Advances in technology can bring families together. This is true especially for families who are separated by distance. Chatting via email, social media and video calls opens new windows for us to communicate with our loved ones. But how does it affect the average family on a daily basis?
The average teenager spends close to nine hours on their smartphone every day. Nine hours! Younger children between the age of 8-12 average a slightly less time on their electronics – about eight hours a day – while the average adult spends 73.8 hours every month on their cell phone The number one complaint from most families is that they don’t have enough time in their day. Hmm. Wonder where all the extra time is going?
Studies have shown that families who spend more screen-free time together are tighter knit. They talk more, sharing information about their day, their hopes for the future, their concerns and more. This time allows your children to gain a greater grasp on who they are as people, which is essential in their mental development and how they perceive themselves amongst their peers.
A great way to get more of this one-on-one bonding time is to be purposeful with your free time. Schedule nights during the week to focus on your family. For example, make Tuesday nights game nights with popcorn! Or Friday nights can become “chill in the hot tub night.” This is a great way to end your week. Simply suit up and ask everyone to pile into the hot tub for some screen-free family time. Take time to ask each child how their day or week is going. Not only is this great family time but it also allows everyone to unwind and relax. Who knows – your hot tub may become the very place where trust is built and Google is no longer used to find out the answer for life’s tough questions.