The Consequence Jar


The Consequence Jar.  That sounds pretty ominous, doesn’t it?  It’s actually very effective at our house.  It is a magical jar that saves me from loosing my mind and voice daily.  The jar is full of little tasks the kids have to perform.  Some tasks are chores while others are silly things the kids have to do which really lightens the mood.  I don’t have to yell and order is restored within minutes.

We’ve been administering the Behavior Chart program for some time and while effective, I have discovered the system is best partnered with the Consequence Jar.  I posted about the Behavior Chart last month.  The details of how that system works is here.  Basically, any time the kids have to clip down they also pull a consequence.  Just the thought of them getting a chore is enough to keep a degree of order in the house.  However, I do have two wild little boys, so chaos is most definitely sure to ensue at some point.  That is where the beauty of the consequence comes in. 

Say for instance little T is jumping off the couch when he knows he’s not supposed to.  One, he will have to clip down and two, he will have to pull a consequence. 

His task may be to simply sing a silly song while jumping up and down or he will get a task that helps me out like vacuuming the living room rug or organizing the bookshelf that little S has massacred for the eightieth time that day.  Either way, I’m not about to blow my top and he’s going to settle down.  Order restored without tears is glorious as far as I’m concerned.

It all started one weekend when little T had hit rock bottom on the Behavior Chart.  This kid could not keep his wits about him nor could I as a result.  I thought there needed to be a little incentive to keep him on track.  Big T needed a little nudge too.  The reward jar is great. They {and I} look forward to those being filled up so we can do something fun or earn an extra special activity.  Clipping down definitely shows them how close or how far they are to achieving a bonus of poms at the end of the day, but in that moment of transgression something great needed to happen.  Something of magnitude.   

I informed my children what was coming, that mommy was going to make a list of tasks they had to perform every time they clipped down.  My husband was super on board and enjoyed coming up with ridiculous things for them to do like wearing undies {a clean pair} on their heads or singing like their mouth is full.  The kids were all about it too!  They were excited about the silly things and watching each other have to do them.  They even helped cut out the tasks and put them in the jar.  Excellent.  I had immediate buy in from all parties involved. 

Here is the list we draw from:

Vacuum living room

Walk around house for 10 minutes with underwear on your head

Walk around house for 20 minutes with undies on the outside of your pants

Clean bathroom counters and sink

Fifteen minute back massage for Mommy

Hop on one foot while singing “Old McDonald Had a Farm” (3 verses)

Do 3 laps around the backyard while yelling “Mommy is the best!”

Do 3 laps around the backyard while yelling “Daddy is the greatest!”

Sort everyone’s laundry

No TV for 30 minutes

Clean up playroom

Pick up all the toys from the floor and put away

Fold all the blankets and put them away

Do the dishes

Clean out Mommy’s car

Give sibling a hug and sing “You are My Sunshine”

Clean bathroom mirror while whistling

Wipe down fridge & dishwasher and have a snack after

Tell your siblings 3 things you love about them

Tell Daddy 3 things he does that you appreciate

Tell Mommy 3 things she does that you appreciate

Choose 2 things of yours to donate to Goodwill

Wipe of kitchen table with Mom’s cleaner

Wipe down kitchen counter with Mom’s cleaner

Go to piano and play us a song

Walk through house backwards while singing “Oh I Wish I Were an Oscar Meyer Weiner”

You are FREE this time, but this is a WARNING!

You are FREE this time, but this is a WARNING!

Do 10 jumping jacks while singing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”

Water the plants by the front door

Organize the shoe shelf

Make Mommy & Daddy’s bed

Wipe down walls by back door & next to pantry door

Wipe down wall in your bathroom under light switch

Give Mommy & Daddy hugs and kisses telling them how wonderful they are

Organize the book shelves

Make up a song about getting along and sing it in front of family

Draw a picture of you being super sweet with Mommy and Daddy smiling big smiles

Run in place while singing “I’m a Buff Baby” from Adventure Time 2 times

Rub Mommy’s feet for 10 minutes

Sing “If You’re Happy and You Know It” like your mouth is full

Clean front glass door

Clean kitchen windows

Clean up toys from back deck

Sweep off back deck

Jump up and down while screaming “I love my family!”

This system works for our family.  I have seen the benefits and holding them accountable has made them more aware and helped me deliver on promises and deviate from idle threats.  There are certainly better days than others and nothing is fail proof.  We as parents pick our battles and do what we can to keep the peace while teaching valuable lessons to our kids.


  1. 1

    Just mentioned you post/blog in my most recent blog post. Wanted to let you know and would love for you to check it out.

  2. 3

    You are a genius! Thank you!! I am definitely implementing this in our home!

  3. 4

    At what point do you make them pull a consequence? And when do you do your rewards the end of the day or week??

  4. 5

    Hi! My girls are 4, 4, and 2. Not sure I’m going to do the consequences jar yet but was wondering if you use this also when you’re not at home? And if so, how?

  5. 6

    This is everything I need and am looking for right now! Thank you for being so brave and sharing your struggles and what has worked for you!

  6. 7

    thank so a lota lot for your website it aids a lot

  7. 8

    Rather helpful, look forth to coming back

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