Phones and Family: Five Tips To Balance Family and Mobile Phone UseThe phenomenal success of smartphones is due in-part to their rapid technological advancements. From creative apps to high-speed internet capabilities, it’s hard for anyone to unglue themselves from their favorite toy! While mobile phones have proven to be beneficial for work and communication, they’re notorious for interrupting those special moments with friends and family. Even though it’s not intentional, excessive phone use can make others feel like they’re second fiddle to a gadget.
No Phones At The Dinner Table!
Since cell phones skyrocketed in popularity over two decades ago, they’ve been regularly banished from the dinner table. Many families across the country have implemented this strict rule at their own dinner table. Creating an association between dinner time and “no phones” is a way to establish a daily phone-free hour.
Display Phone-Free Behavior
Phone-free dinners are a great tradition to start when a teen receives their first blackberry from Bell.ca Parents should model this behavior, along with other phone use patterns, before their child is even ready to own their first phone. Once they’ve finally earned that first smartphone, they would have already understood the importance of not using phones at the table and during other family activities .
Family Activity Day!
If feeling bored or unengaged by a movie, social gathering or event,mobile phones can become that quick escapism from whatever is happening at that moment. Therefore, the challenge is to distract family members away from their phone! When kids and parents are engaged in a team sport, obstacle course, cake walk or potato sack race, there isn’t much time for phone use. In fact, being fully engaged in a fun family activity leaves little room for smartphone withdrawal.
The Restaurant Phone Rule
To encourage consistent phone etiquette, it’s fun to spice up those “no phone” rules a little. This next tip is especially great for young or working adults. Before any food is ordered, everyone must put their mobile phone in the middle of the table. If anyone picks up their phone before the dinner is over, then they pay for the entire meal!
Phone-Free Reward Jar
To maintain more phone-free hours, families can establish a special reward jar in the kitchen. Whenever someone uses their phone during an established “mobile-free” hour, then they must donate to the reward jar. At the end of the week, the family member with the best phone etiquette wins a prize!
Cutting back on phone use takes practice, especially when certain careers depend on them. However, with the help of these five tips, that smartphone can take a break for a while, creating an opportunity for exciting quality time with family!