5 tips for reconnecting with your kids
Godfrey Madanhire has some advice on maintaining family life around technology.

For most parents nowadays walking into the living room you’re immediately confronted with scenario that every family member has their own private screen. Separated and indulging in their hidden online world. The fast pace of the social media and smartphone revolution has crept up on us all, especially family life. How can parents in a modern world bring together their families again? Here are a few steps you can follow to reconnect your family in a connected age.

Plan a weekly trip to the great outdoors

Getting active as a family isn’t only healthy, but also a great way to bond. With any activity you’re involved with the moment. Status updates and trending #s are not on top of the priorities list as the family takes in the wide open spaces. Whether it’s a picnic in a park, playing a game or just hiking up a mountain make it into a routine. Doing this on a weekly basis will acclimatise the entire family not to become totally dependent on their devices and answer every notification beep.

A person's presence is something to value

With the advancements over the last decade nearly everyone is contactable at the click of a button. Communicating between individuals has never been easier, but as we know this has its downsides. Constant bombardments of messages from everyone isn’t healthy, especially when they distract you from the moment at hand. Start to teach your family that in a modern world that a person’s presence is the most important thing. Getting hold of someone over the phone is easy, but seeing them in person is not an instant occurrence and takes effort. Teach them to appreciate the effort and ignore their phones.

Two easy steps to reduce phone usage

There are apps and timers available for download, but rather than getting another app change the screen lock pin to a longer code. By creating a long pin code for your screen lock you’ll start to think twice before just tinkering with your phone. Reducing your tinkering time will set a great example for the family. Encourage the whole family to do the same.

Departmentalise the house into cell-free zones

It’s a tough rule to enforce, but creating certain areas in the home as device free will encourage interaction between family members. Choose communal areas such as the living room and kitchen. By instituting this rule you’ll be encouraging members to interact with each other rather than disappear into their digital world. The more your family interact and get used to not being dependent on their devices the more quality time your family will enjoy.

Work with technology to bring the family closer

We all have to agree that social media and mobile technology are here to stay. Rather than fight against the evolution of it embrace the change. Your family is going to need to adapt with the times so start to infuse technology into family time. Organise a weekly Skype call to grandparents, play an Emoji guessing game where you compile them together to spell out a movie or book titles. Whatever your activity is make sure every member can take part and have fun. As with any family activity it needs to appeal to all ages.

Does your family have screen-free times?

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