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Go Ask Mom

Lynda Loveland: Road testing 'discipline in a jar'

Posted July 14, 2010 9:26 p.m. EDT

Lynda Loveland

It sounds like the perfect solution to disciplining my three young children. My friend recommended it. If my child gets in trouble, they draw from a jar filled with "extra" chores called the Jar of Consequences. It's designed to eliminate any yelling or whatever may ensue. I gave it a test run the other day. My daughter had some listening issues so she was the inaugural jar picker.

She reached in and drew 'weed the natural area'. Boy, did that bring back memories. Although her area was a heck of a lot smaller than the half acre garden I tackled as a kid. As she followed me out the back door I overhead my son say, "Can I weed too?" My husband, a bit frustrated, coolly replied, "No, it's supposed to be punishment!" What? Did that really happen?

We had a second road test yesterday. My son acted up and he had to draw twice. He was not having a good day. He reached in and his first task was to "clean the side of the stairs." He drew a second time. I read it out loud. It said, 'clean the toilets'. I was expecting a less than favorable reaction. But before my son could speak my three-year-old daughter said, "I want to clean toilets too!" I actually had to say, "No, you have to wait your turn." Has that phrase ever been uttered by a parent?

Anyway, he cleaned the toilets with a smile on his face and said he would make mine all nice and shiny. Gee thanks.

I don't really know what to think about the Jar of Consequences just yet. I think it's made the whole discipline thing a bit calmer, which is good. And my house is getting cleaner.

But who taught my kids reverse psychology!!!!!

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