Consequences Not Lectures (Peaceful parenting, Agreements, Teaching responsibility, Creative solutions)

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As any parent who has air outside of their home will tell you, getting a child to faithfully shut doors on the way out and conserve electricity can be a frustrating job. Okay, maybe not some children with the special door shutting gene. But my girl and several of her pals do not have that gene when they are excited. So, rather than get on their case as I have in the past, I have been employing a new strategy. I get excited, too! “Oh, fantastic, you left the door open. Now you’ll need to get out for a bit and help me with a home project as payment for the A/C.” No frustration. No louder voice or lecture. Just an agreement. Well, okay, they didn’t exactly agree to it, but it’s a stipulation for using the pool. This time, I had them put back some mats and assemble the pool gear box. They were rather proud of themselves for getting it done. I ended with, “I hope you leave the door open to the pool again soon! I’ve got some other projects that I’d like your help with.” Her pal grinned to himself like it was quite weird, and I grinned, too. No negative energy for anyone and a couple projects I don’t have to do. Consequences. You can either shut the door or you can make up for the A/C waste by doing a home project. Your call.

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