after a while they didn´t use those words any more. My sons are 2 and 3.
I would consider every possibility (soap, tobasco, shaving cream...) as abuse!

[deleted account]

"BTW I would also like to add to this not all but some parents do nothing about it then swearing and disrespect happens in school then its horrible for the child... I think doing nothing is more abusive."
I completely agree, a lot of children that I see in public are severely lacking punishment.
As for soap, I got my mouth washed out once when I was young, for calling my grandma a bitch. That was the last time I ever spoke like that to her. I don't think it's abuse (as long as the parent isn't forcing the child to actually like, eat half the bar).

Jaime - posted on 07/23/2009

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i have no idea what i will use when my son starts to swear hes just turned 1 and if i dont keep the soap up high he will eat it

Candice - posted on 07/23/2009

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I haven't ever had to use soap on my kids, but their dad decided that he was going to use shaving cream on day because my oldest daughter said that her cousin bouncing on the bed made it feel like he was "humping" on the top bunk. She doesn't fully understand the concept of "humping" for she is only 9.5. He also whipped her and her sister with a belt and left a bruise that was obviously from the belt on my youngest. I reported both incidents to the child protective services and they did nothing!!! So if shaving cream and belts aren't considered abuse then I suppose soap wouldn't be either.

Abby - posted on 07/23/2009

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i never swore in front of my parents when i was lil, but my aunty did it to my cousin!

i dont think i'd do that! just the thght of soap in my mouth makes me gag! i dont think it's abuse tho!

Michelle - posted on 07/23/2009

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Whether it is abuse or not i think it is totally wrong to do that. Just as wrong as smacking in my eyes. I just dont get this whole abusive nature we have towards our children. I will NEVER punish my daughter in theese ways. Me and my brothers were never smacked or had our mouths washed out. We knew the rules and respected our parents so we stuck to them even as teenagers. I think if you have to resort to any form of violence including shoving soap in your child mouth then some form of communication has been lost along the way with our child.

Penny - posted on 07/23/2009

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I don't think there is anyting wrong with using soap. Some ppl on here seem to be under the impression that you are going to be making your child eat a whole bar of soap or something. I mean if you have to constantly use soap or tobasco sauce or whatever for a child who is swearing. Then obviously its the environment the child is in which makes them think its ok. Whats that saying Monkey see, monkey do.

[deleted account]

Really I never got soap in the mouth. My parents were the masters of shame! They could get me into tears about how disrepectful I was being, how they must be horrible parents for raising such a fowl mouthed child, and what must other people think of our family because I was cursing.



I don't like the idea of soap, I don't like the idea of tabasco sauce (I use it in cooking all the time, not my Son's food yet, but I would like him not to freak out on taco night). The black pepper flakes sounds more reasonable. Lord knows I've chomped into a large piece of ground pepper and hated it so badly I didn't finish my meal!



Really I'm doing my very best to curb my swearing (lets face it after a certain age there isn't much you can do). Practice by example is what I'm hoping will work best.

Mel - posted on 07/22/2009

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in response to Jamie - while soap is not food and tobasco sauce is , at the same time, my little cousin had severe burns in his mouth from tabasco sauce, he didnt stop swearing so she kept tipping it in, the soap, only one of her kids had a severe reaction her eldest whose now almost 20, and her throat closed over because she was allergic (hence the reason she started using tobasco sauce afterwards with her other children). i really think soap is a better option. then again ive had no experience with tobasco sauce my mother never used it.

[deleted account]

I worry too much about all the chemicals in soap, though I still remember getting a mouthful as a child! lol



if one of our kids says something we think is bad we use horseradish. We go by the "bad words hurt as much as they taste bad leaving the mouth" phrase. Our kids rarely ever say anything bad and we only use it for big things. If you don't know what a word means dont use it and if your uncomfortable saying it it probably isn't worth it.



I would think that if your using it too much then your just abusing it, but applied correctly I dont think you could consider it abuse (though it would be best to use something natural instead of something laced with chemicals)

Melissa - posted on 07/22/2009

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BTW I would also like to add to this not all but some parents do nothing about it then swearing and disrespect happens in school then its horrible for the child... I think doing nothing is more abusive.

Melissa - posted on 07/22/2009

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Rachel Diezmann lol my daughter loves hot wings and hot things. I wish haha. I am so glad it worked for you, I love your point on not swearing infront of them I know I have trucker mouth that I have been working on. Its been better since I have been more aware of it.

Melissa - posted on 07/22/2009

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Thanks everyone. Like I said I did it once plus what kid doesnt attempt to drink there bath water and they are all alive many grown up to have kids or grandkids of their own to drink more soapy bath water. If anyone could provide me complete prove it will harm my kid mor then my kid not being responsibe and a well rounded 4 year old when you compare her to kids that swear and shout and are embarrasing.. Prove it to me then I will not use it.

