Naughty Sticks, Discipline Sticks, Consequence Sticks- whatever you want to call them! This is an idea that I came up with along with the help of my husband. He and I have often come to heads when discussing a consequence for a negative behavior with our kids. We sat down together a couple of months ago and talked through the problems at hand:
- When our kids see us disagree on a consequence they have learned that they have the upper hand because they saw that we don’t agree.
- Because we didn’t agree on discipline they often shopped for answers (they would go to one parent and get an answer and then go to the other to see if their answer was better).
- Time outs just didn’t make a change in their behavior.
- The kids actually would “take the time out” just so they could continue on with the negative behavior.
Cue the “naughty sticks!” My husband and I sat down for about an hour after the kids were in bed and discussed a handful of consequences they we both agreed upon. They ranged from something simple like make the beds to more unpleasant ideas like wash out the garbage cans. I will share the list of the ones we agreed upon later… We wrote down each consequence in a popsicle stick (“naughty stick”) and put them in a plastic cup. The next day we told the kids the new way things were going to go in our house.
We explained to them that from now on if they have a behavior that we do not like and they do not change it they will need to draw from the cup. My kids did NOT like this idea! We didn’t tell them what the consequences were on the sticks for a very good reason….we liked the element of surprise! Instead of my kids thinking to themselves “well, I can continue hitting my sister and all I am going to get is a 5 minute time out” it quickly morphed into “oh no! Not the naughty sticks! I better stop hitting my sister because I just might draw a consequence that I really do not like!” Not knowing what their consequence is has really changed the game in our favor and has helped them think twice before they do something they know they shouldn’t.
I will fully admit one thing I didn’t think through before the instillation of these sticks….I have to be really careful what I say in public. I can’t go around saying “please stop that behavior of you’re going to get a naughty stick.” I have had a few really dirty looks…I think people think we’re beating our kids with sticks. I have come to develop the habit of saying “please stop that behavior or you will need to draw a consequence from the cup at home.”
Here is a list of what we’ve put on ours:
Garbage Duty- this is age adjusted, my eldest has to empty out the garbage cans in the house and clean out the bathroom ones, my twins have to empty them out, we will add the washing later
Writing Duty- we have them write out an apology for their behavior (obviously this is age adjusted as well)
Playroom- certainly in their top three of most dreaded. They have to straighten up the playroom.
Beds- they are to make all the beds of the kids in our house (that’s four beds!)
Bathroom Duty- this is also age adjusted. I will fully admit this one is my favorite because with FOUR boys in the house you can imagine how our bathrooms can look.
Laundry Helper- I will wash, dry and fold the clothing but they will be required to put them all away.
1/2 hour early bedtime- self explanatory
Everyone else gets a treat- this one sounds awful but it works fantastic! This is the one they dread the most!