Kids need to learn their responsibilities early on. Teaching them what they can do to help in the house, for example, can be done at about the age of four or five. From simple things like picking up toys to throwing wrappers in the trash can, they can learn gradually through constant reminder and encouragement given in a nice way.
In terms of saving energy, kids need to know as well that they can do simple acts to help mom cut electricity bills. This is normally taught in school so they should already know this. The trick is to avoid doing a lecture all the time. Instead, tell them their duties in a nice way that they will listen to you or better yet, do it in a fun way.
Join Online Games
Firstly, you might want to encourage them to play some internet games or research about energy saving techniques. You can choose from various green websites some of which are that of the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Ollie’s World and newyorkenergyrates.com. On these sites, kids can find answers to their questions on saving energy and play games as well.
Family Gathering with Treats
Rather than do a straightforward lecture of ways to cut energy consumption (which kids including the grown-ups don’t really approve of), a good idea would be to gather the family and provide some of their favorite treats. You can do this at the living room or at the patio after dinner during which you can share tips for cutting utility bills. You may also do this as a game with everyone provided with pieces of paper and then writing down the ways they know to save energy. The one who gives the most tips can get a special treat such as an ice cream perhaps.
Rewarding the Right Behavior
Providing rewards is always an effective strategy in encouraging kids to take positive actions. Knowing they can receive something special is enough to urge them to do what they should do right as growing kids. The sticker chart is a popular choice as small kids usually love stickers while you can use other things or rewards for the grownups.
The reward can be given on a weekly basis so you can take advantage of a specific time to have some family bonding while you provide treats for the children.
Practicing a No Lights Hour
Finally, designating a specific time during the week for a “no lights” hour will be most helpful. This is similar to the Earth Hour that the world commemorates each year in March only that you do it weekly in your home. During this hour, all lights are turned off and no electronic devices are plugged in to help save energy.
About the guest author:
Daphne is a part-time blogger and stay-at-home mom raising twin toddlers, Sam and Ellen.