Our 12 year-old cat Mia has become increasingly avoidant of Greysen. The cat hides in the dark, leaving Greysen at a disadvantage when she walks into rooms. Greysen has been surprised often enough that she has very recently started to hesitate before going into a room, at which point she shouts, “Be nice, Mia.” These are very words that we use with the cat.
So, when I came across this light switch extender in the For Small Hands catalog, one of my very favorites, I was very eager to try it out. Generally, I avoid buying things that Greysen will only use for a short while but I decided that its important enough for Greysen now and Moon will be able to use it eventually so it is worth a try.
Mike and I considered buying a couple for a few rooms, but settled on starting with just one for Greysen’s room to see if was helpful to her.
It was very easy to install. Just replace the screws from your existing switch light plate with the extended screws to hold the switch in place. We had previously replaced our flat switch plate with a ribbed one, which did not work with this. Luckily we saved the old switch plate, so we just swapped it back.
There was a very subtle acrylic switch extender but we opted for the glow in the dark moon-handled one.
Though we bought it with the intention of making it a Christmas present, the thought of it possibly helping Greysen feel less cautious was too important to allow any more days to pass.
On, Off, On, Off, On, Off
Ok, so for the first few days Greysen probably flipped the switch a hundred times or so. Well, maybe it just felt like it.
Now that she has had it a week or so she uses it appropriately, turning it on when she enters the room. I think it will be a while before she gets the hang of turning it off.
Aside from the obvious benefit of encouraging independence in yet another way, the light switch extender helped her rediscover her courage. Her ability to turn on the light herself has eliminated her hesitation when entering not only her room, but other rooms as well.
While we were waiting for the extender to arrive, we tried keeping one of Greysen’s stools at the switch. Though she could reach the switch when she stood on it, the stool inevitably would get pushed around a bit and kept getting in the way of the door.
If you need something to help your “my turn” taking toddler have some control over the dark I’d recommend this switch.
(I am not being compensated for this post. All opinions expressed are my own.)