We are living in a world where zeros and ones rule, a digital age has changed the way we live our lives and one casualty can be the family connection. Picture the scene, mom, dad and the 2 kids are sitting at the kitchen table, not a word is said, as mom checks her FB page, while dad is already reading the first of many emails, the kids are either listening to iTunes or chatting with their bestie and when it’s time to leave, less than 10 words have been exchanged. The evenings are similar and when you think about it, there is no longer a family bond However, by prioritizing quality time together and implementing strategies to limit screen time, families can rekindle their connections and create meaningful experiences that strengthen bonds and foster a sense of belonging and togetherness.

Limit online time

This is the obvious solution and one that many Australian parents implement in a bid to have meaningful dialogue with their kids. Book a table at Hurstville’s local pub every Saturday and the rule is, no digital devices for the duration of the evening. This allows you to catch up with what’s been happening at school and you can converse with your partner asking about how their week was. How about making a rule of one hour every evening free from devices? Additionally, consider incorporating tech-free activities like board games, outdoor sports, or family outings to further foster quality time and communication within the family unit.

Engage in group activities

You could ask the kids for a game of scrabble while Monopoly teaches them the hard realities of life; if you’re into sports, make that a weekly thing, doing things as a group is great for bonding. Do this on a weekly basis and the family bond is alive and well. Additionally, consider exploring nature together, such as hiking or picnicking in local parks, to further strengthen familial connections and create lasting memories. Read about why the pigeon is a hated species for some intriguing insights into urban ecology and human-animal interactions.

Digital isolation

It doesn’t take long for teenagers to become withdrawn if they are given the freedom to access the web, if not addressed, it can lead to social problems; as parents, we need to be aware of how our kids are interacting with us and others. There are groups formed to help those with an Internet addiction, while mental health counsellors often help people who are addicted to social media fostering open communication channels at home and setting clear boundaries around technology usage can mitigate the risks of digital isolation and promote healthier relationships both online and offline.

Introduce exciting topics

When you are all together and have talked about the day, why not introduce a topic such as their future, their hopes and aspirations? You could ask what they think about the climate crisis or talk about the importance of nature, which usually elicits opinions discussing these topics can provide valuable insights into their perspectives and values, fostering deeper family connections and encouraging critical thinking skills.

Country walks

If the family go on a country walk, you have the opportunity to discuss nature, show your kids how to wait quietly in a wooded area and see the wildlife emerge. Pay attention to the birds, who will chatter away; doing things like this gives youngsters a grounding with nature, which is essential.

Despite the fast pace of 21st-century life, we need to take time out to experience things together as a family and this gives children a balanced perspective on life. We hope that this short article goes some way to helping you keep your family connected consider documenting these experiences through photos or journaling to create lasting memories and strengthen familial bonds for years to come.

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