So Now We Can Be Arrested for Putting Our Child in Time Out?

8:50 AM


If you are visiting this post for the first time, let me apologize. I have had to since completely rewrite this post after finding out that there was a video to go along with the original article that I read. After watching the video, I absolutely understand why Jessica Beagley was arrested and I agree that she should have been. I could not leave my original post in the same format it originally was, but wanted to leave an explanation as to why for those who may be revisiting this morning. The video can be seen here if you want to see it, but it is disturbing.

The article I read this morning was about an Alaskan woman Jessica Beagley, who adopted a Russian orphan. She used hot sauce in his mouth when he was lying and did not let him spit it out for a minute. She also put her son in a cold shower to punish him. Originally after reading the article this morning, I though that it was crazy for this woman to have been arrested for child abuse. I know that my mom used to put soap in my mouth and hot sauce is an everyday condiment, so I thought nothing of it. However, I have since watched the video that a reader brought to my attention and it made me ill. The little boy did not argue, was not throwing a tantrum etc like it has been made to sound in the article. He was sorry for his actions and yes he had been bad in school, but she put hot sauce in his mouth for a very long time and then put him in a cold shower on top of that.  She also screamed at him constantly and never once showed love while handing out the consequences.

While Jessica Beagley was clearly wrong, something that the defense attorney William Ingaldson wrote is what sparked the title and original theme of this post this morning. He said that according to the city's ordinance, a parent could be arrested and convicted if a jury felt they had even placed their child in time out too long. Since when it timeout not acceptable. I know that I have sent my older boys to their room for the rest of the day for excessive arguing and talking back. In their rooms, not in a cage and I did not withhold food, drink or bathroom privelages. Since when it time out bad? I think there is too much judging that goes on, because of things that are seen like in the Beagley video. I know that I have gotten evil looks when correcting my children in public with words only and I do not mean screaming at the top of my lungs, but a simple correction.

What is safe anymore? How do we give our children consequences so that they grow up to be respectable adults and not serial killers? Everyone complains about how children these days have no respect, manners or work ethic. I wonder why? Although I do feel that this woman was wrong according to the clip that a reader brought to my attention that has caused me to amend this post, I do still believe that there are not clearly defined laws for parents to follow and this leaves room for subjectiveness that allows others to think you should never even talk loudly to your kids or send them to time out. I stand by the original theme of this article, but can no longer stand by this woman's actions.

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  1. how awful - having a child who doesn't respond to dicipline is really tough. I feel for that woman

  2. She apparently also made him stand in a cold shower. Soap tastes gross, hot sauce burns. Sort of like putting a kid in time out on the time out chair vs. in a dog kennel. One is appropriate, the other does psychological harm.

  3. I could never bring myself to use soap or hot sauce on the boys. That being said, I don't think that hot sauce causes physical harm. If that were the case, there would not be hot wings or hot sauce for that matter legally sold in this country. I would be far more afraid of my child ingesting the chemicals in soap versus hot sauce.

  4. I know tons of people who's parents put soap in their mouth. I do not because I'm honestly scared of all the crap and chemicals they put in soap. In my house, we do vinegar. Vinegar is healthy for you, but tastes nasty! They get 1/2 a medicine cup full (1 tsp) and immediately spit it out and rinse with water. It's not hot sauce, but I'm sure some would still say it's abuse or cruel. You know what's cruel? Having a generation of lazy adults who have no respect for themselves or the people around them. Who have no work ethic and major entitlement issues. She asked for help. She should have been given HELP, not punished. She was literally at the end of her rope and was trying to do her best. How many moms and dads have gotten to that point, did not ask for help and badly abused and/or killed their kids?!

  5. I completely agree Ambrosia and some people actually take spoonfuls of vinegar for health reasons, so I would not consider it abuse.

  6. Getting arrested for using time out is a bit much but did you see the video of that woman with her child? I couldn't stomach it. It wasn't *just* hot sauce. In my opinion, she was only showing scary amounts of anger and kept reminding him why he was being punished while he cried and waled. I'm sorry but I feel she crossed a line and her "technique" is not a model for normal discipline. The video is here:

  7. Thank-you for that Amy. The article I read did not have a video with it. After watching the video, I have amended my original post with an update. I do feel that she was too excessive and it was a heartbreaking thing to watch.

    However, I do still feel that others have too much of a say in how children are punished and the fact that disturbs me the most was that the city still had a law that you could be arrested for putting a child in time out for what someone else judged was too long. It should not be illegal to punish your child with consequences as long as they are not causing physical or emotional lasting harm. There are consequences in real life for actions we take and there should be consequences for children as well.

  8. I cried when I watched the video. That poor child! Indeed, she was over the top with her discipline. The brazen lack of discipline in our country has resulted in an affable generation that couldn't care less. Our kids need to be disciplined, but not like that!

  9. Definitely Virgina, after viewing the video I felt the same way. She was definitely out of line with how she went about it, but the general lack of discipline or fear to discipline in a good and loving way need to stop.

  10. Absolutely she was out of line with her punishment. I was sick to my stomach when I heard about her on the news.
    But I agree with you when you say you are afraid of what you do and say to your kids while in public, you never know who might be one to call the police or DCF on you saying you are "abusing" your kids when you truly are just disciplining your children.
    The Shewbridges of Central Florida



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