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Managing technology and family

Does your family need a tech time-out?

Technology can certainly be convenient, but it can also be a distraction too. Don't let cell phones, computers and other electronic devices put a dent in family bonding time.
Family distracted by technology

Unfortunately in many families, parents and children are becoming more disconnected from each other recently than in years past due to calls, texts, emails, social media, video games and other technology.

With children being given cell phones and other electronics at younger and younger ages, family life has changed for many people. Don't drift apart from your kids due to too much technology. Follow these seven tips and learn how to stay connected as a family in this digital age.

Set a good example

Kids watch their parents and model their behavior. Parents should leave the room for long calls, texts and emails. Otherwise, kids will think that taking calls and sending texts at any time is normal and acceptable. When you’re with your children, be present in their presence.

Communicate with your kids

Speaking with your children undistracted and one-on-one is the best form of communication. You will learn more about what's happening in their lives, understand their feelings and, above all, keep the personal lines of communication open.

Create limits

To have more peace and quiet, and family bonding time in your home, you should have a "cell phones off" rule in your house after a certain hour. Give all of your important contacts your home phone number in case there’s an emergency.

Monitor usage

All parents should monitor the communication devices utilized by their children. While your kids can certainly learn things by using the internet, they can also waste a lot of time.

Leave games behind

As a rule, leave handheld video games at home. Also avoid checking your email and messages on your smartphone during family time. While out as a family, you should be bonding in-person and making eye contact with your children. With too much technology around, both parents and kids get distracted, leading to conversations consisting of short answers and a lack of attention.

Read every day

With so much technology available, reading can get lost in the shuffle in any household. Make it a point that your children spend some time reading at home every day.

Keep things interesting

Oftentimes kids are driven to technological devices out of boredom, so create interesting pastimes for you to do as a family. Research about local activities in your own community and nearby areas, and then make it a point to go there and enjoy them as a family.

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