August 25, 2004

Mouseketeer, Fact of Life, Hot Sauce-wielding Mom

The Lord may work in mysterious ways, but Lisa Whelchel is happy to reveal her secrets for raising God-fearing, well-disciplined children. ["well" as in "well done steak"]

The former Facts of Life star and Mouseketeer is now a prolific author-mom, and to know her by her latest fruit, Creative Correction: Extraordinary Ideas for Everyday Discipline is to fear her maternal wrath. Whelchel's biblically inspired ideas include dragging a reluctant kid across the street by the hair and a little hot sauce on the tongue to burn the sass or swear out of him. And to teach'em...well, to teach'em that people will twist the Bible to justify any damn thing their warped minds can come up with.

And she's not alone. The Washington Post reported at length on the disciplinary tactic, which is popular among Southerners and Evangelical Christians. As a religious southerner myself, I have to demand the media make a finer distinction and call them "Deliverance re-enactors and sadistic cultists."

TMFTML has the article's money quote, from a Christian parent fighting 'defiant talk': "Children need to respect and obey [parents] or they won't learn to respect and obey God. God won't hot sauce you, but you need to learn consequences.'"


Well. I'm glad I had the good sense to spend my mandatory Facts of Life crush on Nancy McKeon.

I have to read this book now. As always, I'll approach it as openly as I can, but the Amazon reviews seem to describe an excellent case study (Subtitle: "Don't Let This Happen to You"). My immediate reaction: It is possible to teach your children about God, make them understand the difference between good behavior and bad behavior, and instill respect for each other, adults, and themselves without inflicting pain upon them.

Does anyone know a member of "our" generation (the Emancipated Dad generation, that is: Free to be good fathers) who suffered much corporal punishment? Can you imagine walking across the street with your child's hair in your hand? You wouldn't reach the first pothole.

Maybe Greg should lead us in the development of our own fatherhood compendium? We could call it "Just Think About It: Parenting tips from daddytypes".

OK, I need to calm down now....

well I guess those who practice 'hot-saucing' aren't planning too many family trips to their local thai/mexican/indian/cajun/etc restaurants. Not unless the kid does something really bad, like burn down the house.

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