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Lynda Loveland: Discipline in a Jar

Posted June 23, 2010

Lynda Loveland

Discipline. It’s a hot topic among parents. Heck, even among people who don’t have kids. The methods have changed since we were young-uns.

It used to be a little more cut and dry, ending with a red bee-hind. Nowadays, that kind of discipline could have the authorities knocking at your door. There have been times when I’ve been out with my kids and thought one of them could have used an attention-getting swat. But I thought better of it because I was in public. I think nearly all of us have been there at one point.

I think about how to be better at disciplining all the time. Pretty much all the time I’m around my kids. J

While talking to a friend the other day, she brought up a method she just started using. She called it the Jar of Consequences. You start by filling a jar with age appropriate tasks. I’m not talking about the regular, every day chores.

I’m talking poop scooping the backyard, washing the baseboards or writing a letter to the person they offended and telling them why they’re a value to the family. Then, when your child gets in trouble, instead of having a yell-fest, slide out the Jar of Consequences. Whatever the child pulls out of the jar, they have to do. I’m thinking it kills two birds with one stone. Your child learns a lesson and that dried on juice at the bottom of the fridge gets scrubbed clean!

Here’s to a sparkling house by next week!!!!

Lynda is the mom of three kids and co-host of Mix 101.5 WRAL-FM's Bill & Lynda in the Morning. Find her here every Thursday.


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  • jkbird Jun 26, 2010

    My other post took off before I could finish. I was saying that I believe there is a time and place for spanking and for the Jar of Consequences. I really like the JOC idea. Wish I had known about when mine were young. It would have releived my wife of a lot of cleaning chores. Boys will be boys and this is a good way to slow them down, but an old fashion "whupping" is still needed from time to time.

  • imnotsayinimjustsayin Jun 25, 2010

    Since when did a spanking become illegal?? It is not. An open handed spanking across the backside is not illegal and is perfectly acceptable. No, not all disobedience deserves a spanking, but for certain misbehavior it is just what the doctor ordered. My parents spanked me when needed, washed my mouth out with soap when I lied, and put me in "the corner" when I took away someones toy. I was not marred, abused nor do I have long standing psychological problems because of it. When we don't discipline children and teach them consequences of their misbehavior we are hurting them more in the long run. Discipline is needed more & more everyday. If you don't believe me come visit me at my work one day...let's just say local authorities deal with more & more unruly children every day!

  • cchandler Jun 25, 2010

    I believe the best discipline (or reward) is when it fits the situation and is handed out immediately (or as close to the event as possible). For example, writing on the wall or furniture, should be an immediate cleaning of the spot and maybe a penalty of other spots/areas. e.g., make a mess, you clean. Another example: don't do homework, must do homework, plus additional worksheets, reading, etc.

    However, we have yet to find a suitable corresponding punishment for hitting/kicking/biting. In those cases, we typically take away toys and/or playdates. Our thinking is if they can't respect others, they don't deserve toys, fun. (I know, that needs more work)

  • missparrothead Jun 25, 2010

    We've used a combination of the old fashioned "whoopin", time outs, priveleges revoked. Recently, my 10 yr old was whining excessively about doing a chore. I told him that if he continued that I would make him clean the entire kitchen floor with a toothbrush, and if he complained, he'd have to do it again. I was completely serious and would've followed thru. He shushed right away.
    Its a constant evolving process (with kids ages) and is a challenge.
    I was spanked when I was a kid, and it didn't marr me for life.

  • RealityAddict Jun 24, 2010

    I heard someone say the other day, that "time-out" discipline teaches a child - prison. Interesting statement, I thought.

  • fireman1963 Jun 24, 2010

    Proverbs 13:24 - He that spareth his ROD hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.

    Proverbs 10:13 - In the lips of him that hath understanding wisdom is found: but a ROD [is] for the back of him that is void of understanding.

    Two verses of the Bible that talk about spanking as a form of discipline for children. My wife and I spanked our children, and now I have two of the most well-behaved, godly teenagers you would ever meet.

    I was not really on board with the spanking when my son was born, and had to take that train kicking and screaming. I was abused by my parents - belts, fists, etc. to the point of welts and bruises that made me wear long sleeve shirts in the summer.

    As a result, I was reluctantto spank. But I took a child rasing class called "Growing Kids God's Way" where correct way to spank was discussed. I never spanked when my emotional state was that of anger. And I always explained the Biblilcal principal behind why I was spanking.

  • Lab mom Jun 24, 2010

    I love it!! My daughter is 8 and she would "love" to scrub the baseboards!!!lol I will get my jar ready!! I yelled at her in walmart and a lady actually had the nerve to say something to me!!!!!! Great job Lynda!!!! :-)

  • LilKidThings Jun 24, 2010

    Great idea! My little one is still too young, but I will file this away for sure :-)

  • kennedymarcelle Jun 24, 2010

    Love it! My son is only two, but I can't wait to try this. It also gives them a sense of accomplishment.

  • Objective Scientist Jun 24, 2010

    "katiejones" You did not read my post closely. I did NOT say or imply in ANY way that Linda injected politics into her blog, rather that "NCcarguy" did in his post... the one immediately before mine. I have NO problem with this blog by Linda... I do question NCcarguy's injection of "politics" via his reactive post to Linda's blog. My point is that injecting politics into a blog such as Linda's on disciplining of children is part of the problem with our society today... some individuals seem to want to politicize, or to make "political points" with EVERYTHING!!! In my opinion, reacting to Linda's statements from a political perspective is "WAY off base"!