There is a time and place for technology. Sometimes we get so caught up in our smartphones or tablets that relationships suffer. We bury our face in our technology, only to let meaningful conversations go undone and face-to-face communication avoided.
Family dinner is a time when you can strengthen your family relationships. However, for many individuals, this is a time for communicating to others via text or email, scrolling through pictures and writing a status update. You may set rules to prohibit technology at the table but sometimes it is hard to enforce, especially when you have a herd of teenagers at your table.
In this short video, one dad had enough with the dinner distractions that resulted from smartphones. He decided enough was enough and showed his teenage sons just how distracting and frustrating technology can be, especially when you want to communicate face-to-face. Now, some may think this Dad is a little dramatic, but if he is able to encourage the family to talk once again, then it is all worth it.
Here are three additional tips to get your family members away from technology during dinnertime.
1. Set parental controls
Some parental control software for smartphones and tablets allow you to set certain times when a smartphone is locked and cannot be used. If you have dinner around the same time each day, set your child's phone so they cannot access it during dinnertime. With it being locked, it won't even be a temptation.
2. Use a technology basket
Set a basket in the dining room and ask your children to place their gadgets in the basket before they sit down. Once everyone has emptied their pockets, take the basket into another room of the house where nobody will be able to hear when notifications and alerts start coming in.
3. Make them pay for your time
Teach your children that time together is valuable and if they wish to spend that time on the phone then they need to pay for your time. Charge them for every minute they spend on the phone and be firm when collecting that money. This may be a little harsh but over time, when your children realize how serious you are, they won't want to pay and they will put their phone away on their own.
If you want to make dinnertime a fun and enjoyable event for the entire family, here are five totally doable ideas.
Courtnie is an editor for FamilyShare.com and has a degree in journalism. She has a slight obsession with running, newspapers and large fuzzy blankets. She currently lives in Idaho with her husband and two sons.