I have been observing people in public places, especially the families. I feel sad looking at them from afar because they are all busy with their gadgets including the kids, that they barely had time to talk to each other, let alone interact with one another. My experience is not far from this too.
I get really irritated when I am out with my own family and they are all busy fidgeting with their smartphones, checking their FBs, if not, chatting with someone other than me who is seated right there. I always remind them to switch their phones and gadgets off or keep them away from family time. It’s just plain disrespectful and outright disheartening.
Being a mother myself, my daughter is already in her late teens. We have gone through this phase where I had to keep reminding her to limit her use of gadgets, laptop, and phone. It wasn’t easy but it was achievable.
Parents, now that summer is here. Your kids will be bored stiff at home especially if they have been exposed to technology. It will be a bit difficult to pry those smartphones, tablets, and other gaming consoles away from their tight grip. But do not lose heart, you can still do it with these tips on how to disconnect your kids from technology to be able to have a more quality family time.
Go out on a vacation without laptops, tablets, and gaming consoles
I know, budget may become an issue for some but if it is not, try to enjoy a long vacation if you can with your family. Give them a heads up that the idea of the vacation is to spend quality time with each other without the use of technology. However, as parents, the need for smartphones are necessary especially when you need coordination. Do limit the carrying of smartphones amongst the parents only. None for the kids.
Engage in fun outdoor activities
If you have decided to go on a vacation, try to incorporate some fun outdoor adventures with your kids. Try camping, hiking, visiting farms, fishing, or go to the beach and enjoy some beach sports!
Just in case you did not go on a vacation, this can still be achieved by going on bike trips as a family, or make them walk with you at the park and have a picnic. If your other friends who have kids are also home for the summer, enlist the kids for play date in one of the friends’ houses, and take turns doing it every weekend. That will foster camaraderie, and encourage kids to enjoy family time even with friends.
Visit historical sites and art museums
Make a list of nearby historical sites, and art museums you can visit every week. Make it a point to leave the gadgets and tablets behind so the kids can soak in great information about your town or nearby town’s history. Involve them in a cultural and arts immersion in your trip. Let them develop that appreciation for arts.
Go to a petting farm or zoo
Kids these days don’t know the feeling of being in a zoo. Everything they see about animals of the wild is all through the internet which is not a good thing in a way. Not all their senses are heightened just by merely seeing pictures or videos of animals in the wild. What better way to introduce them to the animal kingdom is to bring them to a petting farm for a more close contact with farm animals, or take them to the zoo to see the animals of the wild in person. The petting farm is a perfect way to foster compassion to animals, giving them the responsibility to care for other beings beside their own.
Introduce your kids to board games
Have they even heard of board games or at least have seen one? If not, parents, this is your chance to introduce your kids to the board games you love. This is a perfect way to spend a quiet day at home when the weather is harsh. Instead of holding their gadgets, why not spread the board game and play with the whole family.
Go outside and take some photos
Maybe your kids are just waiting to be tapped for great eye for a subject. Let them be photographers this time around and allow them to explore their hidden eye for beauty. They will surely have fun taking snaps of various subjects which you can later on view and choose the best ones and let them create a photo book as part of their photography adventure.
Volunteer as a family in civic organizations or in hospitals, elder care, orphanage, free food for the homeless, or pet/animal shelter
The list can go on and on! If you have more to add to this list, feel free to leave them in the comment.