My husband and I were out for dinner and as we were visiting I couldn’t help but be distracted by the table next to us. Two parents and a child were waiting for their meal and all of them were on their mobile devices. I get it…sometimes our friends or games can be more entertaining than our family, but what are we creating?
In the good old days, meal time was when everyone got a chance to connect and get caught up with the activities happening in each others lives. This strengthens ties and bonds the family closer together. As parents we also have the opportunity to model a multitude of lessons during meal time.
For research purposes only, I continued to go out to eat and realized that the mobile device is a growing problem. Parents are now using these devices to distract instead of disciplining or redirecting a child to make the right choice. I understand no one wants a screaming child, but how are we helping them by caving into their every whim.
Tips to try:
- Family time around the tables is cell-phone, tablet free and tv off for everyone.
- Ask a question that could relate to everyone and take turns listening as each person shares.
- Make a game out of “Manner Time”. Who can get their napkin in their lap first, what silverware works best for eating spaghetti, use words that are kind, “please” and “thank you” can take you far in life.
(If your child is having a hard time mastering these skills…get a sitter and the two of you go out.)
- Parents, you are telling your child without saying it that they are more important than this device.
- Less screen time enhances a child’s concrete and abstract thinking, plus a number of other things.
- We are teaching children how to communicate with others, which is becoming a lost art.
After writing this blog, I found this advertisement and I am certain that Chick-fil-A would approve of this blog too: