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#61 of 86 Old 12-31-2007, 08:24 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Wolfcat View Post
And on a tangent, this reminds me of the scene in A Christmas Story when the boy has a bar of soap in his mouth. After he leaves, the mom looks at the soap, puts it in her mouth to see what it is like, and promptly gags. One of the funniest scenes, in my mind. How mainstream would GD become if parents had to experience these crazy punishments themselves??


To the OP...Did you end up speaking to the mom? How did it turn out?

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#62 of 86 Old 12-31-2007, 08:27 PM
 
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I think it's a human, territorial concept.

It's not so much "my house, my rules." It's more, "my house is my safe place." I don't think that has anything to do with class, money, or nationality.
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#63 of 86 Old 12-31-2007, 10:36 PM
 
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very interesting thread.
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#64 of 86 Old 01-01-2008, 03:04 AM
 
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I have read most posts but not all. Am I the only one that would guess that the child cursed and the OP didn't hear it?

I am not saying it is JUSTIFIED, nor getting into the "how abusive was it" debate. I would like a little, teeny, tiny bit of sympathy for the fact that this practice of punishing cursing with soap is Seriously Culturally Engrained in my culture. I don't know where it comes from. I'd take a wild guess and blame England.

It isn't supposed to involve liquid soap (which is usually a detergent). It is supposed to be unpleasant but not harmful -- it is clearly a Punishment and not at all GD. The child has the unpleasant experience and spits out almost all of the residue. It's not painful. It's just extremely unpleasant. I've tasted soap myself -- we used Ivory. You stick it in your mouth and you really want it out. I was never punished with it, but I do not think I ever cussed as a child.

My father said his mother washed his mouth out with soap if he cursed.

I have heard of this punishment being used present day in my community.

I'm not sure it is any more violent to tell a child to hold a bar of Ivory soap in her mouth for 30 seconds versus having her write "I will not cuss" 500 times. Both are coercive and the latter would likely cause hand pain. Would you call CPS if someone punished her child with lines?

Since the OP likes these people, the liquid soap freakout was probably a less than stellar moment of parenting and none of us are perfect. I would seriously talk to the parent about the toxicity issue. I get the idea most people do not know it's a problem at all. That is really quite yucky and it's too bad you didn't freak out on it right there, (LET'S CALL POISON CONTROL) but I often think of the clever response later.

My little son as probably a young 2, dumped a bunch of shampoo in his mouth and it was really upsetting to me health wise. It was hard to rinse it all out when he could only partially respond to my help -- he did his best to rinse/spit. Urg. If I walked in to find my kids having a competition to see who could hold a natural bar soap in his mouth the longest, I would walk away and look for something good on TV. Regular liquid soap (detergent), I would put a stop to.

If you want to get into punishment versus consquences generally, and the friendship will tolerate it, I would offer to set some consequences for the kids regarding toy pickup. It's likely the parent is really struggling with that in their own home, as well as probably with the cursing. So I'd offer some support. Really if you want to convince people that natural consequences are better than punishment, showing them the result is probably the most effective.
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#65 of 86 Old 01-01-2008, 03:13 AM
 
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Not sure if it's been mentioned before as I did a speed read through the post, but my most serious concern at finding out a friend did this to her kid in my house would be that she does this in her house--and my children might go over there to play. What if they refuse to pick up toys?? This concern would demand a discussion for me.
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#66 of 86 Old 01-01-2008, 05:14 AM
 
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Originally Posted by pigpokey View Post
I have read most posts but not all. Am I the only one that would guess that the child cursed and the OP didn't hear it?

I am not saying it is JUSTIFIED, nor getting into the "how abusive was it" debate. I would like a little, teeny, tiny bit of sympathy for the fact that this practice of punishing cursing with soap is Seriously Culturally Engrained in my culture. I don't know where it comes from. I'd take a wild guess and blame England.

