All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NIV)
So since this past summer when I ordered and put together the Child’s Training Bible and the Virtue Training Bible, as well as a consequence/chore jar, I’ve had friends ask me how I use it, where to order, etc. I’ve seen such a positive difference in my son’s behavior since we’ve implemented these disciplinary “tactics,” as well as I’ve been less stressed! I don’t have to think of something fast for a consequence and I get to lay the foundation for valuable life lessons, good morals, and values that are so important to raising an independent, happy, healthy child.
Here is what I do:
#1) I use the Child’s Training Bible to look up the negative behavior and I read the scripture that applies. If we have time, my son or daughter writes the scripture in their bible journal that I always keep with the bibles (before my daughter could write, I made dot-words for her to trace. After she was ready for more, I had her copy as much as she could before her hand was tired and I filled in the rest of the sentence). Then, I look up and read the virtue that they should replace the negative behavior with! Not only are they hearing and learning about the “bad,” but I also talk to them about how we should behave or talk instead. Plus, I have God’s word in print to show them…not just recite it from memory. I think it’s important for them to see it in the bible that God has said this is how we are to behave and treat others. If we don’t have as much time, I just read the scriptures (from both bibles) and talk to them and if needed, a consequence, either from something that applies to the situation or something from the jar.
Here is how it comes when you get it:
There are cards…or “cheat sheets” as some call them. There are directions that come with it and explain how to use them. You will need a bible (they tell you the dimensions on the site, but I used one that I had and then bought another one). I would say you definitely need the size they are requesting for the Virtue set. I had a slightly smaller bible for the Training set. It does not come with the sticky tabs or markers, but you can find the markers and tabs online or the markers are sold in Walmart and the tabs are sold in Staples. Those are the only places I found them so far (for matching the exact color tabs to markers). Then, just follow the directions. I bought a bible case from Walmart that was large enough to hold both bibles so I can take it with me everywhere and not have the excuse that I can’t look up scripture and discipline til we are back home (which then I forget or it gets put off) and I keep a journal and pencil in it for both children.
You will need a lot of time to do this. I would say since I was so excited when I got it, I did it every evening for the first week to get it done, but it was the Training one (I think) and it didn’t seem to take as long. The Virtue one took me about 3 weeks to finish.
This is what it looks like after you start to get a lot of it filled in.
There they are when they are finished! 🙂
And here is how they are inside the case I take everywhere. What’s funny is they are old enough I don’t need a diaper bag anymore (for years now), but now I carry this around, lol. Hey, this parenting thing is tough and we only get ONE shot!!
So, I suggest that if you also want to carry them around in a case (because on the site you buy it from, it suggests a napkin holder on a table, I think), to put them in with the tabs where the handle is, so you don’t flatten them as you carry it.
Now, for the consequence…because of course that couldn’t be all! If you think that gets the job done for whatever they said or did, great! If not, sometimes you’ll need to discipline them further. For us, because we’ve already applied scripture and a loving-but-to-the-point-lecture, we don’t always think the discipline necessarily has to apply to the misbehavior (of course, like I said, that’s if it’s nothing serious and we’ve already done #1). Also, it doesn’t always need to be boring, hard work, or painful…so here’s our solution:
Yes, I know it says chores, but “consequences” won’t fit on the lid, lol. What I LOVE about my jar is that I knock out 3 birds with one stone, so to speak!
- Consequences – when they’ve misbehaved in some manner, I pull a stick out of the jar after reading the scripture and it helps to take the pressure off me of how I should discipline them, plus you never know what you’re going to pull out of it and so discipline doesn’t always have to be stressful and negative…I feel they learn the lesson better if they aren’t dreading a discipline.
- Chores – Children actually asking for extra chores? Sometimes mine like to earn more magnets on their reward chart, which in turns adds up and gets more stickers on their sticker chart and when that is full, they usually get to buy something from the store (at a reasonable price). We use a reward system because we don’t do allowances (God and parents provide their needs, so we believe they should earn “extras”) and our reward system is a magnet chart AND a sticker chart because then of course it takes longer to fill. 😉 They haven’t realized that, yet, haha.
- Screen Time – this is something I saw on pinterest, but thought if I made a jar to combine it, less jars for me! I added the minutes at the end of the sticks that are something that in my opinion can earn extra time on the computer or electronics (they don’t watch hardly any tv at all, so that’s not an issue for us). If it doesn’t have a number, I draw another one. Sometimes, my son likes to pick out his own and I’m fine with that, too. Most of the numbered ones help me out in some way and he’s still learning responsibility, so win-win.
Here are the things on my popsicle sticks (but feel free to do your own that will work for your family based on age, number of children, pet household, disabilities, etc.):
- Sweep patio ~10
- Clean bedroom ~ 30
- Make self and siblings beds ~ 10
- Sanitize all doorknobs ~ 10
- Clean bathroom ~ 20
- Mop kitchen ~ 20
- Clean everyone’s shoes at the door ~ 15
- Wash windows ~ 15
- Clean vehicle ~ 20
- Help with laundry ~ 10
- Clean up all the toys ~ 10
- Do something nice for someone ~ 20
- Set the table ~ 5
- Write a nice letter to someone ~ 10
- Collect trash ~ 5
- Extra Reading or homework ~ 30
- Clean yard and trampoline ~ 20
- Make a snack for sibling ~ 5
(they do need help with a couple of those, but for the most part, they do it on their own and they are ages 8 and 6. I help start mop water and help with the vehicle. Feel free to change the number of minutes to suit your family, too).
Here are the popsicles in the jar that have NO numbers on them, therefore in addition to the above popsicles, they are solely discipline. Again, for me…I want them to learn their lesson but not necessarily dread it, so they aren’t all the discipline you would typically expect, but it’s what works for us. You can eliminate them if you like.
- No electronics the rest of the day
- Do 20 jumping jacks
- Say nice things about the other person (applies if this involved sibling usually)
- Go brush your teeth (never hurt anyone to brush their teeth an extra time, right? we’ve had an issue with cavities and this was my solution, haha)
- Sit quietly next to each other for 5 minutes
- Jump on trampoline 5 minutes (I find they usually end up jumping longer or staying outside to play, yay!)
- Go to bed 1/2 hour early
- Your name is Bob the rest of the day (my son thinks this is hilarious, and my daughter is moody about this one)
Now, the last popsicle stick I have in the jar is a “bonus.” It doesn’t fit into any category except the one if they are earning screen time, but I use it for all three categories and sometimes it’s nice to be able to show them compassion and mercy after we’ve already discussed the scripture, so that’s also why I like the no-consequence/consequence sticks.
- 10 minutes of free play
And there you have it! That’s what we do in our home. 🙂 Sometimes we forget…sometimes we don’t have time…sometimes we stick to it really well…it’s not perfect and fool-proof, but it definitely has made SUCH an improvement in everyone’s behavior in our household. Not only do I see the difference in my children, but I see the difference in my husband and I. We are more patient. Slower to anger. Calmer and listen better. I don’t yell anymore!! I am extremely happy about that one! Hearing the scripture and going over it with my children has really been such a blessing! This whole process of disciplining them has really brought us all closer to God and to each other and I just wish I could have discovered it sooner! 🙂
You can find the Child’s Training Bible and Virtue Bible here: