Smartphones and other devices are inseparable parts of our daily lives. In our tech-absorbed culture, we cannot imagine a day without smartphones. When we accidentally leave a smartphone at home or lose Internet access, panic arises.
However, research shows that non-stop connectivity may cause anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, and profound feelings of isolation and loneliness. If your children spend a lot of time in front of the screen, their sleep patterns may be disrupted, they may have difficulties focusing and paying attention, and even become obese.
Spending family time without smartphones is a great way of digital detox that you can practice together with your kids. Set some family rules and smartphone boundaries and be a good role model for your children. Here are a few ideas on how to spend quality time without smartphones.
Play Board Games
Spend time before bed playing board games rather than being on your smartphones. Playing board games is not just fun but also promotes your kids’ development and helps you keep up your cognitive functions. Playing games stimulates brain areas that are responsible for memory and thought processes such as problem-solving and decision-making and increases brain function. Therefore, board games are excellent mental exercise and entertaining activities for the whole family.
Books and stories are the best way to promote language, literacy, and speech development in children. Reading together develops your child’s ability to use language to express their feelings and needs and build a strong foundation for the abstract thinking processes.
Reading together is also an excellent way to spend quality time together end engage you’re your child without smartphones.
Have Meals without Phones
Family talks around meals are the best way to connect and bond with your family. Each day, have at least one meal together as a family and refrain from using smartphones during this time. Enjoy your time around the table, discuss how everyone’s day went, share your thoughts and emotions, and enjoy simply spending time together.
Practice Mindfulness with Your Kids
Science has proven that mindfulness meditation has many benefits to adults and children alike. Regular mindfulness exercises can help alleviate stress, anxiety, and depression, increase mood, and promote feelings of happiness and calmness.
Also, mindfulness meditation improves attention, focus, memory, and self-regulation. It can help bond with your children and provide a much-needed break from smartphones and screen time.
Spend Phone-Free Time in Nature
Spending too much time on their smartphones may prevent kids from going outside and engaging in physical activity. A sedentary lifestyle and lack of physical activity are strongly linked to obesity and other health concerns.
Spend weekends outside. Plan family day-trips or spend time outdoors close to home. Take your kids fishing or go for a nature walk or hiking together. Go on camping and teach your kids how to make a fire, build a shelter, or recognize different plants. Visit a farm or go fruit picking. This can be a great opportunity for your children to learn more about different animals, the seasons, and the life cycle in nature.
Family day-trips, picnics, or camping are great opportunities to create a lot of memories that will last for life.