It isn't supposed to involve liquid soap (which is usually a detergent). It is supposed to be unpleasant but not harmful -- it is clearly a Punishment and not at all GD. The child has the unpleasant experience and spits out almost all of the residue. It's not painful. It's just extremely unpleasant. I've tasted soap myself -- we used Ivory. You stick it in your mouth and you really want it out. I was never punished with it, but I do not think I ever cussed as a child.

My father said his mother washed his mouth out with soap if he cursed.

I have heard of this punishment being used present day in my community.

I'm not sure it is any more violent to tell a child to hold a bar of Ivory soap in her mouth for 30 seconds versus having her write "I will not cuss" 500 times. Both are coercive and the latter would likely cause hand pain. Would you call CPS if someone punished her child with lines?

Since the OP likes these people, the liquid soap freakout was probably a less than stellar moment of parenting and none of us are perfect. I would seriously talk to the parent about the toxicity issue. I get the idea most people do not know it's a problem at all. That is really quite yucky and it's too bad you didn't freak out on it right there, (LET'S CALL POISON CONTROL) but I often think of the clever response later.

My little son as probably a young 2, dumped a bunch of shampoo in his mouth and it was really upsetting to me health wise. It was hard to rinse it all out when he could only partially respond to my help -- he did his best to rinse/spit. Urg. If I walked in to find my kids having a competition to see who could hold a natural bar soap in his mouth the longest, I would walk away and look for something good on TV. Regular liquid soap (detergent), I would put a stop to.

If you want to get into punishment versus consquences generally, and the friendship will tolerate it, I would offer to set some consequences for the kids regarding toy pickup. It's likely the parent is really struggling with that in their own home, as well as probably with the cursing. So I'd offer some support. Really if you want to convince people that natural consequences are better than punishment, showing them the result is probably the most effective.


I really appreciate your perspective. Not sure if I agree 100% w/ everything, but you relayed your information in a thoughtful manner. Thank you.
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#67 of 86 Old 01-01-2008, 06:50 AM
 
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It isn't supposed to involve liquid soap (which is usually a detergent). It is supposed to be unpleasant but not harmful -- it is clearly a Punishment and not at all GD. The child has the unpleasant experience and spits out almost all of the residue. It's not painful. It's just extremely unpleasant. I've tasted soap myself -- we used Ivory. You stick it in your mouth and you really want it out. I was never punished with it, but I do not think I ever cussed as a child.
My mother did it a couple of times as well and it is an absolutely horrible memory, worse than the spankings (that I got on a regular basis) ... not because of the actual soap-in-mouth experience, but because of the violence/force involved in carrying it out. It's controlling, humiliating and just awful.

True, it's not painful in the strictly-physical sense, but the same could be said for a mild spanking and I don't condone that either.
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#68 of 86 Old 01-01-2008, 12:20 PM
 
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Oh yes I can, and will. I have zero friends that use GD. They know how I feel about hitting, and that I don't allow violence in my house .. they all respect that, just I as respect their right to parent how they see fit without judgement. But I won't allow my son to see another child getting hit right in our home.

Soap takes that to a whole new level. IMO it's abusive. I love Mamaduck's idea about coffee. That Mama may just not know what else to do, and may even think soap is better than a spanking.

OP, please give us an update after you have that talk!

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#69 of 86 Old 01-01-2008, 01:32 PM
 
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It is their child, they have the right to punish thm as they see fit, where ever they happen to be. It is up to you whether to invite them back or not.
I agree. If I went to their home and they said, "well, at our house we spank, and then if the child throws a tantrum we ignore them until they stop, and you have to do it because its my house, my rules" I wouldn't be going back to that house.

I would be uncomfortable with what happened, but I see your choice as whether & where to spend time with your friend. If the operating factor is whether its happening at your house or not, just don't host at your house.

