Living on an Island where the electricity costs are through the roof and the infrastructure is in constant needs of improvement I have gotten use to having blackouts and having no electricity as a usual part of life.
Until the age of 12 we lived in Connecticut. As a kid when I spent the summers here in Puerto Rico before we moved I remember how it was a normal thing to not have electricity for at least a few times in a month. At that moment the infrastructure was being improved (not sure when they finalized the improvements) and it was very usual to not have electricity. Although it was pretty uncomfortable to not have electricity because I could not turn on the fan to cool myself down from the summer heat I ended up doing many other things that where fun and cut my dependency on electricity. It also taught me that electricity is a luxury we all have and when we don’t have electricity we can adapt.
Lots of fun happened when the lights went out. My uncle being a teacher at that time spent most of his summer looking for fun things I could do. If he was in the house and we had a blackout, if it was during the day we would play a game of checkers, read Archie comics, go for a bike ride, and other outside activities that I see many kids don’t do as often as they should.
Teaching your kids that electricity is a luxury
It is critical that you teach your kids to adapt in any scenario. In my case my experiences with the poor infrastructure of the Puerto Rico Power Authority made it something usual for the whole neighborhood to lose electricity. A few months ago during Irene and now with this latest snowstorm I saw people frustrated in the Northeast because they did not have electricity and I would be more than sure that plenty of them passed on their frustrations to their kids. Not having electricity was a great opportunity for families to connect in a different level. There are exceptions where people with health issues do need power and for those individuals I reach out to them and hope that power outages are down to a minimum.
Have more conversations, or play board games, or go for a picnic. So many things can be done without the electricity. With me I was so involved in outdoor activities that not having electricity made me shift from one activity to another. Also being part of the Boy Scouts did help me adapt into different environments and not have a need to be connected to an outlet to learn or have fun.
What options have you found are great to entertain the family once the electricity goes out?
Any fun activities you would like to recommend?