My children used to be so good about shutting off lights when leaving a room, they were never really all that great about shutting off the television but now that I am noticing the lights that get left on, sometimes overnight, I am putting down the hammer and trying to remind these little children to shut off the lights.
I read an article a while back in Parents magazine about something another Mom did to help encourage lights out, while it was a creative idea it wouldn’t work for my youngest who thinks at age four the world revolves around him. I am forced to just put down the hammer and remind, remind, remind. Which of course is similar to nagging which I despise, but if it helps keep the lights off and save on energy bills, I will do it.
I walked into the kitchen to see my daughter making her lunch for school one night when I noticed that both bathroom lights are on but no one is in there. I did the reminder thing, “honey, you really need to shut that bathroom light off when you are done in there.” I also took that moment to let her know that I will be cracking the whip, putting down the hammer, whatever cool phrase you want to use, about shutting off the lights around here when leaving a room.
I thought I got my point across when my daughter immediately, without any breath in between, pipes up and says;
You’re better off to teach polar bears or any other wild bear for that matter to eat our food.
No she didn’t. Did she just totally back talk me with a smile, clever but oh so wrong come back? I think I was so taken off guard by her quit witted come back that I wasn’t quite sure how to reply other than to say “what?!“. I get it, I am a sarcastic person, I am losing my quick witted mindset but I am sarcastic more often than not, however, I was being serious about this light situation and here she is saying something that could be considered talking back. The moment was funny, yet mind boggling, all at once and I took the time to reply;
Sweetie that is rather funny, yes, however, you will be shutting the lights off when you leave a room from now on or you will be heading to bed early on non school nights. We need to save on energy costs. Winter is coming & that is an expensive time of year in NH.
My daughter smiled and every so politely replied that she understands but she really does believe it would be easier to train bears to eat our food or do anything else for that matter than get all three kids to start shutting off lights in the house. I think that sounds like a challenge, and so that is my most recent challenge as a parent; to teach my children that they need to shut off the lights and the television when leaving a room and done watching the television. I will win this challenge!