A few years ago I wrote a post about the value of tech-free dinners. With our world even more digital, our need to have a technology free zone as a family is even more crucial.
There have been countless articles, such as this one in Time Magazine, and books, such as “The Surprising Power of Family Meals”, and studies, on the topic all coming to the same, important conclusions: families meals are important for our kids to grow up healthy. The kids with more family meals are the ones who are more likely to steer clear of risky behaviors, early sex, drugs, maintain a healthy weight, and do well in school.
In our digital world, family meals are also a time for us to connect with our kids – regroup with them and learn about their day, talk about difficult issues and get a break from all the technology.
To accomplish all this, though, we not only have to make a time for family meals, even if only a few times a week, but set a good example of how not to use technology at the table. This means putting away the devices ourselves!
I’ve heard some creative examples of how to accomplish this. One family told me they have heard of a growing trend of a family cell phone basket where everyone plops in the phone as they come in the house. Others have told me they set up a charger in one room away from the kitchen. We do both strategies and they work great.
Having digital free time is becoming so important for our lives that even restaurants are catching on and offering digital free dining.
So, start at home and find times outside of the home to continue the unplugged dining trend. It’s important for all of you to have that time – and for the people around you.