Repay Your Energy {A Brilliant Parenting Hack}


Parenting is exhausting.

Most days, I’m low on patience, low on stamina, and low on energy. It could be that I am in my 50s and have two littles; nevertheless, I lack the energy to keep up with these boys.

I have heard it said that kids have so much energy because they suck all of the energy out of their parents. There may be some truth to this.

When I first heard the concept of repaying energy, it was from my son’s kindergarten teacher and it came in the form of a call from the teacher. She explained that my son had not followed directions and she had to use her “energy” and explain to him again what he needed to do. This took her away from doing a task that she needed to do. So, he needed to “repay her energy” and do a task for her since he used up her energy.

I thought this was brilliant! This amazing teacher is constantly learning, so I don’t know if it was an original J.Proctor method or she read it or learned it somewhere else, but I am so glad she taught this in her kindergarten class.

I started using this at home, too. If my energy is being depleted by one of my boys, they have to repay it.


Just the other morning, as we were getting ready for school, my 8-year-old (student of this wonderful teacher) had a meltdown and was sucking every last bit of energy that I had. It was 7:50 a.m. and I already needed a nap. I sat down on the couch defeated and told him that my energy was gone. I told him because of his lack of self-control and his theatrical meltdown, he needed to repay my energy when he got home from school.

I didn’t know what I was going to have him do to repay my energy, but when we got home, I started noticing little jobs that needed to be done around the house – picking up shoes, putting away toys, rinsing dishes, and loading the dishwasher – all jobs that I needed to do.

I came up with a few tasks that he could do to repay and away he went. Then it became a game and his brother joined in because, let’s face it, he needs to learn this lesson, too. Task after task, he would check in with me – “Energy better Mom?” Then I would add another task. By the time his 30 minutes of repaying was up, the house was in good shape, jobs were done, and we were able to sit on the couch snuggling and reading together.

Energy paid in full.


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