Thursday, May 22, 2008


Sassing. Talking-back. Back-talkin’. Mouthing off. We’ve done it, we’ve experienced it.

It’s a behavior that needs to be stopped quickly and it starts way earlier than you’d ever think! (My baby’s mouth just said, “No”? No way!)

It’s something you’ll begin with instructing your precious ones, “we don’t talk back to mommy”, and, as they grow, develops into instructions in respect, authority and the tongue.

When our children are young, they may need many reminders.

My friend, Amy has a suggestion. Being concerned about her daughter’s sassiness, and after much prayer and searching of scriptures, she and her husband came up with “Sassy Sauce” – apple cider vinegar in a spray bottle! A little unconventional, but it works for her.

“Madison is almost 5 and Jonathan is 2 (and very good at it). We started with one spray for saying "no" or "but", two sprays for any complaining or arguing. I try and give one warning but I don't threaten all day long. It's easier for me to spray it, talk to her about controlling her tongue, and then reap the benefits from the action the rest of the day.

She knows that if she doesn't take the vinegar then she gets a spanking and then STILL has to take the vinegar so she stands there and opens her mouth.

Our son is the same way. He stands there and just cries. Time outs are pretty effective with him so we typically only spray him when his little tongue is completely out of control.
When I look around I am so glad that I am working with them in this crucial area. For this is something that I have to work on in my own life at 28. So in essence WE as a family are working on not arguing and complaining TOGETHER.

Geez....guess I should give myself the sassy sauce sometimes: )”

The important thing is making sure you begin to see progress in your child’s response to you. Be sure your child understands your expectations, then figure out something that “works”.

What happens at your house when your child talks back or has a sassy mouth? Remember to list their ages.

We’ll come back to “What Works” on Tuesday of next week. Then, we’ll talk about sibling rivalry and picking on each other. Them, not us... ; )


deleise said...

When I am being a patient mommy, I try to stop and point out how it sounds and have them "do over" and say what they were trying to say in an appropriate way. I think sometimes they don't realize how disrespectful it sounds until they think about it. This is for my 5 and 7 year olds.

Ali Ruhman said...

Hhhhhmmmmm maybe I should try this with Sadie(almost 2). She loves to say no but hers sounds more like MO! I don't know though my husband might want to use that stuff on me!

HomeSchool Mommy said...

We work very hard at doing everything within our philosophy of parenting. It helps that we've thought ahead to what we will probably face and decided how to deal with each situation. It helps eliminate the gut reaction and punishment out of emotion.

One of our main philosophies is that we don't want her (age 6) to behave because she's frightened of what will happen if she doesn't. We want her to behave because we've modeled and instilled character, so she behaves respectively because she believes it's right.

It takes more work and there's a whole lot of talking, but we just do it. We memorize verses, we model respectful behavior, we don't engage in the conversation when she tries to talk back, etc.

We want her to know, though, that she can tell us anything and she's free to express her emotions appropriately. So, as long as she responds appropriately, she can come back later and ask to speak with us about it. For instance, if we tell her it's time to clean up her bathroom, she is to go do it right away...good attitude (no stomping, slamming door, etc.) and good speech (yes, ma'am or nothing at all). If she WANTED to say, "but", "in a minute", "no", "later", etc. but responded appropriately and obeyed, then she is allowed to come to us after she has finished cleaning and ask to sit down and talk about why she didn't want to do it right then. It allows her to speak her mind, stand up for herself, etc. but honor her parents first and foremost.

If she chose to talk back disrespectfully, though, she loses the privelege of discussing the situation later.

It takes a lot of work, a lot of time, and a lot of patience. Sometimes yelling, "Don't talk to me that way!", spanking the mouth and MAKING her clean the bathroom while you watch would have been faster. BUT, like every other area of parenting, if you consistently take care of it, it will pay off in the long run.

Kim Heinecke said...

For the severe cases, we use Irish Spring...clean as a whistle.

Anonymous said...

I have all ages ranging from 14 to 8 months. I parent all three of the older ones differently because what works for one does not work for the other. It is easy to get caught up in emotion and sometimes I do but it is usally in raising my voice. Ofcourse the older child was and is my test case (bless his heart) now that I am older I know it's ok to say "I need you to go to your room because mom knows and you know you have crossed the line but I need time to consider how I am going to handle it, and they know it will be handled and sometimes the wait is much worse. My problem with soap and other forms of "cleaning" the mouth is for me it is not logical and usually does not correct the problem. I believe that what I do doesn't correct it either because I have done it more than once. That's what kids do, they test then retest and once you have conquered one thing another arises. When I talk to other parents we are usually going through the same thing at the same ages. I think with consistency (because the behavior HAS to be addressed) they will stop the behavior but we've not had to endure the sort of humiliation I feel comes along with "cleaning" the mouth. I am not passing any judgements or advocating not punishing this is just how I feel about this particular topic. God doesn't use this sort of discipline with us and Jesus did not do it when he was here either. If he did, my diet would consist of soap and "sassy sauce!!!" I respect everyones point of view and I believe we are all just doing the best we can....

Bikerwife said...

My 3 year old has the sassiest pants I have ever I mentioned Monday, we started using the Apple Cider Vinegar last summer...honestly...I have actually sprayed it in her mouth about 3 times.......all I have to say is do you want the vinegar....rarely do I actually have to use it. I don't think it is a scare tactic. I think she knows I mean business when I say she is going to get the vinegar....

Roger Garrett said...

Cade the soon to be 5 year old has a bout with the sass quite often. He doesn't even realize he is doing it until we call him out, then he gets all upset that he did it and starts appologizing like crazy. Still working on a solution

valerie said...

One time years and years and years ago :) when my son was younger, he was sassy (I can't even remember now exactly what he even said) but I made him put his tongue out and I put a tiny bit of dish soap on it and he got tickled and bubbles came out. Needless to say....I don't think this worked and is the best way to get the point across.
We laugh about that to this day.
Darling picture, by the way of your little gdaughter in time-out.
Have a fun camping trip.
My sister is coming to OKC tonight and we're going out to eat and staying at a hotel. Tomorrow she, my other sister and I are going to Ark. to see my 92 yr. old grandma.
Blessing to you and your family,

Donna said...

Okay, this kinda goes with this post but not completely. Whenever my four year old daughter is going to get a spanking she says "No Mommy, here give me the spoon I'll do it myself." Hysterical, she really things I'm going to give her the spoon. I had to share. :)

Anonymous said...

To be very honest, I had a very hard time reading this post along with several of the comments that were made. Children will not learn from punishment. When the same punishment has to be repeated over and over, it should be clear that it is ineffective. I believe firmly that children should have boundaries. It's what makes them feel safe. Children learn from logical & natural consequences. I believe that you a degrading a child and their self esteem by spanking and putting soap & vinegar in their mouth. This is a horrible form of punishment. God tells us to discipline our children which mean teach-not spank, punish or hurt. Children canNOT learn from being punished in harmful ways.