We Will Get Along Jar…or Die Trying.

We will get along

 

 At one point in my desperation to end the sounds of tattling, screaming, and attempts at revenge–I tried this shirt. Let’s just say I’m lucky my kids didn’t kill each other. 

One of the biggest pet peeves in parenting is the constant sibling rivalry between my kiddos. They are all strong-willed and independent to the point they could be their own country’s at war. And one of the keys I keep impressing into my children is their siblings will be their closest friends later on in life. 

My ears used to burn on a daily basis of “Tori Grace hit me!”  “Lijah yelled at me.”  “MOM–Chy won’t share the remote!!” “She destroyed my Legos!!!” “MOOOOOOM, he’s LOOKING at me!!!” 

And after one incident where tattling, gnashing of teeth, revenge, squeals of injustice and objects flying at my head, it was time to get real with my kids and teach them comradery. But how? Lucky for me, a friend sent me this idea from another awesome site, thus the We Will Get Along Jar was born.

The beauty of this jar takes the pressure off me to dole out consequences  on the fly and levels the playing field that all the kids get the same consequences. In the five to ten minutes it takes to complete a chore, they’ve had ample time to cool off and regain control of their emotions.   One of the side affects of this jar is the kids are finally treating each other how they want to be treated. They are being more respectful of voice tone, boundaries and each other’s things. 

The best part is watching my kids use their communication and compromising. For example, if the stick Fold Towels Together was pulled, my son will ask Tori Grace to stack the towels in a pyramid while he folds; or if the stick is pulled for my 14 year old, she will generally make the chore fun as she completes it with either her 5 year old sister or 7 year old brother—sometimes both. 

The absolute best part is it builds the children’s character, learning how to work together on top of building relationships while taking ownership for their behaviors. At first the kids thought the jar was a joke and resisted the consequences of the jar until the bottom line was spelled out. Do this …… or spend the rest of the night in bed without supper. 

Get along jar 0021

 Here is a list of what our sticks say. We’ve had to tweak ours a few times as other behavior problems arose. I also reserved most of my purple sticks for my 5 year old, because sometimes she just needs to laugh to get over the issue at hand. You can create the sticks to be color coded for each child or for specific behaviors. 

Take out trash together

Play one round of Uno together

Share your tablet

Read a story to the other person

Say 3 nice things about the other person

Make the other person’s bed

Grace

Choose J.O.Y. —-Jesus, Others, Yourself

Sweep Garage together

Set table together

Pray for the other person

Take the other person’s laundry downstairs

Organize toys together

Clean bathroom sinks together

Sweep and mop floors together

Load dishwasher together

Walk dogs together

Poop scoop together 

Red Light, Green Light

Stair Sledding

Simon Says

Make other person a snack

Watch a movie together

Pick up the other person’s toys

Do the Hokey Pokey

Fold towels together

Go brush your teeth 

Burpee’s 

Share your snack

Draw or write an I’m Sorry letter

Do one regular chore for the other person

 

Items needed:

  • Popsicle Sticks (colored or non-colored)
  • All purpose Labels
  • Sharpies or Pencil 
  • A clean non sharp can or a mason jar

Get along jar 0081

Method

Sit down with your kids and discuss the issues, behaviors, etc and then ask them what kind of consequences they can do for each other or together. Begin marking them on the sticks. Explain that you will no longer be the one who will dole out consequences or  break up fights — it’s up to them to get along. Ask for suggestions of fun things they can do to get over the issue and toss those into the jar as well. 

When they resist the jar

Remind them of why they have the Get Along Jar and ask if they would rather be alone in doing chores or if they would like ______________ (fill in blank for the ultimate consequence). 

 Get along jar 0071

 

 

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