Is It Time to Unplug Your Tech For Your Kid's Sake?

By Nikki M

Feel the need to go off the grid? Perhaps you catch yourself scrolling mindlessly on your phone 24/7. Maybe it’s the migraines you’re getting from staring at a tiny, glaring screen. Or maybe you're tired of being bombarded with junk, and would rather spend quality time with the people right in front of you... Whatever your reason, a detox from technology will do you wonders.

Before you downgrade to a flip phone, let’s be realistic—modern technology rocks, and has been a total game changer when it comes to efficiency. Personally, I’d rather give one of my pinky toes than go without Google Calendar or GPS ever again… And don’t get me started on Emoji (they get all the heart-eyes!) As with hard liquor, deep fried Oreos, and spray tans, the key is moderation.

There’s a time and a place for everything. Here’s when you should take a break from your smartphone:

At the Dinner Table

Mealtimes are sacred. It’s when the whole family comes together to bond over good conversation and delicious food. Establishing a dinner routine without distractions brings everyone closer, strengthening relationships and creating family memories.

Eating away from a screen also teaches your kids about mindful eating, instilling healthy habits early on. In today’s world of fast food and eating on-the-go, educating your children about the art of savoring meals (and chewing slowly!) will prevent them from a future of binge eating, crash diets, and developing a weird relationship with food.

Finally, banning phones from the dinner table is a great way to teach good manners and proper etiquette. You’ve spent half the day basting that pig in the oven — youngsters better show some respect!

During Bedtime

As a parent, you probably already know the importance of good, solid sleep… but did you know how much your nighttime web browsing habits affect this?

Studies show that staring at a light-emitting device at night greatly suppresses melatonin levels, making it harder to knock out and affecting the quality of your sleep. Even if you manage to get your full 8 hours, you’ll be tired and less alert the next day.

Sleep deficiency can cause a host of health problems such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. An old fashioned paperback will offer the stimulation you crave, without the harmful side effects. Oh, and monkey see, monkey do— nighttime book reading is an awesome habit to instill in your kids!

On the Weekends

If your workdays involve being chained to a computer desk, consider using your phone as little as possible over the weekend. This is so important when the kids start school —time together becomes limited, and plans to spend the whole day together are confined to a mere 2 days out of the week.

In between errands, extra-curricular activities and birthday party commitments, everyone’s left with very little downtime. Rather than spending those small pockets of free time absorbed in a screen, try soaking in your surroundings, catching up with the people you love, and living in the moment.

Pro tip: Turn off your data connection. You’ll still be able to call, text, and snap photos, but will be less likely to scroll aimlessly through Instagram while waiting for your French toast, wishing you had ordered the more photogenic smoked salmon benedict instead.

Do you occasionally unplug from your smartphone? Has detoxing from technology affected your life in a positive way, or does the thought of disconnecting make you break out in a cold sweat? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Tags : parenting   technology   

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