Disconnect and reconnect as a family.

It is becoming increasingly difficult to take gadgets such as phones and tablets away from children and get their full attention.

Families are using technology more than ever and it is becoming increasingly difficult to take gadgets such as phones and tablets away from children and get their full attention.
Evenings are spent with the whole family using the internet on their phones, laptops and tablets all the while having the television on in the background. When people are out for meals people have to check in, tag people and take photos and to think this is all done in the apparent company of friends when you should be socialising with the friends in front of you and not the Facebook ones!
We are all becoming quite simply addicted to the internet and families rather than spending an hour playing a board game are scrolling through twitter or Facebook. Of course living completely tech free in this day and age would be impossible but am I the only one that thinks we should not be so reliant on these devices for company and what exactly is this teaching our children?
Over the last few summer weeks I have observed kids at the cinema taking selfies and snap chatting others rather than watch the actual film to my utter annoyance! At dinner in a restaurant I watched my eldest play with her phone, and the younger one play a game on a tablet and this was supposed to be a family meal though we were not conversing at all which is incredibly sad. I had to tell them to put them away and listen to a load of huffing and puffing with some very grumpy faces, which ruined the whole family moment anyway.
Parents are busier than ever these days so when you do finally put aside some time with your kids and then they gawp into their tech gadgets it is very disheartening. Now I am not saying I don’t use technology in fact I would be an avid user though I try not to check in places, tag friends or use my phone in company-call me old fashioned but I think it is incredibly rude.
Maybe for us to connect  with our family more we should aim for more face to face time, putting aside the time to sit down in the evening together to talk and catch up and  to have full attention on each other so we shouldn’t use our phones. Scheduling this time as “non-screen time” can allow your kids to be fully aware of the situation and they can use their phones beforehand but this non screen time is yours and only yours.
Get outside and play in the fresh air as incredibly it is completely free, and better still it is good for you and the kiddies. You can bring them to the park, go hiking or a beach walk followed by mini golf or bowling while leaving the phones at home and enjoying the moments together.
Be a good example and put away your phone and resist the urge to use it if your child is telling you about their day. Put it aside and give them your full attention and this tiny change will keep you all bonded, and imagine what you and your kids can do if you aren’t on the net, wash the car, wash the dog or read a book the choices are endless.
Remember living together doesn’t mean you won’t all become strangers (because of your social media habits) and take the time each day to chat to your family. I am!
Written by Emma, Irish mummy blogger and staff writer at  www.familyfriendlyhq.ie 
Check out her own blog at emmasmadjotters.com

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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