Rachel - posted on 07/22/2009

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My mum used pepper on our tongue and boy did we hate that, however we all love the taste of pepper now...lol. I have used pepper with my kids for swearing only and they hate it like we did but they have only ever said a few bad words in their lives because we dont really swear in front of our kids, we've learnt to control that over the yrs. After the 2nd time they got pepper on their tongue's they stopped saying bad words cause they hated the taste of pepper. This has worked well for my kids they all respect the fact that their are words that are just not acceptable and they will not use them in my home or any where else. We even have a rule that if my hubby or i say a bad word we get pepper on our tongue as well.....my 8 yr old has great hearing and will call me and my hubby on it if he has heard us swear and then he gets to put pepper on our tongue's because.... well we got caught out(lol) so we had to wear the same punishment as they would get if we had caught one of them, and well this has worked well for my kids because they are not the only ones that have to follow rules because mummy and daddy have to follow the rules too so that's why we decided that we would get them to put pepper on our tongue's if we swore because it was teaching them that everyone has to follow rules no matter what age.

[deleted account]

lmao i havent heard of the soap in the mouth thing since i was lil!! i got it alot! my mom used dish soap cuz then she could control how much soap i got ( tear drop size is enough) and NO its not child abuse!!!

and if the kid swallows the soap, then have them drink water. soap isnt gonna kill them and you the whole allergy thing- its getting ridiculous. People are allergic to EVERYTHING and 90% of the time its a SENSITIVITY.

I will use the soap trick cuz it works , no kid wants to eat that lol

chewing and swallowing is extreme, we are talking about a lil tiny drop just enough for the kid to get the point .

so melissa keep it up cuz its not child abuse ! lol

Stefanie - posted on 07/22/2009

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"Not advertising either but I order my products from Malalueca so there products are all natural"
Those products are NOT all natural and they contain Tea Tree Oil which can be TOXIC if ingested. Just an FYI.

Stefanie - posted on 07/22/2009

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I think it is borderline abuse. Have you researched the chemicals in soaps these days? They are dangerous! And some kids may have an allergic reaction that is life threatening to some of the ingredients. In my opinion, I don't understand why parents can't use a natural alternative that isn't going to effect a child's health. Apple Cider Vinegar is GROSS and cheaper than soap. Why not just use that. At least it's food grade and meant to be ingested! I would think that if a parent forced a child to ingest a chemical that has warning labels written on it then it should be considered abuse.

Magan - posted on 07/22/2009

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I think tabasco sauce is just horrible. I personally think its freakin A hott and would never do that to my child. Thats just me. I did the soap thing growing up and I admit, I did it to my child once. I have not had to do it again. I don't think its abuse if done properly.

--- - posted on 07/22/2009

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great thread melissa! to the moms that say it is harmful to eat a lot of soap. the kids are not eating it it is just a bit on the tounge. of course if a mother is making her child chew and swallow the soap that is abuse and harmful to the child. if someone is useing soap on a regular basis they should probably stop as they are obviosly not getting the effect they wanted from it. most people I find do only need to use it once or twice. it tastes so horrible you really wouldnt need to use it all the time.

--- - posted on 07/22/2009

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i did it and it works. some people do tabasco sauce, i think that is wrong but soap works and will not harn the kid. We have only had to do it once so its effective. def not abuse.

Melissa - posted on 07/22/2009

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Well I would say chewing and swalowing soap is too far thats also not typical

Jamie - posted on 07/22/2009

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Soap, not humane, Tobasco sauce one drop on the tounge, no water 5 min.

Felicia Neikolle - posted on 07/22/2009

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As a woman who was forced to eat (chew and swallow) half a bar of hotel soap for WRITING a curse word, I can tell you that I firmly believe that it is abuse. I was sick for nearly a week because of it and it burned my vocal cords. I believe this should never be done ... just think about the taste that you get in your mouth when shampoo or conditioner filled water accidentally gets in your mouth in the shower. Do you REALLY wanna inflict that intentionally on your child? I will discipline it in a completely different way.

Melissa - posted on 07/22/2009

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I disagree about swearing being not bad I want my daughter to use her brain and learn more productive word after all she is 4. I think swears are to commenly used and it makes some apppear to not be so intelligent when using them. Second the doller thing would be great if it would not be the actual parents money going in the jar.

Kylie - posted on 07/22/2009

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My mum used to wash our mouths out with soap when we were little.. and i thought idiot was a swear word until i was 18. i think its a horrible, degrading thing to do to anyone and i wont be threatening or doing that to my own. when i come to that road i with my kids I'll tell them well brought up children don't use words like that and if i hear it again I'll take something they value away.

I have a really big problem with my husband and my brother and sister swearing around my daughter. Shes got an amazing memory and I'm so scared she will goto school and say something offensive. My husband took her to swimming lesson yesterday and i called him on the mobile and he answered "hey babe, ohh this fucking arsehole in front of me is driving like a dickhead" I said what!! Lillie's in the car isn't she? ..and he said yeh but im pissed off. i said please don't speak like that, she listens to everything you say. I've asked him so many time to watch his language..he was the type of kid that said fuck in front of his mum from age 14. It's really upsetting me and i don't know what to do...How will i tell my children not to swear if they hear adults in their life doing it.

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