The following is a guest post from momAgendaCOMM blogger Michele McGraw.
Technology may be changing what we do when we are together as a family, but it is not changing why we need quality family time.
When I was a kid, family dinners were always very important. We would eat together as often as we could and discuss our day and catch up with anything going on in our busy lives. It was important to feel that connection with the family on a daily basis. We weren’t allowed to read, talk on the phone or watch TV during dinner.
Today, we have the same rules for my family. No phones, TV or reading during dinner and we try to have dinner together as often as we can.
It is during these family dinners that children are taught manners, listening skills, problem solving, working together and social skills. You could argue that because of technology, children may need some of these skills more now than in the past. But I don’t believe that!
I spent my time listening to music on my stereo and talking on our land-line phone to my friends. My kids spend their time listening to music on their iPods and talking on their cell phones. The technology may be different, but the activity is the same.
Technology does not have to be the “bad guy” if you don’t let it. I am teaching my family to use technology to enhance our lives rather than take away from it. We have family game nights and instead of playing cards, we play dance games on our Wii. When taking road trips, instead of belting out a John Denver tune on our cassette player in the car, we are enjoying a Disney comedy on our car DVD player.
Technology is here to stay, so we are using it to bring our family closer together. My kids will not know a life without technology, so we are learning to embrace it. Quality family time is as important today as it was when I was a kid. We are just integrating more technology into our family time.
What are your thoughts? How do you strike a balance between technology and the dynamic of quality family time?
Michele is CEO of Mom Geek Media and creator of Scraps of My Greek Life, a blog offering daily commentary, advice, reviews and shared experiences of how her real life and the digital domain connect. You can also connect with her on Twitter.