The Trouble Box

Originally posted 2015-06-12 15:18:07.

Over the past few weeks, we have noticed a change in our daughter. What once was the sweetest, nicest, and most well behaved child has turned into a child that is defiant and does not listen to anything we say. We knew it was going to happen though, she never went through the “terrible two’s” or the “douchey three’s.” That was until we went on vacation. We had a great time camping in the woods but I swear my daughter left her good behavior there! After a few weeks of the poor behavior which included but was not limited to hitting, yelling, pushing, and talking back, we needed to take action. This is where we instituted the Trouble Box.

They might look sweet but they are trouble!

They might look sweet but they are trouble!

Now our Trouble Box is just a simple box that I had her decorate when I was off last Friday. She had a fun time coloring it and even wrote “Remy’s Trouble Box” the best she could on it. Little did she know that this box would be her enemy.

New World Order

It used to be that when Remy was misbehaving, we would give her to the count of three to turn herself around. This would work with her as she was never really sure what would happen when the “3” finally came. But this stopped working when she realized that we didn’t have a very good game plan for after “3”. Plus she has so many people that watch her; it was getting to the point that no one had the same rules. Now we put these new rules in place and everyone must follow them that watch her. These rules are:

  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!


The Journey So Far

About an hour after we finished making the box we had an incident. This included yelling and talking back when asked to clean up her babydolls. There was no yelling from me but I calmly told her that she needed to give me a toy and go to her room. She did so without putting up much fight. I followed her to her room and closed the door once she sat in her bed. That is when her water works started. But I stayed strong and put the doll in the Trouble Box and waited 5 minutes before walking back in there. Once I walked in, she was still sniffling but was getting calmer. We then talked about what she did wrong and she apologized for being argumentative. I felt happy that she realized what she did was wrong and knew to say sorry.   However, about two hours, she pushed her brother onto the ground and had to repeat the process. That night she did earn back a toy though for cleaning up all the toys, even her brothers!

It has been about a week and I am happy to report that the Trouble Box is empty. We have had to take away a total of 7 toys and she has earned back all 7. I know that there will be days where she just will not listen because she is tired or not feeling well or even just testing her environment, but so far everyone has seen a vast improvement in her behavior.

Right now this works for us, but who knows what will later! I am just happy we are getting back to our normal, maybe a bit hectic, household!

Have a wonderful weekend!


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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.