When you were growing up did your parents go straight to the belt, hairbrush, or what my grandpa referred to as a “switch”? Each of course was a fine tool of discipline and tough love for breaking the house rules. Fortunately, I never experienced a “switch”. My parents were way too creative in finding other objects lying around the house to introduce to my hind end. I was a little mischievous growing up and found myself having “fun” which frequently got me into trouble. The mischievousness wasn’t my parent’s biggest challenge raising me though; it was my sassy and utterly clever smart-mouth. As a child, I remember being told by others, “you should be a lawyer when you grow up.” I don’t pretend to know what characteristics make a great lawyer (if there is one), but I am sure it has something to do with arguing and proving his or her point.
Sassy Mouths are Hereditary
I am married, I raise three children and a dog, who is very childlike; however, my dog obeys me. Science must prove that ‘sassy mouth’ is genetic coding found in the DNA structure. It is a characteristic that can be passed from generation-to-generation. I suppose I got it from my father who got it from his father or his father’s mother. Just like I received this DNA, so did my daughter; however, it evolved into a form of hulk-sass. Some think the sassy characteristic can be cute on children. This can only be true if it is not your child and if the definition of sassy is lively, bold, and full of spirit and not discourteous, disrespectful, and flippant.
Discipline the Sass with Sassy Spray
When you become a parent you do not get an instruction manual and even if you did, it would likely be wrong. Every child responds differently to types of discipline. Sometimes, as parents, we need to experiment and learn with trial and error efforts. My wife and I tried everything to discipline the sass out of our three-year-old without any success. We tried time-outs, spankings, taking away toys, and what seemed to be like everything else under the sun. Sitting her in time-out was so frustrating. The sassy spewed from her mouth as her timer ticked down. Spanking her worked for a short time, but it felt like we were constantly threatening and rarely executing. Our inconsistency got the better of us. This girl could make a toy out of anything, so unless we put her into an empty room, taking away toys would not do the trick.
One day, my sweet sister softly asked, “Have you tried Sassy Spray?” WHAAAT!? What company makes a mouth spray for children that will reduce or eliminate sassy-mouth? Genius! Of course, there is no company and I quickly learned that the sassy spray was a mixture of vinegar and water. The more sass, the less water. We used a 50/50 mixture placed in any type of spray bottle.
Harmless & Fun
Our parenting style of choice is one warning only. Success seems to follow if we are consistent and do what we tell them we are going to do. This method is harmless and you get to see some pretty amusing facial expressions when they get sprayed in the mouth with sassy-spray. At first, they dreaded the spray and would tone down the sassiness. Even now they are much less sassy than they were and I thank the spray.
When I smell vinegar, I immediately think of Easter. When my daughters smell vinegar, they think of how sassy they used to be.
What do you do to correct your sassy child?