“But I don’t wanna clean my room.”
“Awww! Do we have to go to the store with you?”
“Do we have to have that for breakfast again?”
“I hate doing chores.”
Okay, surely I’m not the only one who hears this stuff. Day in and day out sometimes it seems I hear it– whining and complaining that seems bound and determined to make me crazy.
But here’s something I’ve learned; the more I allow the complaining to go on, the worse it becomes! It’s an infuriating, mom-trying cycle and until I’m willing to stick my foot in the spokes and stop it, it’ll continue spinning on and on until I lose my temper. And when I lose my temper I end up feeling like a miserable mom and I have to go pray and repent and then ask my kids for forgiveness for all the frustration THEY incited, but I allowed!
It’s very, very ugly. And I’d had enough of it!
So now we have a complaining jar. No, the jar doesn’t complain, (thank heavens!), but now every time someone in our family complains, about anything any time, they have to put a quarter in the jar.
And no one is exempt. In fact, just yesterday I was talking about my laundry room.
Well, it’s not really a laundry room. It’s more like a laundry CLOSET and it’s so small it barely contains a washer and dryer and one bottle of detergent, let alone provides ample room for laundry baskets and laundry for SIX PEOPLE! And as if that’s not bad enough, it’s in my kitchen which doubles as a dining room which doubles as a schoolroom. So as if we’re not already cramped enough in our kitchen/dining room/schoolroom, we also have…
Oh, wait a minute. I’m doing it again, aren’t I? Oops. There goes another quarter…
So I guess you get the idea.
When I told my husband about this, he immediately asked when we’re taking our trip to England, since no doubt the complaining jar will fill up fast! But so far I have to say it’s been pretty effective. Most of the time my kids are reminding one another about the complaining before I ever have a chance to do so! And when the kids are offenders, they own up to it pretty easily and go for their quarters. I don’t usually have to tell them they’re complaining.
So now that this seems to be working, I’m toying with some new ideas. What about a tattling jar? A pouting jar? Maybe a rude comment jar…
This could really go places! 😉