This would have bothered me wherever it happened, whether at the park, at their home, or at mine. For me the operating factor would not be where it happened, but what happened.
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#70 of 86 Old 01-01-2008, 02:09 PM
 
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I agree. If I went to their home and they said, "well, at our house we spank, and then if the child throws a tantrum we ignore them until they stop, and you have to do it because its my house, my rules" I wouldn't be going back to that house.
That's a very different scenario. It's one thing to insist someone not do something at your house because it violates your principles in your own space. Quite another to insist that they do something outside of their comfort level at your house. That's just control freakish. As a somewhat silly example, it's the difference between asking people not to wear shoes in your home versus telling them that they have to eat spinach before they can walk in the door.
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#71 of 86 Old 01-01-2008, 03:23 PM
 
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I like the my house is a safe place way of thinking.
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#72 of 86 Old 01-01-2008, 04:25 PM
 
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Oh, so if something was once commonly used as discipline, that means it's ok for today?

Should I then cane my child the next time he displeases me?

I'm not going to discipline my son how my grandmother did my dad. Moreover, I personally would rather have bar soap in my mouth, which is a whole lot easier to get out than dish soap. Not to mention, bar soap is for bodies; dish soap is for dishes. Toothpaste is for mouths; why not brush the child's teeth for it instead?

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#73 of 86 Old 01-01-2008, 06:00 PM
 
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You can't dictate how a parent is going to discipline their child, even in "your" home.
I totally disagree. Ofcourse you can! I decide what is ok in MY house. In my home it is not ok to abuse, scare or be violent to anyone. Not to children, not to adults. And not to animals.

Why would anyone feel that just because someone is a parent they are allowed to to whatever whereever?

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#74 of 86 Old 01-01-2008, 06:09 PM
 
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Toothpaste is for mouths; why not brush the child's teeth for it instead?
Sorry, that made me giggle!


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#75 of 86 Old 01-01-2008, 06:44 PM
 
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The soap thing horrifies me more than hitting, somehow. I don't approve of smacking either but if a frustrated friend smacked her child in my presence I would be upset, but I think I would be more conflicted about whether or not to say anything (especially if it seemed to be a one-time thing). The soap, though, I would definitely intervene. The deliberate cruelty of it and the violation of the child just feels way scarier than a simple lashing out in parental frustration.
: - I am about as antispanking as they come, but can almost "understand" when it happens as a frustrated reaction in the heat of the moment...but to take the time to move an unhappy child into another room, hold them down, and squirt soap in their mouths....it's just. Think about how much effort that is, and about the dynamic that must set up with a parent and child. I honestly don't know what I would do in the OPs situation, but I'd have to say something at some point because I wouldn't want them to think I was OK with them doing it again. I can't think of any situation where I'd be OK with someone forcing someone else to ingest a non-food item (or a food item, for that matter, unless it's someone literally starving to death and in need of medical treatment). I guess I'd go with the, "I'm totally shocked, that can't be safe or healthy" road, and see if the parent could find any way to explain their thought process, so I could offer up an alternative suggestion.

Yikes.

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#76 of 86 Old 01-01-2008, 07:03 PM
 
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: - I am about as antispanking as they come, but can almost "understand" when it happens as a frustrated reaction in the heat of the moment...but to take the time to move an unhappy child into another room, hold them down, and squirt soap in their mouths....it's just. Think about how much effort that is, and about the dynamic that must set up with a parent and child.
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Much worse than spanking, IMO
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#77 of 86 Old 01-01-2008, 11:55 PM
 
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Oh, so if something was once commonly used as discipline, that means it's ok for today?

Should I then cane my child the next time he displeases me?

I'm not going to discipline my son how my grandmother did my dad. Moreover, I personally would rather have bar soap in my mouth, which is a whole lot easier to get out than dish soap. Not to mention, bar soap is for bodies; dish soap is for dishes. Toothpaste is for mouths; why not brush the child's teeth for it instead?
Of course not and I never said this.

As this was not an act of striking a child, I do not see how we jump to caning. There are many other forms of punishment that have a component of physical force, and are humiliating or coercive or unpleasant, but do not involve striking. As this forum is anti-punishment in any form, that goes without saying, but it does not make caning = washing mouth out with soap.

