If you’re in the majority, you probably have more than one technological device (smartphone, tablet, gaming system). You or your loved ones also are probably inclined to be on any one of these devices more often than not–instead of actual human interaction. Our “family time” has become people sitting near each other, each in their own techno world. Why is that? Why do we look at a screen instead of a person? Well, I am just as guilty as the next person and admit that it’s convenient, entertaining, and rewarding to be able to answer any given question at any given time (I love to google everything!).
However, I find myself thinking often about how it is sad that my family and I cannot get through a dinner without someone checking their phone, or complaints about dinner at the dinner table instead of in front on the television. What happened to good ol’ conversation? Well, I have compiled a list of ideas to help combat this ongoing and ever growing concern of family relationships in the digital age…
6 Ideas to Reduce or Improve Screen Time
1. Think about instituting a no tech time: maybe at dinner, one night a week, or one day over the weekend.
2. Incorporate technology into quality time: ask and be interested in what each other is doing on their various technological devices.
3. Make a point to slow down, appreciate the moment and be present when a non-tech opportunity to interact arises: your son/daughter is playing a sport, instrument, etc.
4. Get creative! Use ideas from technology (pinterest, facebook, etc) and get your family involved in something that might get them a little messy and give them a chance to express themselves creatively.
5. Model for kids (the younger, the better) interactions without technology. If you are making a point to not take calls or emails after a certain time, kids will pick up on that.
6. Use waiting times to engage with your child, either with or without a tech device. We know this happens to us all: waiting for a table at a restaurant, waiting at a doctor’s office. So, let’s use that time for things other than checking our email.
Remember, your kids will take their cues from you. If you are making the point to engage and interact, then this will be their norm. If you make it a standard to set aside technology, even for just a short time, then they will see that. Lastly, keep in mind that this is an ongoing challenge, especially with more and more technology options. It sounds easier than it is, but you can do it!
15 Apr 2014