Leah Koenig, MA, LMHC
Parent Coach ~ Family Therapist

Bellevue Family Counseling, LLC
1601 116th Ave NE, Ste. 102
Bellevue, WA  98004
 "Oh, you're draining my energy! This is such an energy drain!"

The Energy Drain

When you don't know what to do

by Leah Koenig MA, LMHC
PCI Certified Parent Coach
® & Family Therapist

Many times our kids do something that makes our chin drop.  Or maybe what we have been trying just is not working.  What do you do when you can not think of what to do? Love and Logic® suggests having an Energy Drain!

1.  An energy drain is great if your children are doing something you cannot stand - fighting, lying, biting, kicking, arguing, getting into big mischief, or whatever just happened that sent you running for Google for ideas. When they misbehave, avoid arguing, lecturing, warning, reminding or threatening. Instead just put your hand on your forehead, maybe go limp, and say, "Oh, you're draining my energy. This is such an energy drain."

2.  Then later when they want something from you say, "Remember when you were - fighting, lying, biting, kicking, arguing, getting into big mischief, or whatever - well, that drained my energy. I don't have enough energy to do what you want (make dinner, drive to basketball, etc.)  What are you going to do to put my energy back in?

3.  Of course, they'll be perplexed which is okay.  Ask if they want suggestions.  Then when they do, offer three choices that are about Restitution, or putting energy back in by doing extra chores, or by helping you rest and relax.

This method gives you a chance to teach them that their behavior impacts others. It also shows them that, they can mess up and do something to repair the situation.

Want an example?  I had a mom start using the Energy Drain. and become quite proficient at it. The result is compassionate children and help around the house!  Here is a recent letter she sent in, sharing how well it has worked.

Last week I came home and the kids were whining complaining baiting each other.  I laid down on the sofa telling them that I didn’t have energy for making dinner or for Chanukah.  They stopped what they were doing and my oldest daughter called a "kid meeting" in the living room.  I could hear them discussing ways to give me my energy back.  The final decision was that they should put on a PUPPET SHOW for me  J  So they went upstairs and brought down some puppets and put on a show at the foot of the sofa.  Mostly my son and oldest daughter performed, but the youngest brought me cups of cold water until my energy returned. 

 - A Sammamish  Mom

 Give it a try and then write and let me know how it worked out.