Balancing technology and family time

Now more than ever kids are tuned into devices while parents happily turn to their phones and other devices...

Balancing technology and family time isn’t as easy as it seems. Now more than ever kids are tuned into devices while parents happily turn to their phones and other devices to stay connected to the world and work. This inevitably means a lot of family time gets forgotten as people are happily dedicated to their devices and it simply is, perfectly fine to be that way. However, as much as technology makes life easier, for many, it is playing too big a part in family life and bringing family bonding and relationships to the bottom of the pile in terms of priorities. Parents must try and find the balance with their kids and provide a home that isn’t just technologically orientated and show an example of good balancing.
Here are a few things to think about and a few things you can do to get some balance back:
  • Have rules. Rules are needed regarding technology so don’t feel bad by going all bad ass on the kids! Set a few rules - like no devices at the table, refuse to answer messages instead of asking someone in person in the house and get everyone up and out to exercise. 
  • Turn off the Wi-Fi. It really is that simple, turning it off will end the whole looking into phones and everyone will have to pay attention to each other eventually. Sure, it may lead to some family arguments but isn’t it good to talk to one another without the beeping of phones distracting one another. 
  • Watch films TOGETHER. It may seem unreal, but family should watch TV or films together instead of on their own the whole time on Netflix. That isn’t to say there is anything wrong with watching Netflix alone at times because everyone needs a chill out but rather than ignoring family, try to watch TV together too. 
  • Supervise your kid's online activities. Yes, you need to supervise them as many children can access anything they like online. Consider this, would you give your kid a pornography mag and tell them not to read it? Would you give them books on deaths or torture? Would you allow them to watch movies that are fit for 18’s plus? No, I bet you wouldn’t but what you must understand is that everything as listed above is accessible online and on your child’s device. So, think about that for a minute and act appropriately. 
  • Put it down at set times. Have a cutoff point of 8 pm that everyone must put down the devices and stick to it! Ban usage during homework or studying times too. At the weekend still have rules in place otherwise the kids will be online all day and again, stick to it. 
  • Find fun things to do as a family. Walk the dog, go to the park or go swimming. If you want to stay home watch movies, play a board game or build Lego. There are so many things to do that don’t involve the internet. 
  • Keep working on it. As the kids get older it may get harder to regulate their tablet time and technology, but you must! 
Written by Emma Hayes staff writer at Family Friendly HQ.

Emma Hayes

Emma Hayes is a busy mum to two girls aged 17 and 11 and is married to her childhood sweetheart.

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