Skip to content

Family Time: Unplugged, or Plugged In Together?

March 25, 2016

By Brittney Schrick

Here’s a great idea…

In this digital age, it becomes more and more difficult to compete with screens, social networking, and other digital media for the attention of our children. In attempting to ensure quality family time, it is often suggested that we unplug and interact together without the distraction of screens. This sort of time is necessary, and there are lots of ways a family can be together without screens. Setting limits for screen time, especially for younger children, as well as setting rules for how and when screens are used are important and necessary boundaries. However, all screen time is not created equal! Sometimes, a screen can be helpful in bringing family together; it’s all in how you use it.

In other words…

Unplugged, screen-free time together is an absolute must for families, and screen time (meaning all screens, not just TV) should be limited and controlled. Go outside and play, take a walk, play a board game, cook a meal, sing silly songs, or just have a conversation every day! All of these ways of being together make families stronger and happier. But, all quality time does not have to be screen-free!

How this applies to you…

Play games together: Do your kids like to play video games? Play with them! Let them teach you how to play. Is your child constantly telling you about Minecraft? Let her show you too! For older children especially, knowing that their parents care enough about them to try something they enjoy is very meaningful.

Get active indoors: Play active games like Wii sports or Just Dance together! It can be silly, a lot of fun , and many of those games are a great workout.

Have a family movie night: Sit together and watch a film. Maybe even have a living room or bedroom floor picnic. Make the focus on the shared screen, and keep other screens out of the way (no checking your email or texts while watching!).

Use your devices to stay in contact with distant family or friends: Many of us live far away from grandparents, aunts and uncles, or close friends. Use your device to have a family call with someone you love!

To find out more…

Setting limits on screen time: http://www.letsmove.gov/reduce-screen-time-and-get-active

Smart screen time: http://www.joanganzcooneycenter.org/2014/12/04/can-you-turn-screen-time-into-family-time/

UAEX Family Life Friday Blog: http://www.uaex.edu/health-living/personal-family-well-being/family-life-fridays-blog/default.aspx

Photo:http://www.letsmove.gov/lets-move-outside

 

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: