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Beware Sweet Children…Mommy May Give You a Ticket!

I am so done.  I am forever using my voice to ‘remind’ the kids to pick things up, make their beds and clean up after themselves.

We used to have a ‘card’ system that worked beautifully…but it was time consuming so we didn’t keep it up. BIG MISTAKE.

That said, I am tired of feeling like a nag.  About 2 weeks ago I walked by the mess in the boys’ room and knew that by the time they got home I’d forget to tell them about how they had not made their beds and had left both clean & dirty clothes all over the floor.  I thought to myself: I should just leave them a ticket!

And so I proceeded to develop the following list of infractions & penalties.  Hubby & I went over it and decided we should do it.

Unfortunately, we talked about it but didn’t really start implementing it.

I was planning to share this with you next week, but as I was asked to speak with CBC today about whether Alberta Mom Jessica Stillwell was over the top when she decided to go on strike from housework for a week, I felt it much more appropriate to share with you today.

When we explained the upcoming system to our kids, one of the boys asked what he gets if he does everything properly (i.e. gets no tickets). The jury’s still out on that one. (One of the reasons we delayed..) Perhaps a good citizenship award?  We’ll see…

In the meantime, have a look at the list of infractions & penalties. Only time will tell if this system will work 🙂


Environmental Infractions

  • Un-made bed
  • Clean clothes on floor
  • Dirty clothes on floor
  • Papers on floor
  • Messy desk
  • Leaving towel on floor
  • Not cleaning up after self
  • Leaving the lights on
  • Screaming/Shrieking
  • Use of Inappropriate language
  • Forgot to tie-back hair/elastics

Criminal Infractions

  • Unsolicited Body Contact
  • Theft
  • Use of anything as a weapon
  • Inciting Violence
  • Interference with a Criminal Investigation (i.e. lying)


  • Not bringing home lunchbox
  • Not bringing home homework/agenda

Under School Jurisdiction (with full support of Mom & Dad)

  • Forgot/Didn’t do homework
  • Forgot Lunch at home
  • Forgot Kippah at Home
  • Disrespect/Misbehaving at school


Environmental Infractions:

  • Restore the environment as necessary & assignment of community service for 1 day (Can be assistance for clean-up of any kind requested by Mom/Dad)

Criminal Infractions:

  • Loss of Privileges for 1 week
  • Addition of Entrance to a rehab program for repeat offenders, Program to be determined by Mom & Dad


  • Make efforts to repair situation immediately (get back lunch from office, Call friend for Homework)
  • Loss of privileges at 3rd offense.


Name: __________________________________

Signing Officer: ___________________________

Here’s what the ticket actually looks like:


(For those of you who are wondering what a Kippah is- it’s a little skullcap worn by Jewish boys-mandatory at my kids’ school)

Don’t forget to catch my interview today at 4:10 PM TUNE INTO CBC HOMERUN – live at 88.5 FM, 104.7 FM or stream live from

What ‘systems’ have you tried to implement at home? Have they worked?  Please share!!!

Interested in reading Jessica’s story?  Check out her blog at: Crazy Working Mom: Diary of a mother on the brink of snapping!

Wishing you an infraction-free weekend, and if that’s not in the cards…I wish you strength!


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  1. Tanya funny enough I have a system like this in our house. We have relaxed a bit but its time to get back to doing it. I have chore charts from Accountable Kids, they are great, I also added some penalty tickets. I explained that when I break the rules I have to pay a fine, so I implemented the same thing with my 4 kids. We set some rules and if it happens that the kids break a rule, they get a ticket that they have to pay, just like we do. Now it’s not a lot but the principle of them earning allowance for their chores hits hard when they have to lose money to carelessness. I see it as teaching them to be more responsible and eventually take care of themselves. It works well. We also have tickets that we give out for best behaviour, which are really nice. I think the trick is to find something that works for your children, and not all your kids will respond to the same thing. You have to find their inner currency ( not always meaning money in this case) and use that. Also you have to be consistent. Good luck and I totally hear where you are coming from. Xoxo ~Patty

  2. Hi Tanya,

    This is priceless! You are so clever. Not only do I sound like my mother chasing after my kids all the time for the same things over and over, I sound like a broken record! THey just tune me out. I think your idea is fab and that it might work for me. Thank you SO much for sharing.


  3. Can the kids give Mom/Dad tickets as well? 😉

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