Consequence and Reward Jars-for kids


A few years ago I was clicking through the TV channels and I saw an episode of the Strictest parents. The parents had a consequence jar for their kids, I thought it was an interesting concept and filed it away in my brain. The past 6 1/2 years I have been an Peer Parent for the State of Utah (mentor for parents) and every family I met with we talked about discipline and boundaries.
I know how it feels to be a parent and wanting to take away everything from my child when they are being little stinkers! I used this jar with my youngest girls and had each of my families that I worked with implement the jar for their family.

This is how it works…….before you get in a situation that will require some kind of discipline, you sit down calmly with your child and come up with reasonable consequences. Such as; cleaning the bathroom, extra chore, no TV for a day, no electronics for a day, no hanging out for a day. Of course, the consequence needs to fit the age of the child. Kids will usually come up with harder consequences than the parents.

Then you cut up the consequences into strips and fold them up and put them in the jar. Next time your child is acting out and you feel like they deserve an consequence, THEY choose out of the bottle THEIR own consequence!
The children that I’ve worked with would always claim that they LOVED doing extra chores but they were trying to make the parent feel that the jar wasn’t working. If you keep with it and you FOLLOW through with the consequences, this will be a great tool and when a situation could be out of control, you will have all the control in the world!

As a parent, you can veto the consequence that they choose because its doesn’t fit the situation or maybe you might decide they need 2.  I love this idea because sometimes, as parents, we don’t think clearly when we are frustrated and this is all ready, so we can stay calm.

You can have a Reward jar as well as the consequence jar. This is for when you catch them doing great things. Instead of having consequences in the jar you can have papers that let them pick a toy from the Dollar Store, but most of the kids I’ve worked with would rather be rewarded by having a special activity with their parent.
I know that not all discipline ideas work for every family the same way, this is just an idea.
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10 thoughts on “Consequence and Reward Jars-for kids”

  1. Great idea!
    We use a similar plan for our 3 girls (ages 4,6 and 8). Each has a jar labelled with their initials, and we have a larger jar filled with glittery foam balls (which I got on sale at a craft store for next to nothing!).
    When one of the girls does something good – like using polite manners, putting toys away without being asked, clearing their place without being asked, or even just playing especially nicely with her sister, we add a ball to her jar and praise her. When they break a rule, we remove one (or more) balls from the jar.
    When they fill the jar (we counted – about 200 balls!) they get to choose a prize. Currently the prizes include an extra 30 minutes of screen time, an outing with mom or dad (and no siblings!), or a new book.
    It took awhile for the youngest to get the idea – but 6 months in she was very aware of how it worked and very eager to fill her jar!
    The thing I like best about this method is that it makes my husband, myself, and our babysitter very conscious of opportunities to praise the girls. When you are watching for the good behavior and rewarding it, it really does pay off!

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