Today our children are experiencing a world full of new possibilities, endless options, and an amazing amount of resources through advances in technology. Though technology has proven to do great things, it can also be harmful by making it more difficult for families to spend genuine time together without the interruptions of TV, cell phones, and other devices.
Here are a few tips on how to help establish a healthy balance of technology and family time:
- Make a point to have family dinner every weeknight: Having dinner as a family is one of those traditions that can get lost in the hustle and bustle of modern-day life. Try to have dinner as a family every weeknight during which your family shares the same meal, shares their stories from the day, and puts away their cell phones.
- Establish a family game night: Having a regularly scheduled family game night is a great way to have genuine, fun, and tech-free interaction as a family. Keep your game nights fresh by letting a different family member pick the game each time. The games can be as formal as Monopoly, or as improvised and creative as 20 questions or make-your-own Pictionary.
- Have a "tech-free" room in your house: Designate an area in your home to be "tech-free," meaning that there is no TV or computer in the room. This could be in the basement, living room, or even the backyard, depending on your preference and space. Have this room be a place in which you don't use cell phones or other devices - a place for face-to-face conversation, reading, or board games.
Technology is a real part of our lives in this day and age, and can be a valuable source of information, entertainment, and communication. However, it is important that we do not let it replace genuine conversation and family time.
Dr. Linda Cerino, Ed.d