"If we ever forget that we're one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under." - Ronald Reagan

Thursday, September 6, 2012

How I Made My First Million…Almost

At the beginning of summer, just before school let out, I had a moment of genius. These moments are rare so I tend to brag about them. While having the kids home had some perks (like fetching me a drink or the tv remote), I wasn't looking forward to weeks of whining, complaining, and declarations of deadly boredom. Usually, I'd just ignore them until I ran out of chocolate patience. Then the yelling stern reprimands would suck all the fun out of vacation. For all of us.

There had to be a better way.

Then I got an idea. It was so simple that I was surprised someone hadn't already created these and had them mass produced in China.

Behold, the Busted Jar.

An old mason jar with a slot in the lid, an overuse of colored fonts on my computer, some tape, and voila! The kids were totally busted. And I was gonna get rich one nickel at a time.

The week the Busted Jar was implemented, I gave each child a dollar's worth of nickels as part of their allowance. I explained the purpose, went over the "banned phrases," and reiterated that fines would be due immediately. And should we not be at home, I kept a tab for them, due as soon as our car pulled into the garage.  But we had plans for summer, they insisted, and season passes to the water park. Surely they wouldn't owe me a cent, because they would be having too much fun!

Ah, the follies of youth.

Here's a few of the "banned" phrases:
I'm bored.
What can I do?
That's/It's not fair!
This is boring!
There's nothing to do.
Awwwwwwww (in a super whiny voice).
Aldo banned? Saying "no" or asking "why?" in response to a request.

Did you get a good look at the pictures? Did you notice that along with the nickels, there are dimes, quarters, and even a dollar? That was after two weeks. TWO. WEEKS. This was gonna be awesome.

Then something strange happened. They stopped whining! By the end of the first month, the two older kids were no longer getting busted. Baby still had issues but hey, she's three. I must say, we all had a much better summer vacation. With a lot less whining and yelling.

Now that school is back in session, I've kept the Busted Jar on the counter.

Just as a reminder.


Stephanie said...

Nice. Very nice.

Bonnie the Boss said...

Brilliant! And WTG for sticking with it. I usually fall off the wagon after a week! Too bad you didn't make your millions though. What a nice vacation we all could have had.

Kristie said...

Love it! What a great idea!

Janell said...

Well done!

Mary said...


Jillybean said...

You are a genius!
I hope you use the money to buy more chocolate.

Jessica said...

What a great idea! We might have to use that because I heard those phrases way too often!

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