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September 2, 2012

Time is Money

Time is Energy and Energy is Valuable

Everything is Energy!

Time, objects, thoughts . . . even YOU are energy.  Below is a TED Talk given by Brian Greene, a professor of physics and mathematics at Columbia University. Watch the whole thing, or skip to 9:50 for a refresher about energy: the constituent of everything.

What is Energy Energy refers to your personal energy, i.e., your level of vitality and wakefulness.
What is Valuable The worth or importance of something. 
Time is Money means the reciprocal value you receive in exchange for your energy, i,.e., appreciation, respect, love, and even money.
Why it's Important Energy is the only resource there is. It takes energy to go to work and earn money, laugh, cry, and be curious.  Without energy you can’t be patient or even care.
The Problem

"A waste of my time." Ever feel like the energy you gave toward something was wasted?  Duh! YES!


Consider the extra time you’ve spent to re-wash clean clothes your child put in the hamper.  Frivolously spending energy to re-wash, re-iron, re-fold, and (re?) put away clothes is energy unavailable for other important things like:

  • Patience to explain a complicated math problem
  • Curiosity about a conversation she had with a “friend”
  • Attentive at bedtime to connect and snuggle

Energy is just like money, spending it frivolously might leave you short on a rainy day.

The Tip

Paying for the Extra

Bring this abstract concept into focus by asking to be compensated for your wasted time.

Step 1




Identify 3ish chores for which your child is responsible, such as making bed, garbage duty, breakfast dishes, or emptying lunchbox after school.


Small        Less than 3 steps

Objective  Done? Y/N (quality less urgent)

Frequent   4 or more times a week 

Step 2



Observe your child’s success rate with each chore.  Select her most successful chore. 


Yes, successful chore! 

You’re intention is to help her grasp the value of your energy, not to punish her for your frustration. 

Step 3

Explain your overall intention in 3 smaller bites.

Bite 1:  Show her the time/effort in the chore.

“It’s nice having clean clothes, but boy it sure takes a chunk of time.”

Bite 2:  Let him know how your energy gets wasted.

“Did you know that it takes just as much time to rewash your clean clothes as it did to wash them when they were dirty?”

Bite 3:  Link energy with value. 

“From now on, when you put clean clothes in the hamper, I’m going to ask you to repay the time/energy by doing (X).”

X = a simple chore that's important to the family.

 Step 4

Give meaningful thanks for the energy and time your child repaid. 

Dos and Don’ts:

  • Do  praise her effort
  • Don’t  remind him that it could have been avoided
  • Do  acknowledge her willingness to repay your extra time
  • Don’t  remind him about all the other times he didn’t have to
  • Do  thank him for helping you
  • Don’t  remind him why he had to help you
  • Do  remember that you’re helping him learn to value your gifts
  • Don’t  make her feel guilty for anything


Good Choices

Experience and natural consequences are the best teachers. 

Less Frivolousness

Eventually, she'll think twice before creating more work for you.


He'll appreciate your gifts of time/energy in specific ways through the chores he doesn’t have to do. 

 Pride: She’ll feel she’s earned your appreciation because she’s done something valuable.
 Respect: You’ve respected your time—and his. 
 Influence: Rapport deepens through understanding.
Promise Kept

We promise to teach our kids to value themselves as worthy of all good things.  By demonstrating how to value your gifts to her, you’re making good on the promise.


Relevant Articles: The Art of Letting GoAdrenaline Lifestyle,

Relevant Tip of the Week:  Problem Crumb Trail, Change,

 Time is Money

  Chime in >> What do you think?

 Email Lorraine with your question     

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