Healthy Family Time Begins with Healthy Mobile Use
It has been a hectic day. You finally feel relieved to be home and sit with your family at the dinner table. Eager to know what your child has to share for the day, you initiate a conversation with him.
A few minutes into the conversation…
You turn and see your child busy typing on the phone, while pushing food into his mouth.
Such instances of using mobile phones at inappropriate times are common nowadays. It makes the person who is talking uncomfortable because you are speaking to someone physically nearby and yet he or she is not fully there at that moment.
Mobile phones have changed the way we get information, changed the way we spend our time and also changed the way we communicate. The problem is mobile phones have also affected our quality ‘family time.’ It spoils parent-child time and even spouse-to-spouse time!
Facing the need to check your mobile infrequently during family time is alright. Unavoidable circumstances like having to reply to an important email from work or answer a text from a friend urgently are understandable. But when the habit of checking happens every few minutes or many times in an hour, then, that is a problem. There is no point in gathering together as a family (probably for dinner), if some of the family members are busy with their phones.
The more time you spend with your phone, the less time you have, to give attention to your spouse or parents and kids or siblings. When you use a mobile phone when someone is talking to you, the other person will also have the tendency to pull out their own phones in response.
Using a mobile phone when at the dinner table or in the middle of a conversation is rude. If you are a parent who is always connected to the phone, then you should be careful. This is because children learn by watching what you do.
Don’t think that you can multitask, that is, still listen to what your family member is saying while at the same time fulfill your needs on the phone. That can in no way be defined as spending quality time with family.
Keep in mind that time is precious. The time you lose with your entire family together, cannot be restored.
What you could do as a parent?
- Try bringing a rule in the house that there will be no using phones after a reasonable time in the night.
- Definitely see that dinner time is free of mobile phones. This will help to reconnect with each other and talk about one’s day.
- Spend quality time with your spouse, maybe a date night, where mobile phones do not come in the way of having a meaningful time.
- Most importantly, if you or any other family member is struggling to stop themselves from using the phone continuously with hardly any gaps, then consider seeking help. Mobile addiction is real and it is okay to seek counselling or help if a situation arises.
Are you addicted to Mobile phones? Get tips to reduce mobile usage