It is hard to imagine that there was a time when the Internet didn’t exist, when there wasn’t social media. There used to be a time when we had to go to a library and use the card catalog system to find the answer to a question. Now, we have Google, or we can even just speak to Siri or Alexa to instantly get an answer.
Smart phones have really changed everything. These magical computers can connect us to the entire world, to everyone we’ve ever met, to games, to instant news, to music, to silly cat videos, to love matches, and to car rides. Unfortunately, with the world at our fingertips, it is easy to lose sight of the world around us.
Phones and the Internet have a great capacity to distract us. If you look around any restaurant these days, you’ll see a lot of couples and families sitting with each other, yet everyone—children included—are absorbed in their phones or tablets. Over time, this lack of communication and lack of connection with each other can end relationships or result in families who don’t talk to each other. We should therefore be mindful of becoming absorbed with our phones with our families in mind.
Limit Your Phone Time
One suggestion is to impose phone limits on yourself. Before doing this, spend a week in which you are mindful of when you catch yourself looking at your screen. Make notes about what caused you to pick up your phone, what you were doing at the time, and how long you spend looking at your phone. Once you have a better grasp on just how much you pick up you phone and why, you can start to work on limiting your phone time.
Limit Your Children’s Screen Time
If you find yourself having trouble limiting your own phone time, imagine how hard it must be for your children—who lack the self-regulation we’re supposed to have. By limiting your children’s screen time now, and helping them build good habits around their devices, you can preemptively address some of the problems they will have in the future.
Make Dinner a Phone-Free Affair
Finally, talk with your partner and your children about phone-free meals. Pass around a basket before anyone can start eating. Doing so may be awkward at first, but if you are consistent in enforcing this rule, it will help your family communicate and engage with each other.
New Direction Family Law
New Direction Family Law is a law firm that helps clients navigate the legal process regarding separations, divorce, property division, spousal support, and child custody. Our attorneys have a vast knowledge of the law, resulting from years of experience and a passion for the law. We know how these issues impact our clients and work diligently to advocate for their legal rights. We also understand that this is a difficult time for our clients and always treat clients with compassionate and respectful. Let us help you move forward. Our team proudly represents clients in Wake, Johnston, Durham and surrounding counties. Call New Direction Family Law at (919) 719-3470 to schedule an appointment or reach us online through our website.
Sarah J. Hink
New Direction Family Law