Lights and the Little Things

My kids are constantly leaving lights on all over the house. It’s driving me crazy. If I had a nickel for every time I had to turn off one of their lights, well I guess I wouldn’t worry so much about the electric bill (irony). It’s become a daily event, walking the house and checking every room. I am fuming while I do it. Are they mocking me? Because I know I’ve told them each individually and as a group how stressful it is for their dad and I to find lights on that aren’t needed.

Our boys live in the ground floor nanny flat which has its own air conditioning unit, so in the summer we can add the air conditioning and fan in our sons’ room to the list of prospective power drainers (and why for the love of all things rational do they feel entitled to set the dial to 66 degrees? And then run a fan on top of that? Are they penguins? Slabs of beef?). We’ve thought about installing one of those locking thermostat covers, but my gosh is that really necessary? Can’t we appeal to their sense of responsibility or – dare I say it – their respect for our home?

As a parent unit, my husband and I have discussed this on numerous occasions. We have resorted to removing light bulbs from bathrooms (short-lived, I mean this is not practical or safe for anyone), yelling, removing privileges, begging, rationalizing (I promise, no matter how it’s presented they DO NOT CARE about the electric bill)…nothing works. Is there a chip missing that doesn’t kick in until adulthood?

So, moms and dads, what do you do to enforce the little things that collectively result in more blood pressure spikes than an In n Out Burger double double? I mean, on their own they sound petty and nit-picky. We’re supposed to ‘pick our battles’, right? But taken as a collective, I can’t help but think what a complete and utter disregard these kids are showing for our hard-earned money and the lack of concern they demonstrate for an issue that is constantly driving the adults in the household nuts.

What are the little things that cause you big headaches?

About oneburnedoutmama

Ever so slightly burned out mama. Love kids. Not so much on a few of the parents. Hate folding laundry. Love long stretches of silence. Prefer rain over sun and football over HGTV.
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11 Responses to Lights and the Little Things

  1. tmillion says:

    I have this problem too sometimes! I’ll go upstairs after they leave for school and there are all kinds of lights on. My biggest pet peeve and annoyance is I have a big cubby system thing in my laundry room. It holds about 25 pairs of shoes for all of us. When they come home, instead of putting their shoes in the cubby, they toss them on the laundry room floor. The other annoyance is clothes strewn on the bedroom floor instead of in the laundry basket. I hate disorder so these things drive me koo koo on a daily basis πŸ™‚

  2. Leslie says:

    All I know is when I’m saying the same things about turning off lights, I can hear my dad’s voice saying the same things, so at least we know that there is hope… maybe just not on our electric bills! Although still no excuse for leaving lights on, I have explored some of the reasons so many go on in the first place, and have had some surprising (yet no excuse) answers. Emily, for example, gets up at 5:30 and the house is quiet and dark and creepy… so she turns on every light (sigh.) OK, but then she’s rushing out the door an hour later, and leaves them all on, plus the fan in her bedroom…. I generally make people get up from whatever they are doing to turn their lights off (maybe inconvenience will help teach?) but that is not practical for a kid already at school. Sammy doesn’t want her pet rat to be stuck in the dark all day, so she has been leaving her bedroom light on for the rat (suggestion, open you blinds, and hey, rats are nocturnal, and could care less if the light is on during the day!) Not sure what the answer is, but I can tell you (and I also learned this from my dad), you can pay them back as adults! When I was a sassy teen, I ended up having to do my own laundry because my laundry-maid (aka my mom) said “I quit”. We didn’t have tons of money, so when I got my cool, favorite pair of jeans, it was just one pair. So, when I needed them clean, I washed them…. just that one pair, all by itself…. well, until they found out I was running a load of laundry with 1 pair of jeans, 3 times a week…. My dad has come to visit with a single pair of jeans, and then said on day 2, hey, can I wash this pair of jeans? He says it was an accident, he forgot to pack more, but I know better πŸ™‚

  3. wordsfallfrommyeyes says:

    Wow. I know – my electricity bill SHOCKS me! I would tell them to do it again & again & again & again until they got sick of it & started just doing it! Don’t know if that would work, though πŸ™‚

    • It has worked in the past with things that have more direct consequences (such as: forget your lunch in the morning and you will starve). The problem with lights is they don’t have a dog in the race. They could care less if the lights are on or off because there is no direct effect on them one way or the other.

    • We need a cop in the house. We need to make it illegal to leave lights on.

  4. kvetchmom says:

    This gave me a laugh. My kids never turn the lights on! They stumble around in the dark, seriously. Weird, right? My dad drove me nuts about the leaving lights on. He followed me around the house sometimes turning lights off. As an adult, probably because of that, I like a well-lit house. It’s terrible! πŸ˜‰

  5. kvetchmom says:

    What about those light switches that sense when you come in and out of a room? (I know some offices have them). Love your blog!

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