On Father’s Day, we get the opportunity to spend valuable time with our family in ways we may not normally get throughout the year. When the day comes, it is important to remember to be “there” and be “present” to fully enjoy your time with your family. Being “present” involves more than simply being physically there; It means actually being mindful of the moment, and usually requires removing technological distractions. In the article, 8 Easy Ways to ‘Unplug’ From Technology, Everyday Health writer Tamekia Reece shares some tips to fully unplug.
According to a study cited in Reece’s article, one in three parents and about 20 percent of kids in the United States reported they sometimes feel overwhelmed and stressed by communications technology. Since technology is here to stay, how can we best accommodate it? Here are some tips:
Moderation and Expectations. Allot a certain time for technology or create rules while at the dining table against using cell phones or other devices.
Why is this important? When you try to engage with your kids while on their phone or while they play the latest video game, they are not usually fully listening to what you said. Often times when we are on social media we are tuning others out and not being mindful of the moment. At times, it is best to simply unplug all devices and talk about those stories we heard growing up that we can share with our kids. You never know, your life stories could prove more of a learning experience than all the clutter they get in the media.
If you are going to bring out the devices during family time, make sure it is a media element your family can take advantage of together. Pinpoint what media is useful for the family and use it as a tool to get together and spend time together. Whether that be watching hilarious Kevin Hart YouTube videos or simply watching a movie together, there are many ways to incorporate technology into family time. The key is that it is done together.
Scheduling Technology Time. Schedule time when device usage is allowed. That time can be before dinner, in a break between activities or late at night before bed. While technology is difficult to live without in today’s age, taking steps to reduce its use can go a long way toward more meaningful time with your family.
Compromise. It is important to understand what the family wants to do while keeping everyone’s interest in mind. Playing games on your phone, answering work emails or texting your best friend about the latest sports news can wait another day. Instead, do what your kids want to do and have fun with it!
After all, you want your experience with your family and kids to be a great one because it isn’t every day you can round up the family and enjoy a very special Father’s Day.