Huge amounts of energy bills can be overwhelming to parents. Sometimes, they spend most of their time away from home trying to make a living. Constant nagging the children about saving energy may fall on deaf ears. However, there are ways the parents can use to communicate this important concept without being harsh while having fun at the same time.
Every family setup operates differently and only the parents know their kids. There are some general guidelines that if well implemented, can help achieve the desired result. Every idea can be tweaked and improvised to fit the home setup of each family.
1) Start by communicating and explaining the benefits of saving energy. Simply talking about it during family time and explaining the effect high bills have on money can be a good start. Explaining that sometimes it is difficult to get them what they want because quite a large chunk of a parent’s income goes to settling bills makes the energy saving venture more practical and useful to them. There are online games which are fun that help sensitize kids on the same.
2) Create a project. When the children have understood the concept, have them take part in ‘project minimize energy bills at home’ or any other name the family would come up with. Show them the current bill then brainstorm on how to make sure the next month’s bill is lower. The following suggestions should at least show up in the list;
– Switch off the lights when leaving a room.
– Switch off appliances that are not being used.
– Use one entertainment tool at a time for example; both the computer and the TV should not be on at the same time unless different people are using them simultaneously.
Have the list of rules posted somewhere so that all can see (maybe even visitors).
3) Come up with a reward system. This can vary from family to family. Introducing a reward system can work for one family while improving an already existing reward system can be effective for another. Also, changing the variables of a game can be interesting and effective too for example, playing the jar game. Members of the household would be alert to catch an offender of the house rules and make them put a certain amount of money into the jar. The money collected can be used for a family reward. Kids would really have fun trying to trick their parents into offending just for fun!
4) Decide on doing some activities that would make saving energy fun. Decide on the frequency of these activities as well. Having a candle lit dinner, a board game and a story telling night would be a great way of teaching the kids that they do not need all the gadgets to have fun. It would be a good way to tighten the family bond too.
At first, the kids will be very proud of themselves for remembering to obey the rules and they may brag about it. Instead of scolding them, it would be advisable for the parents to share their enthusiasm and encourage the behavior more.