The average person checks their cell phone over 100 times a day.
Over 100 times a day.
Now, think of when you’re checking your phone…
Possibly while you’re eating dinner with your family or during your daughter’s dance recital?
Whenever it may be, you’re likely missing out on something. Whether it be a small yet significant moment in someone’s life or a memory you could savor.
In this day and age, these are the struggles we have to overcome. From here on out, our world will only become more involved and more distracted through technological advances.
So, what do we do?
We combat these bad habits with some “old school” techniques. Here are some ideas to help bring your family back together… the old-fashioned way.
Eat Dinner Together (and Ban Technology)
It’s convenient to want to take the easy way out during dinner… to sit in front of the TV and catch up on Netflix or scroll through Facebook and lose yourself in mindless status updates and videos.
As much as you need that downtime, don’t use dinnertime as your outlet.
Dinner is a time of fellowship and gathering. Use it to catch up on the day’s activities and see what’s going on in your loved ones’ lives.
Ban cell phones and TV (in fact, ban all technology… yes, that includes smart watches) for that 30-45 minutes and simply enjoy each other’s company—distraction-free. You’ll carry on meaningful conversations and feel involved in each others’ lives.
Quickly, you’ll start to realize all you were missing out on… from bonding moments with your children to lending an ear to your wife who had a hectic day. Don’t let technology control this important part of your day.
Plan Regular Activities
Life can get away from us. And if we don’t plan fun activities with our family, oftentimes they won’t happen at all. It’s too easy to fall back into our routines. Start some new weekly traditions like family game night or movie and pizza night.
There are little things you can do throughout the week to bring your family together in fun ways.
- Take evening walks.
- Schedule date nights (daddy-daughter, mommy-son, etc.).
- Go out to dinner.
- Start your own family book club.
- Volunteer at the local animal shelter.
Transform small moments into lasting memories. Before you know it, everyone will look forward to these little traditions.
Turn Chores into Family Time
No matter how much we will it, the dishes won’t wash themselves and dinner won’t magically appear on the table. So turn something dreadful into something fun. Make a game out of chores and do them together.
- See who can pick up toys the fastest.
- Put some extra soap in the sink when you wash dishes (who doesn’t love bubbles?).
- Cook dinner together.
- Crank some tunes and have a chore dance party.
- Make a chore chart.
There are little ways here and there to turn everyday activities into fun bonding moments with your children. And apart from spending time together, you’re teaching your kids real-life responsibilities.
Set an Example
If you have young kids, spending time with them away from cell phones is increasingly important. From an early age, help them realize a world without cell phones is survivable.
As technology continues to advance, it’s important to have a prominent presence in your children’s lives and to involve them in activities outside of their digital reality.
Children are like sponges. They’re watching your every move, and they’re absorbing which actions are okay and which aren’t. Being a positive role model is the best thing you can do for your kids as they grow up and make their own decisions (hopefully not texting and driving).
Don’t Forget the Little Things
Really, just being involved in each others’ lives is all it takes. Be there. Be present in every moment you live.
Social media and technology aren’t going anywhere. But the seasons will change. You will continue to age. Your kids will grow older.
Don’t look back on your life and wonder what you could have changed. Live in the now. Live in the world that’s right in front of you.
What steps have you taken to keep technology from running your life? Let’s make a positive change together. Share in the comments!