Sad Hearts in a Jar

Yesterday, I linked to a blog post on Babble by Emily Rosenbaum about yelling at your kids, or more accurately, how to stop.

For awhile now I have been trying to get rid of my ‘scary mommy voice’ and find another way to deal with my kids when they are fighting, biting, not listening, etc. I have yet to find a successful way to bring peace to the house on a consistent basis, at least one that will withstand cranky PMS days and cooped up rainy days. Until now.

In her post, Emily writes about using visual cues to keep order.  She used a jar marked Ice Cream that would either gain or lose its marbles based on whether her boys were fighting or not. If they didn’t fight and the jar kept its marbles (pun intended) they would get ice cream. G.E.N.I.U.S.

My girls are 3 and 5, so I needed something simple along the same lines.  I came up with Happy Jar and Sad Jar (pictured above). We found 10 heart-shaped pieces of glass from my cuckoo art supply box and put them in the Happy Jar. The deal is, if someone (including Momma) does something that makes you sad, a heart comes out and goes in the Sad Jar. Something happy must then occur for the heart to find its way back to the Happy Jar. Genius, if I do say so myself.

The Prize: Friday Night Family Movie Night. I love it as much as them and would do anything to keep it, including keeping myself from yelling. If we have all 10 glass hearts in the Happy Jar come Friday night, movie night is on.

To illustrate what makes us happy or sad we each made a list of 3 things for each category. Here is mine:

My oldest (5), Lala’s:

and my youngest (3), Em’s:

(Em & Sheepie)

Somehow, this whole process (and the cute lists) have made a dent in the crankiness levels around here.  Things seem far more peaceful this afternoon, I sure hope it lasts.



About Theresa

Writer, sister, mother, human.