Parents can become quite frustrated when their children habitually forget to turn lights off. Not only does it increase the electricity bill that must be paid each month, it is not the path to leading a greener life. While children do not mean to be insensitive to the effect their behavior is to either the earth or the family’s budget, they are often in such a hurry to get to the next thing, they simply forget. Before this pattern of behavior becomes an all out daily battle, employ one or several of these tips to help the kids remember to turn off the lights.
Hang A Sign In The Rooms Where This Is The Most Problematic. If your child is pretty good about turning off their bedroom light, but always fails to turn off the bathroom one after using it, hang a sign near the light switch, over the sink or wherever your child is more apt to take notice of it before leaving. The sign may not go beautifully with your bathroom decor, but take heart that it is not a permanent fixture. After several weeks or months of being gently reminded by the sign, your child will surely replace his or her bad one with the good one of turning off the lights when exiting the room.
Do Not Turn Off The Lights For The Child. If your child never remembers to turn off the lights when leaving his or her bedroom and coming downstairs, have them go back and turn them off. Do this each and every time. Following behind your child and performing this task for him or her will ensure that this bad habit continues. If the room where the light is always left on is quite a bit away from the central living area of the home, it will soon become quite an annoyance to have to go back and turn it off. After several times of being pulled away from watching television or playing video games to go back and turn off the lights, the message should get through.
Impose Consequences To Not Turning Off The Lights. If the previous two tips did not help to curb the problem, you may need to be a bit harsher and begin imposing negative consequences to this behavior. You can award the child one demerit for each time he or she forgets to turn off the lights. After ten or so demerits, the child may need to lose a privilege for a short period of time or go to bed one hour earlier on a particular night. If you prefer to teach your child important values by positive reinforcement, work the program in the opposite direction. Every time the child remembers to turn off the lights without being told, he or she gets awarded a point. After a certain number of points, the child receives a treat such as a trip to the ice cream parlor. Keep this practice going for as long you feel necessary or it takes for the child to perform this task independently.
Remove The Light bulb From The Room With The Most Occurrences. This is a drastic step and one that should not be used with small children. Older children and teenagers who can not use the rec room or basement for socializing and playing video games at night because there is no light bulb will quickly receive the message. This should only be used short term and if all other tactics fail.