I love the relaxed pace of School holidays, slowing down to enjoy greater connection, creativity, adventure, and exercise with my kids. This time also allows me to explore and thoughtfully reflect on tricky conversations that may be needed in their particular season.
Life with children has a combination of the good, the happy, the tricky, and the messy times. Sometimes parenting can be a roller-coaster ride, and for that reason, it’s vitally important that we look after ourselves, attend to our needs so we can navigate well in all the seasons of parenting.
Holidays can provide both a mix of fun and great connecting moments together with instances that can drain your energy levels. How you work with this can give you the edge of feeling empowered and prepared.
1. Accept that kids will make poor choices and drain your energy levels.
2. Use the Draining Energy Technique (Love and Logic) TM -that will empower you, and have your child restore your energy levels.
3. In the heat of the moment delay the consequence whilst calmly stating, Oh………I will need to do something about this, but not now, later.
Parenting Story 1
My son is highly sensitive and a few years ago he would react to his sister’s disapproval or stirring with physical retaliation. My energy levels were drained and I was adding to the escalation of the issue with my frustrating reaction. This resulted in me being the “bad guy” and not their choices. I was lost and needed some healthy tools.
With the next physical outburst, I approached my son with “Oh honey this is so sad. I will need to do something about this, but not now, later”. These words gave me a chance to calm down and work out what I was going to do and interrupted the fighting. Two days later I came to my son and shared, “remember I said I would have to do something about that, would you like to have that conversation after snack time or before bed?” Before bed, I explained my energy levels were drained and that I have a list of 10 chores and he could choose 5 or 6, and have them finished in I day or 2 days. We worked through his options and the following 2 nights after school he completed his chores along with his normal contributions to the household. Using this technique has definitely decreased the physical reactions and has also allowed me to connect with his sensitive heart and help him to own and solve his problems with his sister.
When my 2 children have drained my energy levels with fighting my response has been “Oh this is so sad, I will need to do something about this, but not now, later.” Sometime later I have shared that this has drained my energy levels and obviously they need more bonding time, so for the rest of the week, they would have extra chores to complete together along with their normal ones to strengthen their bonding.
Once they have completed the set chores together my energy levels are restored and then I have the energy to do ……X,Y,Z.
Parenting Story 2
Sunday evening my son and I were in the kitchen talking about his dinner, his reaction to a question together with the rolling of his eye balls, had drained my energy. I responded with ” Oh………that’s so sad honey unfortunately my energy levels are drained and I won’t have the energy to read with you later”. He responded with mum I am so sorry I was confused and annoyed and we had a small discussion of what took place and how we could do it better next time. Shortly later he inquired “how can I restore your energy levels, could I set the table and clear the table and put some things away”. With an inward chuckle, I replied “that’s a good start.” As my son started working hard on some of his initiatives and other jobs, he inquired, “mum are your energy levels being restored?” and just by taking responsibility of his poor choices and seeing his commitment to put back in while I was relaxing after dinner actually did restore my energy levels.
My now 10-year-old son has used some describing words that I do not like to hear around me.
My response was Oh……. honey that really has drained my energy levels and I won’t have the energy to take you shopping to buy your top. I did need to go shopping for other things, so I suggested would you like to know how you could put energy back in for me. The suggestions were purchasing me a latte at the food court, paying to have my nails done or a massage. He said he would take me out for a latte. We had a lovely chat and later on enjoyed some shopping with lots of hugs.
Over these school holidays remember;
1. Realise your kids are learning and growing and it may come through making poor choices, which drain your energy levels.
2. Approach it with an empathic word, Oh…. how sad, what a pity, Oh honey….
3. Delay the consequence- “I will need to do something about this, but not now, later.
4. Look after yourself, attend to you.
5. Connect and follow-up when you are healthy and have your plan with some choices.
6. Give some choices of a time limit.
7. For non-coperating participants use the phrase, I will be happy to do X,Y,Z, once my energy levels have been put back into.
Where can you use the draining energy levels technique this week whist staying connected with your kids and having them start to learn how is my next decision going to impact me?
What are your thoughts?