Parents are increasingly resorting to interesting and creative ways to handle difficult teenagers. For example, a Florida couple has gone on strike and moved into a tent to protest the fact that their kids do not help with housework. A Kansas City single mom, fed up with her 12-year-old son who's been suspended seven times this year, is making him wear a sign proclaiming that he's been punished for being a class clown.
Are these effective parenting techniques? We'll talk to Lisa Whelchel, author of "Creative Correction: Extraordinary Ideas for Everyday Discipline." She may be best known as Blair from the TV sit-com "The Facts of Life," but in early October, she appeared on "Good Morning America" to advocate the controversial practice of putting hot sauce on children's tongues as a form of discipline.
That segment generated over 400,000 hits to the Web site, and many viewers wrote in to say were against hot saucing. Whelchel joined "Good Morning America" today to weigh in on these latest parental techniques.
On the Florida couple who went on strike, Whelchel had this to say: "I don't know what they have tried before, but I tell you on the surface what I see is just a couple of parents who love their kids very much. They are not willing to just give up and say, 'Oh, teenagers these days, what are you going to do with them?' Or just take the easier route and do the chores for them themselves.
"I see instead a couple of parents who are going to say, kids, I don't know what to do, but I'm going to keep trying something until I find a way to get through to you to teach you responsibility and respect and diligence, because I know that's what's going to make you successful in life, and I love you too much to just do nothing."
As for the Kansas City mom who made her class clown son wear a sandwich board in public, Whelchel said: "I do think we need to be very careful when it comes to any kind of humiliation as a discipline tactic or technique. I have to tell you, though, I was talking to my son about this -- who really does get in trouble for being the class clown -- and I asked him [about this punishment], and he said, 'Oh, no, I wouldn't care. That would be all right.'"
"So I guess it depends on the child as well. But I do think we do need to be very careful and not use humiliation as a way to get through to our kids."