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job jar

by Shawni

Continuing on my musings about what I’m grateful for… I’m grateful for some mom out in cyberspace named Becki (who I do not personally have the pleasure of knowing). And that somehow something led me to her post about how she gets her kids put their stuff away because man alive, it is awesome. (The post is here…it’s kind of like the Joy School “Gunny Bag” who “eats left-over toys” with a twist.) Her brilliant idea gave me the brilliant idea to add her funny jobs into our five-minute job jar I talked about back at the end of this post: https://71toes.com/2012/06/summer-goals-2012with-plan.html. 2012-06-13BBSconference52055 Now, I don’t know if I’ve talked about how much I adore this little jar (the one on the right above). It works miracles I tell you. When my children forget a job, tease each other, forget their manners, ignore me, etc. (which happens all too often) it is just so magically easy to calmly tell them to go pick out a job from the jar.  If I remember to do this instead of getting all huffy and slamming a door, it takes all the emotion out of it, nudges the kids to make better choices next time so they don’t get stuck with a trip to the job jar, and makes our house a lot cleaner.  (A list of jobs we have in there is here.) But last week, inspired by Becki’s post, we added a whole slew of her ideas into that thing. I had Claire fold them up and add them to the jar. At first she wasn’t paying attention and just started stuffing them in.  But then she started reading them as she folded. But as soon as she started reading what they said she perked right up:2012-11-16 fall 64670 You know it’s gonna be a good thing when her face looked like this when she found a particularly amusing one:2012-11-16 fall 64666 …and she just kept getting more and more excited as she went.2012-11-16 fall 64668 That hair is “keeping it real.”2012-11-16 fall 646692012-11-16 fall 64665 My personal favorite is: “Rub your Dad’s head for ten minutes while telling him how thankful you are for him working so hard.” Oh and Claire was beyond amused that one of them called for making a bed with a blindfold on…and another for making up a song about having a clean house and perform it for your family. But I think this one was her favorite:2012-11-16 fall 64667 I mean, there’s got to be some mercy in there with the punishments, right? I couldn’t help but smile to myself that evening when she and a friend were trying to find something new to do and Claire’s eyes brightened up. “I know! Let’s pick some jobs from our new job jar!” she suggested with glee. Her friend looked at her kinda funny but tried to be a good sport.  Five minutes later I had a scrubbed fridge and two happy girls eating a treat just as the slip of paper had directed them to do after they finished.  Yeah, I love this thing.2012-11-16 fall 64679And I love my new-friend-Becki-who-doesn’t-know-who-I-am too :)  I’m grateful that she reminded me jobs don’t have to be all drudgery. The only problem is that maybe now my kids will WANT to get sent to that job jar.  But hey, if they do, I’ll sure have a sparkling house and some happy kids to show for it.


Sarah November 19, 2012 - 2:11 pm


I don't have children (yet), but I fully intend to use something like this when I do and they are old enough to understand it.

Neener November 19, 2012 - 3:56 pm

Fabulous. I am doing that extra job list. We have a job chore jar… it works. Love the new ideas.

Cassie November 19, 2012 - 4:38 pm

What a great idea! Do you have the link to Becki's blog? I would love to see what other ideas she has.

Elizabeth November 19, 2012 - 4:48 pm

What a lovely witty idea to have serious jobs phrased in a tongue in cheek manner. I actually think I may make one for my home…even though it's just my husband and I. Hahaha no excuses for us to be lazy when there are some fun humorous slips of paper to prompt fixing up the house. Thanks for passing on the lovely idea.

ChrisKatieKelly November 19, 2012 - 5:01 pm

Cassie- the link is in the sentence- "(The post is here…it’s kind of like the Joy School “Gunny Bag” who “eats left-over toys” with a twist.)" Click on the word here in that sentence and it will take you to Becki's website. 🙂

The Circus November 19, 2012 - 5:24 pm

I have six kids, who generally are pretty good. But lately we've hit a "stage."
I so needed this to perk up our family.

Blogful November 19, 2012 - 6:00 pm

We added "turn on some music" and "give everyone in the house a hug," but somehow those get chosen every. single. time. so watch that they aren't putting extra creases in certain chores. 😉

Willemijn November 20, 2012 - 9:37 am

Hi Shwani,
Once again a wonderful idea. I introduced your chores list to our kids and they are getting used to it and doing well (and even enjoying it;) I showed my oldest son this job jar idea and he is keen for it! So looks like I need to introduce this as well 🙂
Have a wonderful day and thank you for sharing!
Greetings from Moz,

Shell in your Pocket November 20, 2012 - 5:09 pm

Love love love this!!!

I may have to copy!

Sandy Toes

Julie November 20, 2012 - 8:22 pm

I love the looks on Claire's face, she's so excited:)

I have a question about Gunny, did your Mum & Dad ever actually take the stuff that was in Gunny to a charity shop? They said on one of my tapes that they did that. Also, would you do that?

Also, how did you get on with "Bed Throw" & have you done that with your children?

Post-it Note November 20, 2012 - 8:26 pm

This makes me so happy today! I have been feeling kind of burned out and impatient and this is a good idea to help me find a good thing to do or say – go get a job out o the job jar instead of being angry or not knowing what to say.

Eyrealm November 21, 2012 - 4:09 pm

SO great to keep the dreary stuff lighthearted! Love it!

sarah smart November 26, 2012 - 3:48 pm

I LOVE this idea so much that I'm putting it into effect today…already got my chores cut up and put in an envelope! Thanks for this!!

Elaine December 5, 2012 - 2:25 pm

Great idea–just one question. What do you do when the kids misbehave right before bed or right before you have to leave and you are already late, or in the car, etc? It seems like those are the times I need a quick emotionless consequence, but I can't think of how to make this work.


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