Testing the Sass

Updated on June 05, 2015
S.P. asks from Mont Clare, PA
20 answers

My 11 yr old son is starting to test how sassy and disrespestfulnes by his words. I have been consistant with putting soap in his mouth when he does this I say that I am trying to clean his mouth up it is slowly working. Just being curious as to what anyone else has done. It is not a habit right now which I am setting the rule down before it is not a testing stage anymore.

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So What Happened?

First of all I some of the comments were pretty mean and unrespectectful the way the comments were answered to me as a parent asking a question. I wouldn't have asked if I knew that I was entering into a judgement zone. When I asked the question I expected respectful answers in return. Thank you to all others for no judgements just simple answers. Thank You I will come up with a new solution

Featured Answers



answers from Portland on

Are you kidding me? Soap in his mouth? (smacks forehead).
If you haven't come up with a better method at age eleven than treating him like an animal, good luck with the teen years. gah.

11 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

I think age 11 is entirely too old to get soap. That's for little bitty kids who you can do the "wash the bad words out because they're dirty" thing.

I'm dealing with this a lot. If I ask a question and it's ignored later on when I'm asked a question I ignore them and they can learn what it feels like.

It's part of adolescence but it's still really frustrating.

3 moms found this helpful

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answers from Washington DC on

if you have to 'consistently' put soap in your son's mouth, it's NOT working, slowly or otherwise. rather than a draconian punishment, why not try consistently applying a more natural consequence? at 11 a swift reprisal of 'absolutely not' to that tone and imposition of a meaningful privilege-ban will do more good than humiliation.
and of course, be sure to model respectful and courteous communication.

12 moms found this helpful


answers from Reading on

Putting soap in a child's mouth is abusive.

12 moms found this helpful


answers from Albany on

I'm sorry, are you from The Past?


9 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbia on

At 11, your son is old enough to have a mature discussion about respectful vs. disrespectful talk. You're now past the point where you should be handling his disrespect in a authoritarian style. He needs to hear from you WHY it's not okay to speak to people in a rude way or use disrespectful body language. Does putting a soap bar in his mouth teach him why? No, it does not; therefore, soap is not an effective parenting technique at this point in your son's development.

When my boys backtalk or get rude, I send them to their room immediately. They are too sit on their bed and think about how they should speak to people. As a parent, in a position of authority, it is important that we teach our kids how to deal with other people in authority. They don't know until we teach them. Once your kiddo has had some time to think (I'd say 30 minutes at least for your 11 year old), call him down to the dining room and sit down together for a chat. This should be a conversation, NOT a lecture. Explain that NOBODY deserves to be spoken to in a rude or disrespectful way and that it is not allowed. Use real life examples. You and your spouse, situations at work or school, situations in your home. Help him to understand that respect is not an option. It is something that everyone is worthy of.

Finally, if you are yelling at or speaking rudely to your son....stop. Your example is the first one he is going to use. Don't let your home be "do as I say, not as I do." When you are frustrated, annoyed, angry, whatever...let your countenance and attitude be one that you would be proud of your son for exhibiting to others.

This is not easy stuff to teach. It takes time and real effort on your part, and your son's. And the first time you have that conversation won't be the last, but you must stick with it, knowing that you are shaping the man he will become...and not just stick a bar of soap in his mouth.

ETA: Mommy Of 1, you really think this kid has a phone? I'd be quite surprised.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

If this isn't a troll, you seriously need parenting classes. If you keep abusively putting soap in your kid's mouth, be prepared for a very rocky time when he's a teen.

Someone should put soap in your mouth and see how you like it.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Wausau on

I taught my kids to express their opinions from a young age, but I also taught them how to debate respectfully. They know when sarcasm is appropriate and when it isn't. It's not about rules, it's about social skills.

Which is not to say that my kids can't be mouthy. Of course they can! But I tell them to stop with my own words, not with physical retaliation. A mouth full of soap is punitive. It doesn't teach him how to interact respectfully, it's just you asserting power.

You don't give enough information to give specific advice, but what your kid probably needs is more talking and more parental interaction. More logic, less punishment.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

Are you for real? Soap? Seriously? You do realize that is abusive, right? I do not think you are for real, but if you are, please go to some parenting classes so you can lean some parenting skills, because if I were your son, I's be doing the same exact thing as he is doing. I feel sorry for him. Really, I do.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Danville on

On the off chance that this is a real post, I will tell you what I did with a few of my kids with respect to cursing...

I had them come up with a LENGTHY list of all other words/expressions that meant the same thing. I posted it on the refrigerator. Sibs often added to the list of a particular word.

Soap in the mouth for an11 year old (or ANY child, IMO) is not appropriate

EXPANDING vocabulary is always a great choice.

Coitus off now!


**see what I mean?**


6 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Oh good lord... You think soap in a 11yr olds mouth is going to help?

