There's been a week long heat wave (95-100 in both temps and humidity!) in the St. Louis area so somehow talking about the Energy Drain Technique seemed appropriate.
Kids stump us. So next time you are stumped try losing all your energy and see what happens.
Example: Children fighting with one another in the car or at home
Mom (leading with empathy): "Oh Man...
Mom: (stating the problem): "When you guys fight like that it just drains all my energy. " (This would be a good time if you are at home to stop what you are doing and lie on the couch)
Mom: (stating the consequence either delayed or immediate): "I know I told you we were going to stop for ice cream on the way home, but now I just don't have the energy for that." One Mom I know just drove home , didn't stop at DQ and didn't tell the kids all her energy was gone until after they said, "Hey, what about ice cream?"
The next step is follow through. As the children complain loudly, you can simply and empatheticly say "I know. I wanted to stop for ice cream too." One important thing to remember is to not to explain why you made the decision you did. They really are smart enough to figure it out. Also, do not warn them before you use this technique. Love and Logic teaches parents not to use warnings, threats, or lectures. Sometimes when it comes to words. less is more!
Follow up: Now comes the next step.... you might not have energy to do anything for the kids until they put some energy back in you.
How do they out energy back in to you? Dusting, cleaning a bathroom; swiffering the kitchen floor; having cereal for supper so you don't have to cook; using their allowance to pay for a babysitter so you can rest; giving you a neck rub and bringing you a glass of cold ice tea... etc.