When I first decided to start a consequence and reward jar system, I was completely on edge. My child’s behavior was outrageous and I’d totally lost control. Everything seemed impossible. That is not a good place to be parenting.
Yelling in our house was a regular occurrence. I’m sad to admit it, but I have to tell the truth because I want you to understand how much this works.
I’d seriously lost it. And, I spent many days daydreaming about walking out. My goodness, that was a rough time.
I was parenting a high-need toddler who absolutely hated the idea she wasn’t in charge. This girl was Ms. Independent and I knew it from the beginning as a high-needs baby. I shouldn’t have been surprised because she’s similar to someone else I know. Or two someones. Still, I was at a loss for words. I felt completely incapable of raising my daughter. And I didn’t have the restraint not to yell about every little thing.
Once we decided on and implemented the consequence and reward jar system, though, we found peace almost immediately. At least as much as one can with a kid who was born knowing what she wants out of life. What I learned from our consequence and reward jar system was pretty amazing, too.
I scoured the internet looking for consequences that I could dole out to a, then, 4-year-old. Some of them I straight ripped off from some other blogs because, at the time, I hadn’t considered writing about the system. That said, if you see your consequence jar ideas here, feel free to shoot me a nasty gram. In all seriousness, message me and I can link back to your post.
An Extensive List of Consequence Jar Ideas
Have your kids help with chores
This section of consequence jar ideas takes tasks off your workload during times your child(ren) can’t keep their crap together. Excellent chore options include (but are not limited to):
Clean windows (limit the consequence slip to specific rooms in the house, unless your children are older and won’t take all day)
Wipe off dining or coffee table (put both in the consequence jar)
Vacuum a room (make a consequence slip for each room you’d want your child to vacuum)
Dust a room
Vacuum the couch
Scrub the toilet (If you have several bathrooms, make a consequence slip for each of them)
Wipe down doorknobs
Sweep the kitchen
Mop a room (have a consequence slip for each room available to mop)
Good consequences are often things one takes away. Okay, this may end up hurting you a bit in the long run, but the kids will feel the real sting. Taking away electronics is something they usually fear and remember.
Take away electronics for the day. If the consequence is pulled in the morning, using this on the same day is sufficient. This includes no television, video game systems, tablets, etc. If you wish to separate these individually, that’s okay too.
Take away a favorite toy. Choose one of the most loved and used toys and select a reasonable timeframe in which you will hold the toy hostage.
Remove a check off the chore chart. If a child does chores for rewards (monetary or otherwise), you’re taking away their income or reward. (Side note: do you need a toddler chore chart?)
No treat after dinner. If you’re like us, we encourage and reward our children for eating their meals by offering a small after-dinner treat. If they pull this consequence, they are still expected to eat their meals.
Take away awake time. Decide on an amount of time that is appropriate for sending your children to bed early. We chose 15 minutes early so as not to interfere with putting the youngest to bed.
Other great consequence jar ideas include timeout alternatives. These options offer children a timeout while giving them something else to focus their energy on.
Have them trace/write their name a set amount of times.
Draw a picture of you doing something nice for someone. Have them reframe their mind by thinking nice thoughts and to diffuse whatever is going on at the time.
Read alone for a set amount of time.
Trace or write the alphabet.
Trace or write a specific word or phrase.
Funny Consequence Jar Ideas
Give the kiddo something that requires movement. Check out how quickly your child’s attitude is changed by the simplicity of these funny consequence jar ideas.
Sing & dance “If you’re happy and you know it”
Do three laps around the backyard while yelling “Mommy (or Daddy) is the best!” (make a slip for each parent)
Redemption and Gratitude
My husband wasn’t fond of the “get out of jail free” slips. Admittedly, I have a habit of giving a few warnings before I resort to (or remember) to use the consequence jar. So, we removed the grace/redemption slips. But, if you’re more stern or remember to use the consequence more swiftly, you may still find the redemption slip appropriate. The other suggestion is to help your child reframe their thinking. Plus, it never hurts a parent’s ego to hear a few nice words for all the things we do for our kids. And yes, I’ll happily accept forced appreciation because my daughter still has to think about what she appreciates.
You are given a chance to redeem yourself
Tell Mommy (or Daddy) three things she (or he) does that you appreciate (make a slip for each parent)
When I remember the consequence jar, I significantly reduce my nagging. And, using a consequence jar allows me the ability direct my children to the jar without a display of inappropriate emotions. The more quickly I remember, the easier the process is for everyone.
If you like these consequence jar ideas, I’ve created a free printable of them all for you. When you sign up for my email list, you’ll receive instant access to a free resource library, including the consequence jar ideas printable.
What are some of your consequence jar ideas?