DIY Celebrating Obedience Tool

Hello my friends! I am super excited to share a tool with you that we used so much when my kiddos were younger to help with obedience. If you have younger kids as well as kids that love visuals then this obedience tool will be for you. It’s extremely simple to make and fun to use as well!

What Our Obedience Tool Looks Like

Let me show you what the final project looks like so those of you who are visual like me can get an idea of what we are talking about here!

The idea behind this tool is as follows. When a child is behaving, obeying, having a good attitude, is being cheerful, doing what they’re told, etc., then the green stick will be the active stick in the blue pocket. You can see the blue felt pocket with the green stick in it. The blue pocket always holds the active stick. This is the one that shows where the child stands with his or her behavior at any given time.

There are three other sticks besides the green ones to choose from. They are yellow, red and black. Yellow is the caution stick. When your child has been exhibiting bad behavior due to lack of respect, or not doing what they’re told, etc., then you can tell them that they need to place the yellow stick in the active pocket. They will be able to switch back to green stick when you as the parent see their behavior has truly changed. Red stick is used when they have continued to do the behavior that got them the yellow stick. Or they have added a new unruly behavior to the mix. When that happens put the red stick in the blue pocket. Of course we all know what the black stick means! It means that you, as the parent, are going to have a really rough day! We only used the black stick once in the lives of my little guys but that day was a doozy. Each stick, except green, comes with consequences otherwise warning after warning does not work. Consequences are what speak. Black comes with the worst consequences. Sometimes these are drastic corrections so that the child can determine to get back to green stick for the day. The discipline really depends on the child. You may have a child like I did (at least one of them) where just moving to the yellow stick was drastic enough so that alone changed the behavior. Or, you may have a child (like another one of mine) that thought it was a kind of game to move from stick to stick to test mommy. That child needed the consequences after the stick change!

On the other hand, be sure to bless the child who has stayed on green stick all day or all week. Don’t do it with money or anything like that. Good behavior isn’t a paid thing. Rather, it creates blessings in the child’s life as the verse says, “…it may be well with you…” A blessing may be some words of affirmation and some big hugs that they did so well that day. Maybe it is a few stickers that they love or their favorite book read to them. Don’t get into bribery though as that defeats the whole purpose of teaching the child to obey to please the Lord and in turn please their mom and dad. Bribery means they will do what they’re told only IF they get something in return. Be sure to celebrate their obedience in the appropriate way!

What This Obedience Tool Is Not

I am not a fan of counting down until a child obeys as I believe obedience is necessary right away or it is not obedience. Personally, I think that correction is a waste of time because all it teaches the child is that they have a few more seconds to disobey and that they really don’t need to obey immediately. A saying I have used until I am blue in the face in our home is “We obey all the way, right away with a cheerful heart.”  We have not used this tool as a count down to better obedience. For example, the child disobeys one time, knows they’ll go to yellow stick, and it doesn’t matter to them so they just keep getting worse until they get to black stick. In other words they know that that initial behavior will not be addressed until black stick. That is NOT what this tool is all about. Don’t get me wrong you can use this tool in the way it works for your family dynamic but that is not what we did here. Instead, this celebrating obedience tool is a way to address the initial problem immediately and then give them a chance to recover, move to a better stick, and show good behavior. For instance, if the child was told to go pick up their shoes and toys from the living room floor and put them away, they heard the request and then ignored it, then it would be time to move them to yellow stick. At that time the child would be administered a consequence like one of the toys on the floor gets taken away for a time, etc. If you’ve moved to yellow stick and the consequence do not change the behavior and the same things keeps happening then it’s time to move to red stick with another consequence. The end would be black stick with the worst consequence of all which of course depends on the child and what matters to them most.

The above would be worst case scenario. However, the goal really is to correct the disobedience and/or bad behavior and allow them to move themselves back to green stick because they recognized they we not pleasing their parents or the Lord. Remember, we’re training up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it. Right? Obeying will be necessary for life in all facets of life unless being asked to sin blatantly against the Lord.

Ephesians 6:1-3

The reason this verse is the header on the top of this tool is because it is of vital importance for children to learn.

“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother, which is the first commandment with promise: that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.” Ephesians 6:1-3

We had our little guys memorize this. It was quite easy because every time they were corrected we would talk to them about obedience and have them tell us these verses. They knew them by heart very quickly!

DIY and How To

I’d love to tell you how to make this simple tool in your home. It will take a trip to the craft store or clicking on the links below and about a half hour of cutting and assembly time. It’s fairly straight forward.

Supplies You’ll Need

adhesive backed felt


*By the way – we used adhesive backed felt for the board because it is more sturdy and will be able to lean up against a wall.

For the four pockets of the same color, choose your color felt and cut out 4, 4.5″ x 2″ pieces with your sharp scissors. Then, with the other color felt, that is not adhesive backed, cut out 1, 4.5″ x 2″ piece.

Evenly glue, with Aleene’s Tacky Glue, the four same color felt pockets to the adhesive backed felt. You will ONLY glue these pieces of felt on the three sides leaving the top 2″ side unglued for the opening of the pocket. Glue the other color felt pocket in the same manner to the adhesive backed felt.

Locate all your letters for the Ephesians 6:1-3 reference to go at the top of your adhesive backed felt. Peel the sticky backing off these letters and place them along the top of your adhesive backed felt piece.

For the sticks: With acrylic paint, paint each one a different color – red, green, black and yellow. Let them dry, With Aleene’s Tacky Glue, glue the smaller googly eyes on the green and yellow sticks near the top. Then, glue the bigger googly eyes near the top of the red and black sticks. After that, on the green stick, with your sharpie marker, draw the stick a happy mouth right under the eyes. For the yellow stick draw a straight faced mouth and for the red stick draw a sad faced mouth. The black stick doesn’t get a mouth! Maybe that’s a reminder for us parents to hold our tongues when we are angry!

That’s all there is to assembling the DIY Celebrate Obedience Tool! Now the trick is to be consistent with it and let your children know your expectations. Being on the same page initially will help you out a lot! Enjoy and let me know if you have any questions!  I would also love to hear some tricks and tips that you use in your home.

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Jennifer | Feasting On Joy

Hi! I’m Jennifer

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