Dishwashers, headsets, and suds

With all the modern conveniences making life a little easier it is increasingly harder to have interpersonal interactions. Here are some thoughts to help families spend quality time together.

201 views   |   0 shares
  • I am a product of mid-Century America. Gadgets, gizmos, and the latest appliances are a part of our culture. While all of these trappings have shaved minutes from a busy family schedule and provided entertainment without leaving your home, there’s little doubt that interpersonal interactions have suffered. Even with the title of “Gadget Queen," lovingly given to me by my family, I recognize that while we’ve taken big steps forward, we have also left something valuable behind.

  • When I was young, we did not own an automated dishwasher. I remember regular, engaging conversations with my five-foot tall, Italian grandmother, adorned in her one-size-fits-all, bright yellow rubber gloves. In an oversized apron, I dried what seemed like mountains of pots, pans and silverware each week. I never complained; the task gave us a chance to bond. Our conversations were peppered with her questions about my friends, grades, and music but never in a prying or critical manner. She spoke words woven with love, and her interest in my nine-year-old world was genuine.

  • Through the years, our chatter turned to college dreams, my artwork, boys, and favorite movie stars. While she was gently quizzing me, I was learning so much more about her. Those treasured memories are etched on my heart, especially since her passing.

  • Decades later, I have four grown children of my own. I see how our modern conveniences can bless us yet can rob us of time together, if we aren’t careful. While I am not eager to abandon my beloved appliances and electronic devices, here are some thoughts that might help.

  • Take off the headphones

  • Pull out the plugs on music, cell phones, or any other gadgets. Parents and children need to have prudent time restraints, particularly when driving together from point A to point B. Never allow electronic devices at mealtime.

  • Ask genuine questions

  • The best conversations start off with positive inquiries. How was your day? How did that test go? Should we check out some movies together for the weekend?

  • Dine together around the table

  • Making family mealtime a top evening priority is a golden opportunity. Good conversation can turn even the simplest meal into a feast.

  • Don’t let your family members abandon kitchen duties

  • Sharing the tasks builds teamwork, plus dividing and conquering allows everyone to prepare for the next day and might provide evening downtime. Younger children can help with setting a table and clearing.

  • Advertisement
  • Have an electronic curfew

  • One for school nights and another for weekends. Sleep patterns suffer if electronic gadgets aren’t squelched early in the evening.

  • Read together

  • Select a book that’s appropriate for the entire gang and read out loud. Even 15 minutes a night will make a difference. It’s a perfect substitute for another evening around the flat screen.

  • In the last decade, medical reports have shown that deliberate family interactions strengthen homes, teach manners and social skills to children, build long-lasting relationships, and steer our family members away from depression, loneliness, substance addictions, and gangs.

  • Fortifying family relationships remain timeless. The best family relationships come with good old-fashioned communication and delving a little deeper than superficial greetings and trite conversations with those living under the same roof. It takes work, patience, discipline and creativity.

  • But the rewards – stronger, healthier, and happier families – are more than worth the effort.

Want uplifting and insightful stories in your inbox?

Take a moment and share it!

If you’re the mother of a toddler, you need to know these 5 facts

Raising a toddler can make you want to swoon with joy or quietly pull your hair out. Here's what you need to know to keep your sanity.

Advertisement
Tell us your opinion
 

Thanks for subscribing to our email list. Please enjoy our latest articles.

tumblr