A New Discipline Idea

Discipline your son, and he will give you peace; he will bring delight to your soul. Proverbs 29:17

If you are anything like me, every so often it is time to revamp the system of discipline in your home. What worked well for my boys two years ago may not be so effective today. Timeouts don’t phase Grant and taking trains away lost its luster long ago.

Although the overall house rules of the Crenshaw home have not changed, the consequences/rewards have evolved and changed overtime. If you are just tuning in to A Cup of Joe, take the time to read how we came about our family rules here.

Not long ago, I sat in Brent’s grandmother’s kitchen as she told me how she (very impressively) raised five children on one system of discipline.

“The Token Board”

I could picture her homemade board as she described a simple piece of wood. Five nails. And several tokens for each child.

Mema’s system? If a child disobeyed, they removed a token. If they lost all tokens….a spankin’ from Pepaw. As simple as that.

She said she used it for years and it worked well.

And what’s good enough for Mema is good enough for me. So off to work I went.

I bought these little boards at A.C.Moore. I think they cost $1.79. It took me all of 10 minutes to get my paint supplies out and give them a few strokes.


I had to nail little metal hangers on the back (not pictured). We had some from old picture frames, but you can buy them at Lowe’s or maybe even Wal-Mart.

These are just basic nails. I did spray paint them black, but you don’t have to do that. The tokens came from Staples. They are called “Key Tags” for your shopping knowledge.


I bought a paint pen from A.C. Moore. I was going to use a Sharpie, but it just didn’t look right. This is when I wish my handwriting had graduated from middle school. But oh well. It looks fine.


I made this one for the Ancelet family! I spelled a name wrong (sorry Aidan!) Had to fix that.

Here’s my system:
*Each child starts the week with five tokens.

*Each token is worth 50 cents.

*At the end of the week, they are rewarded for each token kept.

The reason we did it this way is because they are breaking the bank at the swimming pool concessions. This gives them the opportunity to buy their own snacks with their own money. They also have talked of saving it for a new Wii game. The money is theirs to spend how they wish. But you could choose whatever would bless your kiddos the most. Ice Cream on Saturday night. An extra hour of Wii. Etc…

Removing Tokens:
* When a family rule is broken, they remove a token and place it on the spare nail.

*If all five tokens are lost, they receive a spanking from Daddy.

Earning tokens back:
*This is still fuzzy. Last week I would “catch them” doing something above and beyond (taking initiative, helping out without being asked, etc) and I would give them a token. I’m not sure that I will continue this. Still praying about it. It’s a lot more to keep up with. I want this to be very simple and straight forward.

I am into my third week of tokens. So far it has worked great. Of course there are always gray areas. Yesterday, Grant’s behavior was far beyond the token board. He did receive a spanking. Of course he cried “Can’t I just loose a token?!” Umm no. Some things (a.k.a. hitting your brother) are more serious than a token.

I am no expert. And your opinions may vary on all of this. That’s OK. I just wanted to share. The Lord has entrusted your children to you. He will direct you on what discipline is best for your children.

This summer, Brent and I are focusing on delighting in our children first. It is so easy to focus on discipline discipline discipline. I can be very hard on my boys. 😦

The Lord delights in us. He enjoys us. His motivation for us is LOVE. He disciplines us out of a position of LOVE.

Let us as parents delight in our children. Enjoy them. And, like our Father, discipline out of LOVE.

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3 thoughts on “A New Discipline Idea

  1. I think this is a great idea, especially if it works for your boys! Like you said, every so often you have to take a look at the way you do things & revamp! Yay for following God's direction in this!

  2. Becky,I would love to know how this is working for you. Honestly, I'm afraid my kids will lose their tokens quickly (in a day or two). DO you reset the tokens once they have lost all 5? How often do you let them "start over"?

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