Summer has begun! We have enjoyed some beautiful weather! We are still wrapping up a few subjects from school, but for the most part we really have been enjoying the easy-going pace of summer. Playing outside, riding bikes, running through the sprinkler and playing in our kiddie pool. Working in the garden, grilling out, camping, digging for worms and little league baseball games.
Regular summer fun!
But their has been one area that has not been fun for anyone! We've had a bit of an attitude problem at our house. These things really sneak up on you until they seem out of control. Arguments between the kids, rude talk, angry responses, yelling, and disrespectful attitudes even toward mom and dad. Like I said, not fun for anyone!
So the other day I launched the Joyful Jar!
Every time I hear an argument, each child involved has to add a quarter to the jar. Anytime I hear angry words or disrespect, that child will have to add a quarter to the jar. Any arguments or disrespect to mom or dad - also a quarter in the jar. If they have fit when I ask them to add a quarter, then they have to add 2 quarters! Basically, it comes down to anything out of their mouths that is not sweet, kind, and respectful is going to cost them a quarter.
I decorated a mason jar with some ribbons, so it would look "Joyful". And I even added the "Joyful Jar" title to the top ribbon. A little hot glue would hold these in place, but I haven't done that yet. I added the ring top to the mason jar, but left off the sealing disc, so we would have an open spot to drop our money into. As you can see, our jar has gotten quite full in just a few days time. One day they even had to resort to using dollar bills - of course, I gave them change from the jar, since the punishment is only a quarter.
What I like the most is that it's such a simple response from me - "go get a quarter for the Joyful Jar." I'm not getting angry. I'm not getting involved. I'm letting them learn to deal with their own issues - better to learn this now, while they are little issues, than when they are adults and have larger issues to deal with. They are also learning how to respond to someone who uses angry words toward them, or someone trying to start and argument. If they don't join the argument or use angry words back, then it won't cost them a quarter. These seem like important life skills. And what better time than summer to work on this.
I see some small changes already. And I think my income may start to dwindle soon - lol! Actually, I was thinking that we might use the money to make a trip to the ice cream shop - something fun to go with the joyful attitude changes.
Hoping you have a Joyful summer!