Many parents are concerned about the effects that too much time online is having on their children. They worry about a generation of children who don’t spend enough or any time outdoors and who are overly dependent on their phones. Raising children off the grid doesn’t mean cutting yourself off from civilization and can actually be done within a wide range of lifestyles.
Full or Part-Time?
If you’re not able or willing to give up most of the comforts of modern life but you’d like your kids to have a taste of something different, have you considered spending a few weeks each year at a more remote location? This might not solve the internet problem since one or both of you may need to work remotely, but at many rural locations, you’ll find mobile service unreliable enough and bandwidth pricey enough that it would be reserved only for work. Your kids wouldn’t get the experience of raising their own chickens or seeing vegetables they planted grow into the food on their plates, but it might be a fun family tradition or an interesting trial run. Another option might be to see if you could take an unpaid leave of absence from work. You could take out a personal loan from a private lender to secure the needed funds for your family and really get the down time that you need.
Off the Grid in the City
Many cities allow chickens to be raised in the backyard, and you could plant a garden with the kids and grow some of your food there. Depending on where you live and your resources, you might be able to switch to a greener power source. You don’t have to have internet access at home. You could also make a point of spending a lot of time outdoors, doing activities such as hiking, cycling and swimming.
Making it Work for the Kids
If you’re doing this for your kids, you want it to work for them, and this means being attentive to their needs. You don’t necessarily have to get total buy-in at the beginning, but you’re going to have a rough start if you drag them kicking and screaming out of their everyday life. Think about compromise in that maybe you’ll move to a rural location and let go of some modern conveniences, but your kids will still attend the local public school.
Using a wind and solar-powered generator could still allow you to watch movies sometimes as long as enough power has been created that day. If you are somewhere particularly remote where it’s hard for kids to socialize, your children’s friends might be able to spend several days with you over weekends or during school holidays. A good way to approach this in general is to think in terms of making your children’s lives bigger and not smaller. Nature walks, the joy of taking care of animals and plants, and learning to make from scratch many of the things that we often take for granted, from cakes to clothes and more, should be used to help instill a sense of wonder and not deprivation.
A professional writer with over a decade of incessant writing skills. Her topics of interest and expertise range from health, nutrition and psychology.