The Trouble Box Returns!

Originally posted 2015-10-13 12:24:03.

And we are at it again! The Trouble Box is making a return to our household! I first talked about The Trouble Box back in June when our daughter was being super difficult and lost her listening ears.


Pre-K Blues

It now seems that with the start of Pre-K that the ears are missing again, and not just at home, but at school too! The teacher told all the kids today that they need to start listening better and they did not get any “good” colors on their behavior chart today. This was very upsetting to her as she loves getting the good colors and being rewarded. When I asked her what happened, she said that “everyone was bad today.” Apparently the teacher gave them all a talking to and told them they all needed to start putting on their listening ears. It is like all the kids are feeding off one another in the class, which I am sure that is something that teachers say all the time.

Another issue with Pre-K is with school come germs, followed by sickness, and finally poor behavior, at least that is true with our daughter. When she is sick, she becomes a bear and does not listen to one thing that you have to say. She will even pull out the excuse “when I am sick I just do not listen or act good” which does not fly. There are, of course, times when I am lenient with her when she is not feeling well, but when she is screaming that her bother is annoying her, or trying to hit the dog, that is when I lose my cool too.

Enter the Trouble Box, Round 2

I put the Trouble Box away back in July since we were living happily without much incident. There were moments when she was tired and would be cranky, but normally she was happy as a clam and listening well. But since the start of Pre-K and the behavior which has made an appearance (yelling, ignoring, she even threw a toy at her dad) I had to bring the box out of the closet and start up the process again. If she does anything that is considered bad behavior such as yelling, hitting, not listening, ect, she faces the follow consequences:

  1. No warnings
  2. Gives a toy up to the Trouble Box
  3. Goes to her room for 5 minutes with the door closed

In order for her to earn a toy back from the Trouble Box, Remy must do these three things:

  1. Be Nice
  2. Say Sorry
  3. Help Out

Helping out could be helping clean up toys, feeding the dog, or helping with her brother. Once she has done all those things, she can get a toy back from the box that she picks!


Once she saw the box sitting on the couch, we had fit number one, which ended with a toy in the box and her in her room. She did not want the box to come back of course, but I could already see that this was going to be a long and hard process to get her back on track.

Week One Results

After a week things have calmed down, but we are still not 100%. Both of the kids got pretty sick with put a damper in their behavior. Even yesterday we had yelling and fighting that “Brother doesn’t play with toys the right way” which turned into a shoving match and toys being thrown. That earned a good five minutes in the bedroom and a ton of apologies.

I am coming to the conclusion that while this works great for our daughter, it will not work yet for our son who is only 19 months. He just does not operate the same way that she does.  I am not sure what will be the best course of action for him as he is not one to stay put in a chair or in a corner for any time out. I think for him we might just have to use his crib as a time out area and then put him in there for about 1 -2 minutes when he does something wrong. My only fear is that he will come to see his crib as only punishment and will not want to take naps or go to bed easily for us.

What methods have you tried for the little ones when they are not listening?



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I am a 29 year old from Pennsylvania. I am married to a wonderful husband and we have two children both named after super heroes! A girl who is 4 and a boy who is 1. Most of my time is spent working, being a mom, and gaming.