Science of Parenting: Harness the Energy

Child standing in front of open refridgeratorAMES, Iowa — Children often see no reason to conserve their boundless personal energy when they’re running or playing. Likewise, they seem to think electricity is in endless supply when they stand in front of the refrigerator with the door wide open. During National Energy Awareness Month in October, family life specialists talk about getting kids to understand the impacts of their energy use in the Science of Parenting blog from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

“Your children aren’t paying the monthly utility bills, but they are making choices that affect your family’s energy use — plugging in electronics, turning lights on, standing with the refrigerator door open and complaining if the house is too hot or too cool,” said family life specialist Donna Donald.

“Children and teens are developing lifestyle habits. What they are doing now by conserving or not conserving energy is likely how they will live as adults. As parents you have the opportunity and responsibility to help them understand how energy usage impacts the world in which we live,” Donald said.

“This month we’ll blog about some of the ways we can help our children be energy conscious,” said family life specialist Lori Hayungs. “We will take you to Eco Family, an ISU Extension and Outreach blog that connects family and the environment. Through this blog you can get ideas on ‘living lighter’ and share your thoughts on how to positively impact economic and environmental health through sustainable living.”

Learn more from tips on the blog throughout the month and in a three-minute podcast.

Through the Science of Parenting,, ISU Extension and Outreach specialists share and discuss research-based information and resources to help parents rear their children. Parents can join in the conversation and share thoughts and experiences, as well as how they handle parenting responsibilities.