Building Strong Families in the Age of Technology
At Lif3, we love families. And we also love technology. With that in mind, we thought it would be great to share some easy tips to assist families in building and maintaining strong family relationships in a world where technology can seem to have centre stage in vying for our attention.
#1 Recognise the positive role of technology and find ways to use it together.
We want kids to be successful users of technology. And so, it’s important to recognise and acknowledge the positive role that technology plays. Families can find ways to use technology together such as researching genealogy, start a blog together or search for family holiday destinations.
#2 Set screen allocated times and put devices away outside of those times
With so much of day-to-day activities involving the use of some form of media, it’s important to set times when it’s appropriate to use media and times when it is not. And resist the temptation to give in when kids beg, whine and bargain for more screen time. The key is to be as consistent as possible.
#3 Allocate family activity time
Find great ways to spend family time together without tech devices, such as playing board games, reading books or fun outdoor activities. Allocate family time on the calendar and encourage input from everyone on deciding what activities might be enjoyable. Then set the time aside and enjoy the face-to-face interaction without devices.
#4 Pay attention to your own screen time
Kids learn from watching their parents and parents’ behaviour can play a key role in determining how children will treat technology later in life. Be aware of what you are modelling to your children and screen free time should include everyone where possible.
#5 Mindful use of devices
Mindfulness is essentially comprised of intention, attention and action. Technology can interfere with this process because it can make you forget what matters to you (intention), distracts you (attention), and keeps you from taking action.
Start to make choices with intention. For example, if you check your smartphone first thing in the morning, or before you even get out of bed, ask yourself whether this action aligns with your intentions. Then decide on one action that you will do before you do that, such as taking a shower or making breakfast. Living intentionally is living mindfully.
We are designed to be in relationship with others. We desire those relationships to be rich, rewarding and fulfilling. Building and maintaining strong family relationships is more important than ever in our modern world that is full of so many distractions.