Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Consequence Jar

The Consequence Jar.  That sounds pretty ominous, doesn't it?  It's actually very effective at our house.  It is a magical jar that saves me from loosing my mind and voice daily.  The jar is full of little tasks the kids have to perform.  Some tasks are chores while others are silly things the kids have to do which really lightens the mood.  I don't have to yell and order is restored within minutes.

We've been administering the Behavior Chart program for some time and while effective, I have discovered the system is best partnered with the Consequence Jar.  I posted about the Behavior Chart last month.  The details of how that system works is here.  Basically, any time the kids have to clip down they also pull a consequence.  Just the thought of them getting a chore is enough to keep a degree of order in the house.  However, I do have two wild little boys, so chaos is most definitely sure to ensue at some point.  That is where the beauty of the consequence comes in. 

Say for instance little T is jumping off the couch when he knows he's not supposed to.  One, he will have to clip down and two, he will have to pull a consequence. 

His task may be to simply sing a silly song while jumping up and down or he will get a task that helps me out like vacuuming the living room rug or organizing the bookshelf that little S has massacred for the eightieth time that day.  Either way, I'm not about to blow my top and he's going to settle down.  Order restored without tears is glorious as far as I'm concerned.

It all started one weekend when little T had hit rock bottom on the Behavior Chart.  This kid could not keep his wits about him nor could I as a result.  I thought there needed to be a little incentive to keep him on track.  Big T needed a little nudge too.  The reward jar is great. They {and I} look forward to those being filled up so we can do something fun or earn an extra special activity.  Clipping down definitely shows them how close or how far they are to achieving a bonus of poms at the end of the day, but in that moment of transgression something great needed to happen.  Something of magnitude.   

I informed my children what was coming, that mommy was going to make a list of tasks they had to perform every time they clipped down.  My husband was super on board and enjoyed coming up with ridiculous things for them to do like wearing undies {a clean pair} on their heads or singing like their mouth is full.  The kids were all about it too!  They were excited about the silly things and watching each other have to do them.  They even helped cut out the tasks and put them in the jar.  Excellent.  I had immediate buy in from all parties involved. 

Here is the list we draw from:

Vacuum living room
Walk around house for 10 minutes with underwear on your head
Walk around house for 20 minutes with undies on the outside of your pants
Clean bathroom counters and sink
Fifteen minute back massage for Mommy
Hop on one foot while singing “Old McDonald Had a Farm” (3 verses)
Do 3 laps around the backyard while yelling “Mommy is the best!”
Do 3 laps around the backyard while yelling “Daddy is the greatest!”
Sort everyone’s laundry
No TV for 30 minutes
Clean up playroom
Pick up all the toys from the floor and put away
Fold all the blankets and put them away
Do the dishes
Clean out Mommy’s car
Give sibling a hug and sing “You are My Sunshine”
Clean bathroom mirror while whistling
Wipe down fridge & dishwasher and have a snack after
Tell your siblings 3 things you love about them
Tell Daddy 3 things he does that you appreciate
Tell Mommy 3 things she does that you appreciate
Choose 2 things of yours to donate to Goodwill
Wipe of kitchen table with Mom’s cleaner
Wipe down kitchen counter with Mom’s cleaner
Go to piano and play us a song
Walk through house backwards while singing “Oh I Wish I Were an Oscar Meyer Weiner”
You are FREE this time, but this is a WARNING!
You are FREE this time, but this is a WARNING!
Do 10 jumping jacks while singing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”
Water the plants by the front door
Organize the shoe shelf
Make Mommy & Daddy’s bed
Wipe down walls by back door & next to pantry door
Wipe down wall in your bathroom under light switch
Give Mommy & Daddy hugs and kisses telling them how wonderful they are
Organize the book shelves
Make up a song about getting along and sing it in front of family
Draw a picture of you being super sweet with Mommy and Daddy smiling big smiles
Run in place while singing “I’m a Buff Baby” from Adventure Time 2 times
Rub Mommy’s feet for 10 minutes
Sing “If You’re Happy and You Know It” like your mouth is full
Clean front glass door
Clean kitchen windows
Clean up toys from back deck
Sweep off back deck
Jump up and down while screaming “I love my family!”

This system works for our family.  I have seen the benefits and holding them accountable has made them more aware and helped me deliver on promises and deviate from idle threats.  There are certainly better days than others and nothing is fail proof.  We as parents pick our battles and do what we can to keep the peace while teaching valuable lessons to our kids.


  1. So how do the pom poms work? Do you add them each day or so many for how high on the chart they are? This looks like something that might work for cooperation for my boys.

  2. Hi Shell,

    The behavior chart system is broken down here: http://ohmygluestick.blogspot.com/2012/10/behavior-chart-pretty-and-cheap.html. It has really helped us as a family to hold each other accountable. Let me know if you have any other questions. Thank you for stopping by! =)


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