A great technique to keep in your box of tricks is the generic consequence or “Energy Drain.” When you can’t think of an effective consequence (and can’t remove the child or the object) an Energy Drain is a great fall-back. The steps are as follows:
1. Inform your child of your Energy Drain. Say “It really drains my energy when you ________.”
2. Later (when everyone is calm) say, “Since you drained my energy earlier today when you ___________, it is time to talk about how you plan to replace my energy.
3. Give your child a list of Energy Replacement Options. Say, “Some kids decide to __________.” Give them two or three options and a deadline to finish the task.
4. Allow them to either learn from success (completing task on time) or learn from their mistake. If they refuse to replace your energy you can now come up with a consequence for this choice. Perhaps you are too tired to drive them to an activity, a birthday party that weekend or you need a night out with your spouse to get some energy back.
Remember, Love and
Logic® parents take good care of themselves by setting limits without anger,
lectures, threats or repeated warnings. When
children cause problems, adults hand these problems back by providing a large
dose of empathy and then a consequence. We want our kids to do more hard thinking
then we do - empathy helps keep the parent the good guy and the bad decision the bad guy.