LOVE & LOGIC TIPS
One of our social media followers recently raised an excellent question:
"We want to model completing chores with joyful enthusiasm, right? But then, sometimes when kids 'put back our energy,' they do so by doing chores for us. Are we not sending conflicting messages? Are chores fun - or are they a punishment?"
This is a great question and it gets right to the heart of Love and Logic. The answer is YES - we want kids to feel great about completing tasks and contributing to the home. Does that mean that chores are always pleasant? Of course not. Chores still require time and energy and human beings (especially grown-up ones) only have a limited supply of each.
We can almost think of "energy" like money. Spending money can be fun. But, if I am careless and break a window, I don't enjoy spending that money because I would rather spend it on something more fun. Spending time or energy (or money) to fix a mistake might feel good - but I could probably have found something else I would have preferred to spend them on.
An important thing to remember here is that the Energy Drain is about a restorative way to solve a problem (a problem the kid caused). We are not trying to punish kids or make them feel bad. For this reason, we don't panic when they end up enjoying the work they do to replace our energy. The goal wasn't to make them suffer, so we can feel good when they enjoy the process.
In the end, we want kids to feel good about working - whether their work is contribution or restitution. And if they don't feel so great about working to restore, the problem still got solved and we can move on.
Thanks for reading! Our goal is to help as many families as possible.