Should you go off-the-grid for your children? Is this something that will benefit them when they are older? Is it a sound idea to unplug them from digital technology? Read more about it here.
When children as young as three years old can navigate an iPad, it’s almost impossible to think that some families are choosing to live off-the-grid. This means not having the conveniences we take for granted every day, such as hot water, cooling and heating systems, electricity, the Internet, a mode of communication, and many more. Can you imagine not checking your phone for the next weeks, months, and even years?
Surprisingly, a lot of families are considering living off-the-grid for the next few years or so. With the pandemic threat in bigger cities and even in suburban areas, families are thinking that maybe living in a secluded getaway in the mountains might be the best life for their kids now. And why not? Studies showed that people who spend time away from the cities are happier. Their kids are more self-sufficient than their age.
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Living Without Electricity
Some said that the biggest challenge to off-the-grid living is the lack of electricity. This is a common misconception about this lifestyle. You don’t need to be completely without electricity. There are no rock-solid rules about this. However, you cannot tap into conventional sources of electricity. That is what off-the-grid living is about—saving the environment and reducing the impact of your activities on Mother Earth.
You can install a couple of solar panels for your home. It would be enough to charge a radio transistor, which you need to communicate in case of an emergency. You can also have an analog phone to keep in touch with your family in the city. However, when it comes to the kids’ access to the phone, make it as minimal as possible.
Is It Truly Beneficial for the Kids?
Being out there with nature will teach the kids more appreciation about what the environment does for them. Most kids are not aware of the advantages of taking care of the environment; they need to take care of it for themselves. Kids will learn a lot while spending more time outdoors. They will learn to appreciate the most mundane of tasks, and they will be self-sufficient enough that they won’t depend on anyone else in the future.
Self-sufficiency and Boredom
A lot of families thought that their kids would get bored easily when they first started living off-the-grid. Though it was hard to separate them from their iPads at first, kids will be kids. This means that they got so interested in outdoor activities that they forgot about their tablets and smartphones. And it is true. Kids never have to get bored in an off-the-grid setting. There is so much to do—chop the woods, gather water, and start fires.
How can they get bored when every day is an adventure for them? Kids who learned to chop woods and haul water from the river will never depend on anyone to serve them. They can do a lot of things for themselves. These are the kinds of values that will tide them over during their tumultuous journey to adulthood.
They will learn how to entertain themselves. Besides focusing better on their homeschool activities, they will also learn how to make their own games. They will play street games long forgotten by this generation. For example, do you know that kids no longer play hopscotch?
The kids will nurture their creativity in ways they wouldn’t even think of if they live in the city or are glued to their screens. Out there, all they have is their imagination. There is no YouTube to tell them which idol to emulate next or what game to play.
Connection as a Family
In the city, it is hard to keep up with your children’s activities. It almost seems like they are as busy as you. In the morning, they go to school. By afternoon, they are off to their ballet lessons. On weekends, they have playdates or for older kids, they meet with their friends to watch a movie. There is so much going around that simply having dinner with the whole family is a miracle.
However, being out in a mountain or by the lake will allow the family to bond better. They can sit by a bonfire at night and share stories about their dreams. They can talk about anything under the sun because there are fewer distractions. This is enough reason for parents to get off the city or suburbs for a while and get to know their kids better.
Off-the-grid lifestyles are not for everyone. There is some advantage to this for many families, but that doesn’t mean it will work the same for you. Figure out what’s best for your family, especially on how you can get to know your children better. If an off-the-grid vacation is the best option, do your research before taking them to the woods.