Every Tuesday this summer our family has done something we call “No Power Tuesday.” On Tuesday, no one is allowed to use electricity. The kids can’t use the computers, they can’t watch TV, they can’t turn on lights or listen to the radio. We also can’t use the microwave or the toaster. We do, however, keep the refrigerator running and the AC. We can cook using the gas stove or the propane grill. But that’s about it.
Erin and I liked the idea for several reasons. First, it gave the kids a break from the constant entertainment that electronic devices seem to provide. No television, no DVD movies, no computer (which meant no Barbie.com or Club Penguin). The kids had to learn to entertain themselves on their own. They also had to learn to play together and get outside more.
Another benefit was that it taught the kids about conservation and we did conservation activities (and when I say we I mean my wife because I was at work).
It also taught the kids about how to do things without electricity so that if we ever had a power outage they would know what to expect and be able to handle it. EmergencyÂ preparednessÂ in a way. I have seen kids, and adults, fall apart and goÂ hystericalÂ when the power goes out. Now my kids will not even bat an eye.
The first week was hell for my wife. The kids constantly complained about being bored and whined constantly. The second week went better and each subsequent week.
The kids are thrilled, of course, that we won’t be having any more No Power Tuesdays. I think Erin will be relieved too. But I think we’ll do it again next year. The kids really did learn a lot through this.