What’s a surefire way to guarantee your kids develop strong self-esteem and the skills needed to succeed in life? Engaged, conscious parenting. But it can feel difficult to remain connected when smartphones, social media, tablets, and televisions get introduced into the mix. That’s why unplugging as a family on a regular basis is crucial to raising happy, healthy children.
Here’s a list of tips to help unplug your family and build stronger bonds.
1. Create an Electronics Sleep Zone
Buy a box or bin that’s the designated receptacle for all electronics while your kids unplug and play. If you want to get fancy, you can paint or decorate the box and label it “Tech Timeout” or “Electronics Sleep Zone.” Cell phone “sleeping bags” are also trending and represent a cute way to get the same point across.
No matter which route you go, the bottom line remains getting your family off electronics. By designating an area for tech devices, you create space for real-world activities, communication, and connection. So, set clear guidelines about when you expect all devices in the bin, box, or sleeping bag and when they’re free for removal and use. Be consistent with the electronics-free boundaries that you create. Once the electronics are away, let the fun begin!
2. Start a Family Cooking Night Tradition
The family that cooks together, grows together. So, pick at least one night each week when your unplugged family heads into the kitchen as a group to tackle meal prep. If you have little ones, set up a cook station at their level so that they can feel integrated into the activity.
There’s nothing cozier than working together on a meal. It’s a great way to teach your kids important life skills, and it opens the door for deeper family communication. The conversations you start over the mixing bowl can extend to the family dinner table, too. While your kids are young, you may not understand the importance of creating a safe space for conversations. But once you’re dealing with teenagers, you’ll feel grateful to have a well-established family cooking (and talking) tradition in place.
3. Have a Weekly Game & Sharing Night
Plan a weekly game night. From board games to charades, your choices are endless. Or, if you’re looking for something a little different, host a family storytelling session. But here’s the kicker, whoever’s telling the story has to physically act it out! Whether you share your favorite tall tale or reminisce about your own childhood, your kids will be captivated. Then, it’s their turn to share an adventure with you. Not only is this a fun way to interact, but you might just find you have a budding movie star on your hands!
This activity is effective because we humans are hardwired to communicate through stories. Before televisions and video games, we did it for thousands of years around campfires. Why stop now? What’s more, everyone likes being the center of attention at some point or another. So, let your kids take center stage and give them your full attention. There is no greater gift.
Unplugging as a Family
While smartphones are convenient and entertaining, they distract us from what’s truly important like cultivating face-to-face relationships. When we remain tethered to electronics, we miss crucial opportunities to connect with family and friends. This makes unplugging as a family essential to building a stronger bond.
At Our Whole Village, raising globally-minded children is our passion. We create meaningful adventures designed for families who want to unplug, create lasting memories, and make a difference.
We’re here to help you and your family experience the world, its people, and its cultures. Contact us today to learn more about the unforgettable experiences that we handcraft to introduce kids to the world and raise good global citizens.