You arrive at the park with your children and encourage them to play. You sit down and pull your phone out. Your kids come over and ask you to play chase. You say "in an instant" as you scroll through your social media feed.
We've all done it. It can be hard not to. But these moments when devices interrupt interactions, spreading chaos on children and family dynamics.
If you are looking to improve your family life this year, what about a commitment to disconnecting from devices and connecting to each other more often?
The reality is, technology is always present in our lives. 90% of families live in a home with at least one internet-connected unit. Parents use these devices on average 3.5 hours a day, their children averaging 2.5 hours a day.
For children, this falls over the Canadian pediatric company's recommended guideline of up to one hour of high quality programming for children aged 2 to 5 years.
Families who eat together make it better
Families are also often text messages, checking social media and surfing the web during family time. Research suggests that nearly 47 percent of families report cell phones at the dinner table.
Having regular family meals and connecting with each other at the dining table is important for child development. Essentially, families who eat together are better! But family dinners have been under siege of technology.
As a result, a teaching campaign by Common Sense Media, called #devicefreedinner, starring comedian Will Ferrell, was designed to help families avoid "technoference" at the dinner table and find a healthy balance with the media.
"Technoference" or intrusion and interruptions of digital devices during social interactions have important implications for parents today. It's almost impossible to text at the same time while engaging and responding consistently and sensitively to your child's needs.
Mobile devices can create sad children, hostile parents
Research shows that parents distracted by their mobile devices not only interact less with their children, but are also more hostile to their children.
Children competing with digital devices for their parents' attention have been at risk for behavioral problems, including sadness and withdrawal, hyperactivity and temper thoughts.
Technoference does not go unnoticed by children. Over 50 percent of the children report that their parents are checking their phones too much, and 36 percent say their parents are being distracted by their phones during conversations.
So, are you ready to commit to reducing screen time and increasing family time? If so, there are several ways to make this decision a success:
First Make a family unit plan
Device plans can help your family determine how and how often the media should be used, and when and where to use it. As a family you can come up with solutions or alternatives to when someone feels like pulling their device out (eg pulling out a favorite board game or walking instead of playing football).
2nd Be a & # 39; media mentor & # 39;
Children learn about media from them around them, especially from parents. Parents should model healthy device habits that include using devices in moderation, and not let them interfere with family time, sleep or be active.
3. Has a unit basket
When the family gather at the end of the work and school day, you need to drop your units into a specific unit basket. If possible, set them to "do not disturb" too.
4. Take control of your phone
Your phone is designed to capture your attention. Therefore, icons are colorful and message alerts are in red! The Center for Human Technology offers many opportunities to avoid falling into the trap of being pulled in by your device. These include, turning off social media and email notifications, putting your phone on a gray scale and keeping your home screen for only important apps.
5. Resist the desire to document
It is important to capture special moments, but they should not replace the moments themselves. Try to be present and prioritize sharing moments with your child instead of your social media.
6. Monitor your device habits
Just as a Fitbit counts our steps, one unit follows our use. Activate the screen time feature on your phone and monitor your use. Decisions can be more successful when they are systematically tracked. Make a goal of reducing device consumption by 10-25 percent and monitor your progress.
7. Understand your media habits
Understand the science behind why the technology can be so addictive. For some parents, the use of devices can be an escape from their child's difficult behavior or a way to relieve stress. Unfortunately, the use of devices such as temporary stress relief can cause children to act more to regain their parents' attention. Try as much as possible to find other ways to relieve stress, such as exercise, deep breathing or going to the park.
Technology and equipment can be used carefully and appropriately. Like anything else, they should be used moderately, and they should not replace important activities such as family time, sleep, play outside, exercise and face-to-face interactions and communication.