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:
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.