Monday, November 19, 2012

Our Quarter Jar

I know (as well as the whole world pretty much does by now) that I have a problem saying a few words that are probably not the best word choices. For the most part, I've even given up making an effort every once in a while to "try to stop saying them." Rightly or wrongly, I've explained to my children that when they are a mother, they may say those three *Bible* words too.

Other than my problem with those three little words, for the most part I very much favor "nice talking." There are certain words I just can't stand my children using. Regarding those particular not-allowed-words, I make sure my children know they aren't "swear words" or "bad words", they are simply words I don't like or allow.

(It's a big pet peeve of mine when I hear children refer to words like "shut-up", "hate" or "suck" as being "swear words." Every family has words they don't like, but doesn't mean  they are inherently bad words.)

One of the big no-no words in our house is the word commonly used for passing gas. Occasionally my older children think it is hilarious to use the word, mainly to see my typical over-reaction.

It hasn't just been alternate words for passing-gas that have me irritated lately, it's all sorts of other inappropriate things coming from their mouths or behavior. I've been meaning for weeks to figure out something to do about it, but actually doing something never really made it to the top of my priority list.

Last week when my 3 year old was using the words "Jesus" and "poo" in the same sentence of his made up song, I realized something had to give.

Followed closely by a child sitting on another child's face to, well, "pop."

I really can't believe I'm admitting these things to the whole world, but in an effort to redeem ourselves, I'll tell you what we're doing to curb the behavior.
We've introduced a "Quarter Jar." It's probably pretty self-explanatory; you say or do something inappropriate, you put a quarter in the jar. Mike and I will use the money to go out to dinner in the near future, leaving the children behind that night to fend for themselves for their dinner.

I know a 25 cent fine really isn't much, but an immediate fine (or threat of a fine) seems to be helping the children think twice before carrying through with said word or action.

Okay, I exaggerate slightly. It may not be helping much at all. If we had fined each child a quarter the other day for all the inappropriate things they said and did (while we had company I might add!) Mike and I would probably have enough money for not only dinner, but a night-stay at a hotel too.

Tonight one of my children came into our bedroom specifically to pass gas. I'm quite optimistic that my Quarter Jar will soon have enough money to either
a. pay a full-time Nanny or
b. pay full tuition at a faraway boarding school.

Except I was too worn-down tonight to institute the fine. So maybe the full-time nanny or faraway boarding school won't happen after all.


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