The memory of watching my brother get this punishment from my mom, is so sad for me (this was about 40 years ago). *I* was the one who told on him, and she must have been overly frustrated already or mad or something. She put liquid soap in his mouth and he struggled with getting it out (coughing, gagging, crying) for about 1/2 hour. I remember being so scared, and my mother looked terrified as she helped him in the bathroom. After that, I wondered what soap was like to taste, and I actually tasted it a week or so later -- just a drop. It was terrible tasting and again, I couldn't image how it felt to my brother.
I've done a lot of parenting advise volunteering at other parenting sites, for the last 7 years. Unfortunately, this mode of punishment STILL comes up in questions and conversations today. Lots of parents still believe this is non-harmful to do to kids, they WANT to do something distasteful and uncomfortable to them to punish them for "cussing" and "back-talk".
Here are some links I recently found on the topic... even the "Disney" site warns of risks/harms. I have a friend in the medical field who talks of seeing a boy come in to the ER with breathing difficulties due to soap in the mouth, also I know a woman who herself went to the hospital due to an allergic reaction to soap in the mouth. She doesn't remember too much of the incident (the actual punishment and swelling), but she does remember being in the hospital, getting all that attention and her mother being devastated -- and never doing that again!http://familyfun.go.com/raisingkids/...9enc_prof.htmlhttp://familyfun.go.com/raisingkids/...swearing2.html
From ivillage --http://www.parentsplace.com/toddlers...105905,00.html
And here's an article that I thought was interesting because it discussed kids being stoic during this punishment (which the kid actors are in the commercial)....http://www.familyeducation.com/exper...-17066,00.html
Plus, here's a health link...http://www.healthcentral.com/peds/top/002739.cfm
I'm not sure of the rules here about providing links to articles, I hope this is OK.