The much dreaded 'Impound Box'

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Registered: 12-24-2005
The much dreaded 'Impound Box'
Sun, 02-05-2012 - 10:11pm

If you read my 'profile' you'll see that I raised 3 DDs and learned many things in doing so. Here's a little system that ended up working quite well even until they grew up and moved away from home. It's called the 'Impound Box'. (Now each DD's family uses the same system.)

When our first DD was very young we started her on the usual task of getting her to pick up after herself and put things away which was met with the usual fuss-en-feathers like all families have. I came up with an idea and sat the #1 DD down and told her that I was starting something called an 'Impound Box' and if she didn't pick up something and put it away then after 3 reminders I'd take that item and put it into an 'Impound Box' that I set on the far side of our bedroom. It had a lid that she couldn't slide off so that was good for then. The rules were simple, - after 3 reminders then that item went in the Impound Box and she'd have to do an extra chore of take a volitionary Time-out to get that item back. Well it worked until she decided she didn't need to have that item so things started to collect in the Box and then I got a bigger box and soon she was missing a lot of her things and she had to start paying attention and do what what was needed to get her stuff back. Then one day we discovered that she figured out how to get the lid off the box and she was taking what she wanted so I changed the rules to where if she did that I'd go pick a favorite toy AND the item she snuck out and both would go in the Box. She flat didn't like that since she had to first do what was needed to get the original item out before she could get her toy out. All this was teaching her that bad or neglected deeds had consequences. Well, - as each DD came of age the same age-appropriate rules were applied and you'd be surprised how fast they'd learn to pick up their things after mom or I would point to an item and say, 'That's the first warning'. The oldest DD was put on only 1 warning when she got older but the younger ones had more warnings. When the oldest DD was a teenager that system was still working the same way

Avatar for weberdns0
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-25-2000
Mon, 02-06-2012 - 11:04am

Interesting idea!

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-12-2007
Mon, 02-06-2012 - 1:07pm
Yes, thanks for sharing. I've been struggling with this in our home. I'm a new figure in our home as DH and I were married this past summer, but I do think this would be an appropriate time for something like this. YSD has trouble remembering to do things when she is asked. She is easily distracted, so this past weekened when I asked her twice to bring her laundry to the laundry room twice and she didn't do it, she just didn't get her laundry done, so she will not have her favorite things to wear, but she will live through it.
Do you have any suggestions on how to incorporate this for my OSD. She is 19 and a freshman in college. She's not great about picking up after herself when she is home. Do you think it would be appropriate to incorporate this into her life at her age? Thanks again.
Avatar for cmlisab
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-30-2011
Tue, 02-07-2012 - 11:57am

I really like ths idea! I may start using it for my older son b/c I'm looking at quite a few video game cases on the ground, at this very moment!