I believe it is good to understand where things come from in terms of building the empathy that is extremely useful in any attempt to change a behavior.

I might imagine the liquid soap was anything but an act in the heat of the moment, parent takes child in to use soap, doesn't find soap, and uses the thing that is like soap. I would imagine the parent was either uninformed of the differences between something like an unpleasant nontoxic soap and dish liquid, or the parent didn't remember in the heat of anger.

Each generation makes changes. Blind worship of the "new deal" in parenting is not intellectually sound, and is not how I practice parenting. I like to look at history to see how things were done and then decide on an issue by issue basis how to parent.

It is one level of failure to fall back on one's cultural teachings about childrearing and be wrong. It is another to go to lengths to figure out ways to make someone suffer. That doesn't make either of them "right." However, I very clearly delineate this in my thoughts about people and their behavior.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washing...outh_with_soap
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#78 of 86 Old 01-02-2008, 12:38 AM
 
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Of course not and I never said this.

As this was not an act of striking a child, I do not see how we jump to caning. There are many other forms of punishment that have a component of physical force, and are humiliating or coercive or unpleasant, but do not involve striking. As this forum is anti-punishment in any form, that goes without saying, but it does not make caning = washing mouth out with soap.
My parents hit me with a wooden spoon and that memory isn't nearly as unpleasant as the memory of the soap-in-mouth. I can somewhat empathise with losing control and hitting a child. Having one parent drag a sobbing child into the bathroom, where the other parent is waiting to restrain them and shove soap into their mouths, not so much.
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#79 of 86 Old 01-02-2008, 12:43 AM
 
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I think it's important to remember they are comparable (hitting & the soaping) as they are both punishment via PHYSICAL FORCE...which is always wrong & unacceptable.

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#80 of 86 Old 01-02-2008, 03:53 PM
 
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Pigpokey, you made the argument that since it was once commonplace discipline, it must be acceptable. If we are going to argue that because an old generation did it, it's okay even if it's not still accepted, then we may as well apply that logic to circ'ing, formula-feeding, spanking, and other "traditions" of child-bearing. If you're going to argue in favor of something don't pull the "Our predecessors did it, so it's not that bad!" card.

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#81 of 86 Old 01-02-2008, 04:10 PM
 
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I haven't read all the posts. But I would talk about how I felt as a child being punished, how it has affected my relationship with my parents, how I have lost respect and connection. And I'd express how all those emotions were brought up when I saw the small child having her mouth washed out with soap. I don't know that you can do more than share your feelings, your needs for people to feel safe in your home, and *request* that physical punishment not occur in your home. I'd also consider offering a couple of books which helped changed the dynamic in our home to cooperative: Kids, Parents and Power Struggles and How to Talk So Kids Will Listen. The titles belie the gentle advice and are welcomed and approachable to most parents.

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#82 of 86 Old 01-02-2008, 04:20 PM
 
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but my most serious concern at finding out a friend did this to her kid in my house would be that she does this in her house--and my children might go over there to play. What if they refuse to pick up toys?? This concern would demand a discussion for me.
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#83 of 86 Old 01-02-2008, 04:38 PM
 
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Pigpokey, you made the argument that since it was once commonplace discipline, it must be acceptable. If we are going to argue that because an old generation did it, it's okay even if it's not still accepted, then we may as well apply that logic to circ'ing, formula-feeding, spanking, and other "traditions" of child-bearing. If you're going to argue in favor of something don't pull the "Our predecessors did it, so it's not that bad!" card.
I don't know where I made that argument.
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#84 of 86 Old 01-02-2008, 09:41 PM
 
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Pigpokey, you made the argument that since it was once commonplace discipline, it must be acceptable. .


Actually, she didn't say that at all.
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#85 of 86 Old 01-03-2008, 01:49 AM
 
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I reread it, and I admit I misunderstood. I'm really quite sorry.

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#86 of 86 Old 01-03-2008, 08:32 AM
 
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I reread it, and I admit I misunderstood. I'm really quite sorry.
Ya s'ok.
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