He's probably laughing at you behind your back.

Who has modeled this language for him to pick up so easily?

Your SWH is a crock. You're just mad because real moms pointed out that what you are doing is not working and is immature and probably a bit of a power trip for you.

Take some parenting classes before this kid shows you a few things.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Baton Rouge on

You put soap in your child's mouth?
If you caught your child eating soap, you would take it away from him, so why would you do something like that to him as punishment?

My kid had a smart mouth. She inherited it from me. Frankly, I figured if that was the worst thing I had to deal with, I would be a happy camper.

If you're not willing to live with it, take awey privileges for mouthing off ad make him earn them back.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

I really think you are a troll mostly because I saw my ex try to wash the mouths of my kids when they were little and he had little success so to believe you use this as your go to discipline technique seems to be impossible.

So far as respectful answers why on earth would we have respect for a woman who abuses their child. If this is true that is exactly what you are doing.

The other thing is you have the same writing style and flouncing style of a recent troll so.....

In the end you didn't come here for advice so so what

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Ok .. have to admit, to me putting soap in his mouth would be like "hey, I'll pinch you every time you sass me". What's the difference? It's an unpleasant nasty physical consequence to him doing something you don't want him to do.

I think people commented because it would be weird not to comment quite frankly. The only person I know who had his mouth washed out with soap was my father in law, and he's 70. I thought that had gone by the wayside ..

Anyhoo ... what would happen to your son in school if he talked back to his teacher? or his coach? Or his friends? Or a friend's parent?

He would be asked to leave. He wouldn't be part of the class/team/allowed over to friends' house ...

So we do the same here. If you disrespect us, you are not welcome to join us at the supper table. Not welcome to come with us when we go out (to movie, ice cream, supper, walk, playing Frisbee outside, to join us in the pool....).

If it's just a bad mood (preteen) that's one thing. If it's constant, then there's bigger issues. But washing mouth out with soap I doubt will make him respect you any more. Maybe fear or dislike you :(

I get you want to nip it in bud. Hopefully some other methods will work better for you and your son.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

When my children were younger, I simply didn't respond to sass so they learned that it didn't work with me. Then by the time they were pre-teens they were pleasant to be around because they had given it up. It's not too late. Simply ignore the sass or don't give him whatever it is he is wanting. Be consistent. Also, model the behavior you want. Use a calm, pleasant voice even when he's pushing your buttons. It will drive him nuts, but eventually he will learn that talking back or whining won't get him what he wants.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I cannot even look at Dial soap for that reason. Sure, it probably had temporary results, but the long term ones were awful. Glad you are asking for better options, there are many good ones listed below. I have a sassy child too, beyond belief sometimes. Honestly I'm not judging you, we each have our breaking points and mine aren't perfect either. Removing privileges or rewarding good behavior should work better. Good luck. He's likely to be rebellious, prepare yourself.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

Our son went through testing out some questionable vocabulary in pre-school and kindergarten.
We talked it over - he usually asked us if he could say a word so we could tell him if it was a bad word or not.
He's 16 now - and I know he's heard worse language in school - but we have not had any trouble with him trying to swear or be sassy to us or anyone.
We've been lucky in that he's not had any sort of rebellious stage so far (knock on wood!).

Yeah - I remember soap in the mouth!
My Mom kept a bar of Dove just for that purpose.
But she used it on us when we were 5 - not when we were 11.
I think for 11 - the soap is not going to be effective.
You're going to have to have him lose a privilege - like phone, recreational computer use, tv time, computer games, etc.
If he hasn't earned his fun time (with good behavior/language, getting chores done, etc) - then he gets no fun.
It works and fairly quickly too.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

He's 11 and yes he'll test you just as he's tested the limits from the time he could walk. Putting soap in his mouth is a little childish on your part. You need to respond like a grown up to get him back on track. When he says something sassy or disrespectful tell him that's not the way he will talk to you or anyone else. If he does it again then sit him at a table for 11 minutes and tell him he's not to talk to anyone during this time. No reason to put him in his room. If you consistantly remind him of the right way to talk to you and punish every time he doesn't (after a warning) he'll figure it out.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

My son started this about that age. He's going to be 13 this year. What I started to do is when I tell him to do something, if he huffs or talks back I take away an hour from the computer. If he says ONE more thing other than "ok mom" and without a "tone" I will take another hour for every time he talks back. That works. But on occasion he will still do it. I chalk it up to him being a teen but there is no excuse for being rude and disrespectful to ANY adult in charge.

So forget the soap and IMMEDIATELY take something away that he WANTS and he will start thinking if it's worth it or not. Good luck.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Rather than using the soap, try removing the phone. He sasses you , tell him to hand you the phone and say goodbye to it for a day. Next time he sasses you, take it away for two days. Then tell him next time it will be three.

1 mom found this helpful
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