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Friday, April 20, 2012

The Unloved Box

It seems like there are always toys and kid stuff scattered all over the house.  You tell your children to pick up and put away their things but they missed some...or a lot.  You don't want to nag and make a big deal out of it.  You don't want to be constantly picking up after them.  So, what do you do?  Bring out the Unloved Box.  Gather up all the miscellaneous stuff that isn't where it belongs and put it in the Unloved Box.  When your child starts looking for a missing item, take him to look in the Unloved Box.  Lo and behold!  The missing item!  To get it back, he will need to earn it back, usually through some additional chores or special project you come up with for him to do.  At the end of the week (usually on Saturday morning) have a time set aside for your kids to retrieve the rest of their unloved things and earn them back; for small things, small assignments and for larger amounts or repeat offenders, more involved projects. 

Usually just a casual mention of getting out the Unloved Box will get kids scurrying all over the house to find their things and put them away.  Mission accomplished!


  1. Part of my problem is that the things that the kids are worst at leaving out are necessities--like shoes and jackets which tend to be in limited supply and which we can't go anywhere without. What is your suggestion for when they leave those things out?

    1. Good question! The answer depends on the situation. If your child HAS to have a particular item, you can delay the consequence until more convenient for you (make yourself a post-it note so you don't forget!). Or, if not essential, you could let your child experience the natural consequence of his actions. If he can't go out to play with his friends because he left his shoes out...well, too bad.

    2. There was also an emergency procedure for things like that--they do something embarrassing that makes it less desirable to leave things out, and they get the item back. Ours, if I recall correctly, was the Prairie Flower. The embarrassment was sufficient from that...

  2. I forgot about that David! Didn't Prairie Flower originate during a Wagon Train trek?

  3. Thanks Judy! I think I need it for my husband now :)