Sunday Snippets: A Catholic Carnival (March 23, 2013)

Not much by way of posts this week but here’s what I’m sharing over at RAnn’s blog This, That and the Other Thing:

Weekly Goals

A Little Inspiration

Book Review: Winning the Discipline Debates by Dr. Ray Guarendi

P.S. I won’t be blogging during Holy Week so that I can enter fully into the mystery of this sacred time. I wish all of you a blessed Holy Week, Sacred Tridiuum and Happy Easter!

Book Review: Winning the Discipline Debates by Dr. Ray Guarendi


Winning the Discipline Debates is a handbook of sorts where Dr. Ray “coaches parents to make discipline less frequent, less frustrating and more consistent.”  Using his characteristic humor and no-nonsense style, Dr Ray lays out typical various scenarios in dialogue format then re-states the situation with suggestions on how to respond.

For example, Chapter 11 is “I’m Honest, Honest” which deals with lying. Dr Ray sets the actors (dad, eleven year old, seven year old, etc), the scene (in this case the bedroom) and time (which in this case is bedtime). Then he gives a typical conversation and example of how most parents would handle the situation. After that he gives an epilogue where he explains the situation and offers a different tactic in dealing with the child(ren).

This book is very insightful and helpful. There were so many situations that I found myself laughing about because I have been through them with Andrew (he has a knack for avoiding bedtime at all costs!). And although I read this book from cover to cover for this review, you don’t have to do that at all. You can easily skip from situation to situation as they pertain to your family. Or, you can read it straight through – you will get a lot out of the book either way.

I give Winning the Discipline Debates four (4) stars.


This review was written as part of the Catholic book reviewer program from The Catholic Company. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on Holiness for Everyone: Practical Spirituality . The Catholic Company is the best resource for gifts for every Sacrament celebration, such as First Communion gifts and Baptism gifts, as well as a great selection of limited-time Year of Faith gifts and resources.

The Discipline Jar

For a long while we were having some major discipline problems with Andrew. He wanted what he wanted when he wanted it (don’t we all!) which would result in some terrible fits and tantrums. We tried everything: time-outs, taking away privileges and or toys, even yelling. It was making all of us miserable and we were at our wit’s end.

I know a lot of people do reward charts, but I didn’t think that would work with Andrew. He is very physical and visual and I didn’t think it would be an incentive enough, even with the possibility of an award. As I was thinking and praying about this, I decided to try doing an “rewards jar” or “discipline jar.” I talked to Michael about it and we both figured it couldn’t hurt to give it a try.

First, we went to the dollar store and picked up a jar (actually, all we could find was a plastic vase) and some decorative stones (Andrew loves rocks, so we went with the stones but you could use marbles or anything small).


We let Andrew decorate the jar. He wanted to be able to see the stones so he only used a few stickers, and a picture of himself when he was a baby. Then we used a crayon to write his name.

Andrew Jar

Also, I typed up some house rules, a chore chart and a behavior chart. On the chore chart and behavior charts, I assigned a points system. I printed out the charts and taped them to the wall at Andrew’s eye level.

This is how it works: Each time Andrew cheerfully does his chores or behaves appropriately, he would earn stones that he can put in his jar. When he accumulated a certain amount of stones he can exchange them for a special treat. For example, every time he brushes his teeth he gets two stones or every time he does his school work or obeys mama and daddy the first time he gets 5 stones. The stone value depends on the difficulty and/or “unpleasantness” of the task. We also throw in a few extra stones in here or there when he’s been exceptionally good which is helping him stay motivated. 😉

It has been three weeks now and we are so happy how well this is working! He often looks for ways to be good and earn stones. We have been heaping on tons of excitement and praise when he earns stones, which has been making him want to earn more!

Of course he still “has his moments” and there have been days when  his behavior was so naughty he lost most or all his stones, but overall, he is like a new little boy! 🙂 And believe me, a happy, well-behaved child (for the most part!) works for me!

For the record, we make it very easy to earn a lot of stones quickly and we make it very easy to earn rewards. This way he can visually see his stones build up and he gets a special reward a couple days a week. As a matter of fact, I would say that on an average day, with minimal misbehavior, he can earn about 20 stones just for doing his daily tasks. On his exceptionally good days he has earned up to 40 or more! To balance that out, he needs at least 35 stones before he can start trading them in for points.

Now it’s your turn. What tricks or tips do you have for getting your kids to do their chores or behave as they should?!