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The Bad Attitude Jar

My eldest, Boy Wonder is teetering on the cusp of all things tweennoying. He’s sassy, way too smart, and trapped between Pokémon and puberty. I always knew the day would come when I’d be faced with the inevitable fact that he and I are way too much alike.

This kid holds my heart in his grubby boy hands. He was my first child, the one with whom I tried until I cried with everything from potty training to improper fractions.

He’s also exactly like me. He’s loving, compassionate, curious, and tenderhearted. On the flip side, he can be a moody, stubborn, emotionally-driven perfectionist; poor kid. I know only life experiences can smooth out his rough edges, but when I see him acting like a bossy kid with a bad attitude, I’m all over it.

Since his bad attitude seems to be getting more play lately, I’ve been forced to hit him where it hurts most – his pocketbook.

If there’s one thing my kid loves more than anything, it’s money. My son has carefully socked away every found penny and allowance wage he’s ever received. This kid loves money so much, sometimes I wonder if he loves it even more than what he can buy with it.

Enter the bad attitude jar. Using the same principle as a swear jar, bad attitude is now gonna cost him. A buck to be exact. If he complains about losing a dollar, it’s gonna cost him another dollar.

If a dollar seems like a hefty price to pay for an attitude infraction, I agree, but dammit if that kid hadn’t somehow managed to have socked away $68 in coinage! A buck might seem expensive but I need this to sting a little.

The way I see it, he’s got 68 chances to turn his sharp-tongued bad habit into a non-habit. What I’m trying to do is simple; get him to think before he speaks. Communicating his frustrations in a disrespectful manner is a non-negotiable for me.

Today I explained the rules of the bad attitude jar and my little Scrooge was not happy; poor kid.

I’ll keep you posted on our progress.

Have you tried unconventional approaches to discipline?

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Badassery: My Toughest Parenting Assignment Yet

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