As our lives become more and more digital, it can be challenging to strike a healthy balance between our real and virtual lives. Do yourself and your family a favor and make some digital resolutions for the coming year. Here are our suggestions for making 2014 a year for family connection.
Make time for each other—minus the gadgets. With Smartphones, it’s possible to be plugged in every second of the day, but just because it’s possible doesn’t mean it’s advisable! If you’re like most families today, you’re likely feeling the need to unplug the devices and reconnect to each other. The “no gadgets during mealtime” rule is a good place to start, but try stretching it just a little further this year. Implement “WiFi-free Wednesdays”, for instance. Turn off your router and break out the board games mid-week or just use the time to enjoy some face-to-face conversation.
Set screen time limits (for everyone!)You’re probably already aware that kids need digital time limits, but are you setting reasonable boundaries for yourself? Remember, children learn by example, so be a good digital role model! If you know when to walk away from the screen yourself, your kid will likely find it easier to do as well.
Decide what to keep to yourself. It may have been cute and innocent to document your child’s first years, but as he grows up, he may not want his entire life broadcast on your Facebook Timeline. Have a family meeting and decide what’s ok to share about one another on social media platforms and what’s off limits. It’s better for everyone to be informed than for someone to be caught off guard. This is also a great time to discuss what it means to be a good digital citizen.
As with all New Year’s resolutions, try to think of these tech resolutions as guidelines to follow, not hard and fast rules. If you find yourself slipping back into your old behaviors, revisit these suggestions and get back in the game! As long as everyone is making an effort to be as connected to one another as to their respective devices, your family can’t lose.