Energy Drain: Consequences for Children
Would you like your life as a parent to be complicated?
Would you like to live in a constant state of confusion and anxiety?
Would you like to feel unsure about how to deal with the problems your children create?
Would you like to frequently think to yourself something like, “Oh, no. Now what do I do about this?”
Here is a tried and true recipe: Adopt the belief that every child’s misbehavior must have a different and unique consequence.
In our fast-paced world, none of us has the time or energy to use this parenting style. Instead of approaching parenting this way, Love and Logic parents try to keep it simple. For one reason, something that is simple is something that we can remember during stressful times. Love and Logic parents find it easy to remember that anything that causes a problem for the parent drains energy from the parent. That energy needs to be replaced in some way.
It can be replaced when the child does some work for the parent, or it can be replaced by relieving the parent of some duty such as taking the child to an activity. This is most effective when the child has a choice about how to replace the energy. It might sound like, “When I see you throwing things when you are mad, I worry about you and it drains my energy. How would you like to put the energy back? Would you like to do one of my chores? Would you like to excuse me from driving you to cheerleader practice so I could have some time to myself? Or would you like to do something really nice for the widow next door? I always feel better when things like that happen.”
This generic consequence works for all situations for kids of all ages. Just adjust for the age of the child.
©2009 Jim Fay, Love and Logic™ Institute
Kerry Stutzman, MSW
©2012 Kerry Stutzman, Head & Heart Parents
As author of the easy-to-read “Save Your Sanity” series, Kerry helps parents save their sanity and sense of humor while raising young children with love and laughter.