Tacky Box: Help with Childrens’ Bad Behavior and Bad Words

by Ivy B
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Chris Phelps and Cindy Kent created the books Margo’s Magnificent Choice and Max’s Magnificent Choice to help parents to teach their children how to be kind.  Their project went beyond teaching children not to use four-letter words, rather any unkind words and phrases that a child speaks or hears.  And, Tacky Box was born.

I was provided a Tacky Box set in exchange for publication of my review and experience with the product.  Opinions in this post are my own The books illustrate the character exhibiting poor behavior and then learning from a wise old owl about “tacky” words and phrases that make people feel bad.

Tacky Box comes in a book and box set for boys or girls at approximately $29.95.  You’re instructed to read the book with your child(ren), decorate the box (included), then begin committing to being nicer, and to put the tacky words and phrases into the box. As a family, you can begin working on being kind and having good manners in a fun and creative way.

girl tacky box set

I read the book to my daughter (29 months) who actually sat still for the whole book.  I couldn’t believe it.  She’s normally running around or reading her own book while I read another one aloud.  The story was easy to follow and used some great examples of tacky words and phrases that can go into a tacky box, then provided encouraging ways to be nicer.  High fives work in this house, so giving high fives like the Wise Old Owl in the story went over really well.

Decorating our very own Tacky Box was lots of fun.  I pulled out the finger paints first and had my daughter put on her paint smock (an over-sized, cheap-o t-shirt we picked up a while back). After she determined she’d had enough paint, we used stickers to decorate to her heart’s content.  And now, our tacky box is ready for us to implement the process.

At almost three, and because she’s not around many children, we’re able to control a lot of what is said around the house.  That said, the two major words I want her to stop using are:


I’ll be participating as well, so I’ll be working to take out the cuss words that are so hard to break after so many years of use.

If you, like the creators, believe in the value of this set and what it can do for young children, check them out and share them with friends.

Want to follow The Tacky Box? Let them know I sent you.


What system do you have for correcting bad behavior, stopping unkindness, and nix use of bad words?

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