A 10 year old boy who loves hockey was just getting his gear out of his bag for a practice and noticed that his skates were missing. Yes, his SKATES. Not good. “Dad, Mom, we gotta go back home! My skates are at home!”, he said. “Oh nooooo that is so sad… you forgot your skates. Our house is 30 minutes away. We’re not driving there and back for your skates today. What are you going to do about it?” they replied calmly.
“I don’t know. I can’t practice without my skates! The coach is going to be so mad. Why can’t we go back and get them??!!”
“As we told you, we don’t have the time or the energy to go back home. What are you going to do?”
“I don’t know.” He sulks…
“Would you like some suggestions?” they said.
“What? Hmm… ok…”
“Well, some kids might decide to sit on the bench and just watch practice. How would that work for you?”
“That’s no good. Coach won’t like me sitting doing nothing.”
“Well, some kids might take some money and buy a new pair of skates from the skate stop here at the rink. How would that work for you?”
“Hmm… well, I do have some money from my birthday that I could use. I’ll do that!”
So a new pair of skates was purchased using the boy’s own money.
These two parents used their new problem solving skills to perfection. They gave empathy first, handed the problem back to their child and then asked if he wanted suggestions. They only gave suggestions AFTER he agree to listen to some from them. They did NOT nag, remind or berate him for the situation that he had created for himself. The NATURAL consequences of his poor decision of not packing his gear more carefully in the first place was the consequence he needed.