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Ya know, this parenting stuff’s not easy, and I bow down in complete respect to those of you who bear the title of mom or dad.

And then there are those of us who volunteered for the position after not having had any kids. Not that we regret it, of course! But when you go from zero to an 18-year-old in the space of six weeks, there’s a pretty fair bet that the learning curve is steep. P1160308Toss in a 14-year-old three years later, and it’s a miracle hubby and I aren’t locked away somewhere.

We had a few house rules when Niece and Niece 2 moved in. Pretty basic rules, really. Among them: the Alexander home is not a hotel. Maid service doesn’t exist. Ergo, they needed to pick up after themselves.

Yeah, keep laughing. That rule was followed. Not.

After countless times of telling them things like pick up socks, put dirty dishes in the dishwasher, and keep books off the kitchen counter – and then finally doing it for them – I’d had enough. And thus The Jar of Shame was born.

The rules were pretty simple: keep your stuff out of the common areas, put things away when you’re done with them, and don’t eat or drink in your room. Break the rules and get caught? You fork over a buck.

So far, I’ve got $6 in the jar and it’s been less than a week. Not enough for a spa day. . .. Yet. 😉

Happy parenting,