The saucy solution to a spicy attitude

the nectar of the discipline gods

We can add lying and back-talking to Eliza’s repertoire of not-so-great qualities.  When we were busy packing up our car in Florida, my dad came up to me, saying, “Why on earth would you give Eliza gum?”  And I replied, “What?  I didn’t.  I never have.”  And he said, “Well that’s interesting, because she’s chewing it and when I asked her where she got it, she said you gave it to her.”  Hmph.

The back-talking has also begun.  She uses phrases I say to her against me.  For example, if she is talking incessantly and asking the same question over and over again (see previous post about the phrase “because I said so”), sometimes I will say to her calmly, “Eliza, I’m not going to talk about this anymore right now,” or “I’m not going to talk to you right now.”  So she has turned this around like in the following scenario:

Me: “Eliza, we need to leave.  Can you please put on your coat, or do you want me to help you with it?”

Eliza: “No, we ah not weaving right now.  Mommy, I’m not going to TALK TO YOU RIGHT NOW.  YOU’LL NEVER GET (incomprehensible mumbling)!!!”

I know she is just doing what normal, strong-willed two-year-olds do (right?  Please agree with me.)  I am not interested in spanking her except in very specific cases, and I also want her to be able to express herself.  However, when she is clearly talking back because I am asking her to do something she doesn’t want to do, and it’s something that is non-negotiable (like wearing a coat in freezing weather when you already have a cold), I need to have a disciplinary option.

Say “hello” to vinegar.  A friend told me her friend with seven children uses it.  A few days ago when Eliza was using her tongue against me, I went and got the vinegar and put a drop in her mouth.  She didn’t cry, she just stood there, stunned, twirling the flavor around in her mouth with a stone-faced glare.  I then talked to her about why I did it, what she did wrong, told her I loved her and gave her a hug and a kiss.

Already on two occasions, we’ve been in the car driving and she’s started smack-talking me.  I’ve told her, “If you continue to talk to me like this, I will put vinegar in your mouth when we get home.”  She has stopped both times.

I’ve also heard hot sauce can work, but I figured I’d try vinegar first because it is less likely to go bad if I carry a vial of it around in my purse.  (My friend’s friend also does this to keep her seven children in line when they’re in public.)

When it comes to matters of the tongue, I think you should fight fire with a fire extinguisher.  And the vinegar has, thus far, put out the flames.  I’ll keep you posted on how well it works, and if you try it, let me know how it goes!

8 thoughts on “The saucy solution to a spicy attitude

  1. Now, this is the post I have been waiting for since Allie turned 3! I had a friend who used the hot sauce but I don’t have the heart to do it… Allie turned 4 in November and the mouthing off and ignoring my requests has just gotten worse. My husband came up with a “knowledge chair” which has worked well for the past few weeks. It is “exercise” and a place for her to sit and think. Basically, she has to assume the chair position against the wall and hold it for 10 seconds (with proper form, of course) or she has to start over. Her legs are burning if she has to start over so that does not happen often. I’ll try the vinegar next if this stops working! haha! Good luck!

    1. That is such an awesome suggestion, Amy! What a great idea. I will try this one, too. Thanks so much for posting your input. It’s so great to hear what other moms do.

  2. Up the anti….she just had her 8th in September…..
    and homeschools – she uses some of the online programing, local school co-op and her own….and they all seem to be in line with their mouths all the way up to the 14 year old 🙂

    I am now going to get my bottle….we hit the same “phase”

      1. Actually after the 4th her life got easier, the older ones help out with chores, childcare and such….so maybe it’s a smart move? 🙂 She is like a stylish Mrs. Dugger (formerly a model)…

  3. Update: I went out to lunch with a friend on Saturday and her daughter and mine were both screaming like banshees over sharing crayons and toys. I didn’t have any vinegar with me, but there was Tabasco sauce on the table. I opened the bottle after several attempts to diffuse Eliza’s attitude, put a drop on my finger and stuck it in her mouth. She did NOT like it and said, “Mama, my mouth is hot!” and I explained why I did that to her. Then I told her that if she couldn’t lower her voice and control her mouth that I would do it again. Things got much better after that.

  4. Tabasco keeps very well; it is sold in bottles as small as you could imagine (maybe 1 ml). Both green and red are very salty and sour so they keep almost forever… if you don’t use them all quickly.

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