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When an Appropriate Consequence is Hard to Find

Dr. Charles Fay

The "Energy Drain" Approach

This approach was created to give adults a practical way of creating logical consequences that teach responsibility. Simply stated, the child (or teen) is required to replace energy "drained" from the adult by their misbehavior.

Step 1: Deliver a strong dose of sincere empathy.
This is so sad.

Step 2: Notify the youngster that their misbehavior drained your energy.
Oh sweetie. When you lie to me (or almost any other misbehavior) , it drains energy right out of me.

Step 3: Ask how he or she plans to replace the energy.
How are you planning to put that energy back?

Step 4: If you hear, "I don't know," offer some payback options.
Some kids decide to do some of their mom's chores? How would that work? Some kids decide to hire and pay for a babysitter-so their parents can go out and relax. How would that work?

Step 5: If the child completes the chores, thank them and don't lecture
Thanks so much! I really appreciate it.

Step 6: If the child refuses or forgets, don't warn or remind.

Step 7: As a last resort, go on strike OR sell a toy to pay for the drain.
What a bummer. I just don't think I have the energy to take you to Silly Willie's Fun Park this weekend.


What a bummer. You forgot to do those chores. No problem. I sold your Mutant Death Squad action figure to pay for a babysitter tonight.

People who are really successful implementing this skill purchased Love and Logic Magic When Kids Drain Your Energy


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©Charles Fay, Ph.D.
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For more information, call the Love and Logic Institute, Inc. at 800-338-4065.