A Swedish couple have been ordered to pay damages to their children after forcing them to swallow Tabasco hot sauce as a punishment for lying.
The matter was investigated after one of the children told their school nurse about the controversial discipline method, which is known as ‘hot saucing’ in the US.
The parents, who said their children told lies and were “unruly”, claimed they had previously tried to curb their behaviour through grounding and withholding sweets and TV time. They then decided to try the method of administering a drop of Tabasco sauce onto the tongues of their children for every lie they told.
The parents were charged with assault after a police investigation. They have both been given suspended sentences and fined the equivalent of 60 days’ pay each. They must also pay compensation of SEK 15,000 (EUR 1,652) to their offspring.
“As this is a case of small and defenceless children, the offence cannot be regarded as minor,” wrote one of the judges in passing sentence. According to The Local, the children, from Norrtalje, north of Stockholm, said the punishment was painful and made them feel as if their mouths were “on fire”.
The method has been the subject of much debate among parents since a book promoting hot saucing was first published in the US in 2000.