by Kylie McGillivray
Constant focus on screens can take you off task and create a disconnect between you and your kids!
Next time you’re having coffee see how many people you spot on screens, ignoring the people they’re with. Last year I made the announcement prior to our family camping trip, that it will in fact be a screen-free adventure, taking only one iPhone as an emergency back up.
Did I get push back? Yes! Was this boundary well received? No! However, what came out of it was GOLD! We had the best trip ever, where I didn’t have to manage screen time and we created precious face-to-face memories.
Here are three ways to help control technology:
Way 1: Boundaries, are very important when it comes to managing distractions and creating space for face-to-face connecting. The first thing I did for the camping trip was set a boundary by saying NO to bringing any screen device. This created the scene for participation in non-technological activities and gave me a break from having to manage technology while away.
Way 2: Fasting, In Susie Larson’s book, Growing Grateful Kids, she discusses how fasting is a great way to help our kids and ourselves take a break from things that are taking too much time. For kids it might be spending excess time and energy on a new video game or for us, it might be checking Facebook every time a notification arises. Disconnecting ourselves from screens encourages a break in the cycle of control and creates space for mum and kid time. Fasting from screens reminds my kids how fun outdoor activities can be.
Way 3: Swap screen time for interactive activities. What sorts of activities do you all enjoy? This can be a challenge at times but often with some input from your kids you can organize some things that you all would enjoy doing together. At our camping trip, toasting marshmallows on the fire was a great social activity that we all enjoyed.
I hold the strong belief that we NEED to fight for our relationships! Three suggestions: place boundaries around screen time, fast regularly from technology and swap screens for social activities. What will you say NO to so you can say YES to staying connected with your kids?
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