Mom Used Hot Saucing And Cold Showers To Punish Her Adopted Son And Ended Up In Court. Is Physical Punishment Ever OK?

Date November 16, 2018

Physical punishment remains a controversial subject. Some say it’s an acceptable and effective way to discipline kids, while others argue it amounts to child abuse. But what do you think happens when someone films themselves punishing their kids physically, and then makes the video public in an attempt to get on TV?

Yes, they do end up on TV, but they don’t get the kind of attention they hoped for. They may also end up in the courtroom.

Dr. Phil / YouTube

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How Jessica Beagley became known nationwide as 'hot sauce mom'

Apparently, Jessica Beagley, a mom from Anchorage, Alaska, wanted to get on the Dr. Phil show. So she made her daughter film a video showing what she does to correct her son’s behavior if she thinks it’s wrong. The footage shows her berating her young son (who is adopted, by the way) for lying about his behavior at school.

Dr. Phil / YouTube

The mom then fills the boy’s mouth with hot sauce and makes him keep it in his mouth while she continues with her chastising. She then forces him to get into the shower and runs cold water. The boy can be heard crying and screaming.

When the footage was shown on Dr. Phil, the audience was stunned. The video was widely discussed, and Jessica earned the nickname 'hot sauce mom'. Many people found this woman’s parenting techniques appalling:

After gaining nationwide notoriety, the woman had to deal with the very real consequences of her actions. After the video was broadcast, she was convicted of child abuse and received three years of probation, a suspended jail sentence of 180 days, and a suspended $2,500 fine, as Anchorage Daily News reported. Jessica tried to dispute her conviction, but the Alaska Court of Appeals upheld it.

Monkey Business Images /

READ ALSO: On Her Birthday, Father Traumatized 13-Year-Old By Forcing Her To Chop Off Her Hair As A Punishment

Why 'hot saucing' and other physical punishments are not OK

Jessica Beagley was not the first person to use hot sauce to punish her kid. 'Hot saucing' has been used by many parents, but it’s not an appropriate form of punishment for children of ANY age. Hot sauce doesn’t just cause temporary discomfort in the mouth. It may cause serious and lasting irritation of the lips, mouth, and throat, in addition to other adverse reactions. Depending on how spicy it is, the hot sauce may even damage the taste buds.

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As to physical punishment in general, most child psychologists agree that it doesn’t work. According to Amy McCready, the Founder of Positive Parenting Solutions, not only is it ineffective, but it may also backfire.

First, when a child is in pain from being punished, he or she can’t take in what the parent is trying to get across.

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Secondly, physical punishment ruins children’s trust and makes them question their parents’ love. If someone loves you, why would they inflict pain on you, even with the intention of teaching you something?

In addition to that, if a child has to endure physical punishment, he or she can grow resentful and defiant and may continue with the behavior he or she is being punished for.

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On top of that, regular physical punishment causes children to start thinking it’s okay to hurt others physically if they are weaker. They may start bullying their peers as a result.

There are plenty of healthy and effective alternatives to corporal punishment. Parents just need to find out what works for their children and use it as needed.

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