Family meals are not just about eating. Breakfast, lunch or dinner are often the only times all family members are together in one place. It’s a time that can be used to catch up on your children’s lives, connect, socialize, laugh and learn. A time for human connection; a time for no distractions. There is no space for phones at the dinner table.
With this being said, the logical thing would be to try and eliminate all distractions so everyone can have an enjoyable time together, right? Well, why then do we insist on having our phones with us? If not on our side, then “on us”, in our pockets, resting on our legs, always in sight or within reach. During family time, smartphones hinder our interactions, blocking us from socializing in real time. For a child, with little human interaction experience, phones cripple their abilities to develop their social skills.
No matter how old children are, it’s important to take advantage and make the most out of the limited family time you share. And what better way to do so than leading by example. Before sitting down for a family meal, leave your phone in a different room entirely, don’t have it on your lap or on your side and urge your kids to do the same. No phones = no distractions.
Now, with no glowing screens, incoming notifications or constant buzzing, there is nothing stopping you from starting and maintaining an amazing conversation with your kids through the end of your meal. Take advantage of this time together and use it to find out what’s going on in your child’s academic and social life, fill them in on your day, and ask for their opinions. Engage in debates, ask philosophical questions, and get to know your kids better. You will be amazed at the difference in dynamics once everyone is giving their full attention to everyone else, and not preoccupied with the phone in their laps.
With life becoming seemingly more fast-paced, it’s becoming increasingly harder to find family time with no distractions. The no phones at the table policy is a great first step towards cutting out external influences that deviate your presence and attention from your family.