How do we embrace our technology culture without losing our connection to one another? First, we need to understand that we have a “relationship” with technology, and with every relationship; we need to evaluate the purpose and the value it adds to our life. Technology will continue to innovate and be a part of our everyday lives, so how do we stop it from affecting our relationships? Kids model what parent’s do, not what parents say. To help navigate you and your family in looking at your relationship with technology, here are some questions to guide you. Get curious and be honest. There are no wrong answers, as each family must determine what is best for them. Trust your instincts and be compassionate towards yourself.
- What does my relationship look like with technology? How often do I use my smartphone, tablet, computer, or watch TV? How much time do I spend on these devices while at home?
- How about my children? How often do they use their smartphone, tablet, computer, or watch TV? How much time do they spend on these devices while at home?
- What established rules and family culture do we currently have around technology? What rules or family culture do I want to develop around technology? Am I satisfied with my answers above? Or would I like to see my family reduce the amount of screen time?
- If as a family you decide to make a change and reduce the screen time as a family, what will go in its place? To realistically change a behavior, you must now substitute this time with something new. Get creative! Perhaps your family enjoys playing sports, going on family walks, playing games, reading, or crafts. What does your family enjoy doing and how can each family member commit to trying something new.
The goal is not to take away electronics or their use in your home. However, it is essential to be intentional about the application and time that these devices have in your home. We can practice balance and improve our wellness by reducing our screen time by just 15 minutes a day.
Stayed tuned for our upcoming blog on why evaluating your relationship with screen time is essential.
Julianne Guinasso, LMFT