The long hours of the night give us the time we need to recharge after taxing days, both ourselves and our devices. Especially for children and teens, leaving phones and tablets to charge overnight is an easy way to wake up to a fully powered device. Unfortunately, the reality of the situation is that after the hour or so devices require to charge fully, they sit idly and burn through electricity still, an occurrence known as vampire energy.

Getting Kids to Unplug Devices

Getting Kids to Unplug Devices

At that point in time, they merely become leeches that cost you money. And for those devices that are left to charge each night, the amount that they contribute to your monthly electricity expense can be significant. As a result, it is important to get your children on the same page and get them into the habit of unplugging each night.

1Set An Alarm

As a parent, the task of reminding kids to unplug their devices typically falls to us. Unfortunately issuing that reminder sometimes slips the mind, resulting in devices remaining charged and perpetuating the loss from vampire energy. Luckily there is a way to ensure that we remember. Set an alarm to go off right around your kids’ bedtime. It can be on your phone or one of their devices as well. When the notification sounds, all electronics are to be unplugged.

And with the rapid adoption of home assistants like the Amazon Echo and Google Home, you can set an ongoing reminder to indicate that charge time is over. Making a game of an alarm can make unplugging fun for kids, as challenging them to see how close they can get to charging their devices to 100% before the alarm goes off may be just what they need to get their electronics fuelled before they are reminded to unplug them. 

2Reward Improvements

An important part of helping your kids to form a habit when it comes to unplugging devices is to reward them when they show signs of improvement. As individuals who do not pay the electric bill each month, it can be hard for them to understand the benefits of removing chargers from outlets each night. As a result, not only is it difficult to inspire kids to do so, but ensuring that they maintain electricity saving habits can be even more difficult.

To help get them started, keep an eye out for consistent and timely unplugging behaviour. Even more important, make sure you monitor the change in your electricity bill. When you see your family moving in the right direction, an ice cream break may be well deserved. The key is not to reward too much and not too little. You want to reinforce the significance of unplugging, especially early on, but you also want to make sure kids are able to make it a habit instead of something to do every now and again for a treat.

3Assign An Official Unplugger Each Week

Delegating the task of unplugging electronics each night is another method for helping your kids get into the habit of removing chargers. When assigning the duty, it is important that you frame it in one of two ways. The first is as a responsibility, as your child will be the person helping the family to save.

This is important because it can be enough to instill them with a sense of purpose which will help them to stay on top of their job. The other method is slightly less exciting, as just like setting the table or mowing the lawn, being in charge of unplugging could be assigned as a chore. Not only is it a relatively simple assignment, but if you give your children an allowance based on how well they carry out their duties, the possibility of receiving less may inspire diligence in the role.

4Make Them Pay The Bill (Or The Difference)

For older kids and teens, enlisting aid for unplugging devices can be difficult. As individuals who are often on phones and laptops, they end up doing a lot of charging and will often leave devices plugged in overnight or for extended periods to ensure their electronics can last as long as possible.

Due to this behavior, they are even less sensitive to the effects of their consumption than younger children. If it comes down to it, the tough love approach may be best way to change that behavior. Indicate to your child that unusual spikes in your monthly charge will result in them paying the bill for the month if they continue to leave devices plugged in overnight. At the very least, you could make them pay a portion of the overage. 

5Smart Devices

As you do your best to follow through with unplugging strategies, it is still possible to drop the ball every now and again. If you are finding it difficult to keep your children on top of removing their electronics from outlets, you may have to settle for a different kind of solution.

Available for purchase now are smart devices that eliminate the flow of electricity to electronics not in use. Smart power strips can be plugged into a single socket and allow you to consolidate the number of outlets you require as they come lined with their own. As devices are in use, the strip continuously powers them. When electronics are powered down however, smart power strips cut off the flow of electricity, preventing any waste.

Also available are vampire proof phone chargers that, like smart power strips, cut off the flow of electricity when devices are fully charged. At the end of the day, having your kids plug into these will allow you to eliminate unnecessary energy use.

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