A Putting pepper in a child’s mouth is a risky idea at best and a bad idea at worst. When we want to stop a child’s bad behavior, we need to consider what the consequences of our discipline will be.
What are the possible results of this punishment?
In today’s generation, many children will not accept such discipline. They will see the one administering this type of punishment as an adversary. Even if the child is not currently strong enough to fight back, he will get back at the parent when he is older, whether by not discussing important things with him, out-and-out rebellion, and/or many behaviors in between.
The child might test the parent and seek the negative attention he garners by his bad behavior. He will use bad language again. And again. What will the parent do? Will he punish harder? And harder still? How much more ammunition does he have until he will run out of feasible options?
The child might deliberately use this language when he knows his parents will not find out. He has not learned any lesson and he does not want to even think if it is right or not.
There is the possibility that this particular child is of the type that will accept the pepper-in-the-mouth discipline and learn not to repeat the behavior, and he might even internalize the message. But if that is the case, a gentler consequence probably would have worked as well, so why should it be necessary to rush to such a painful punishment? If a door will open with a key, why blast it open with dynamite?
A parent can have many children of the type described in number 4 and see better behavior as a result of this discipline method. But down the line there might come a child who is not like his siblings, and some or all of the other results mentioned in numbers 1–3 are what can happen with this child.
Such a punishment might seem strong, but in reality it is very, very, weak. If a parent has to resort to this method, it means he has no confidence that what he wants to teach will be accepted by his child and therefore he must brand it into the child’s conscience by sheer force. Choosing this reaction keeps the parent stuck in a position of weakness.
The most effective thing you can do is to become a strong parent. A strong parent is confident and sure of her stance. She is calm, knowing that her message has no imminent deadline and that there’s no need to react in a panic that the bad behavior must stop immediately and forever right now. When a parent is strong, a small, firm consequence (possibly administered a few times over the course of a day) is enough to make the message heard.