It’s becoming an increasingly common sight amongst families – everyone’s sat around the dinner table or in the living room or even when you’re out and about and eyes are glued to a screen. Mum and dad may be glued to the TV screen, whilst children are more than likely staring intently at a phone, tablet or computer game.
This is modern life and there’s little chance of it stopping unfortunately. However, it’s still important to make the effort to drag everyone away from screens every now and again. Here are some tips and ideas.
Take a holiday
A great way to get the family together is to take a holiday together. It doesn’t have to be anywhere particularly exotic or expensive (although it can be if you want); just a simple trip away in this country can be enough to bring the family together. Camping is an excellent idea as it reduces the places you can plug in electronics, instead forcing you to rely on the forgotten art of conversation and playing board games. Sites such as UK Breakaways offer some pretty good deals if you’re after something close to home.
Have an electronics curfew
More and more people are looking at screens right up until they go to sleep and this is actually bad for your health as it can prevent you having a good night’s sleep, as explained in this NHS article. Devices such as iPads and mobile phones produce what is known as ‘blue light’ which can fool the brain into staying awake for longer. As such, having an electronics curfew an hour or more before going to bed can help you get a better night’s sleep and might encourage more family time as well.
Break out the board games
We’ve already mentioned board games when going on holiday but that doesn’t mean you can’t play them at home too, and they’re a fantastic way of having fun with the whole family, as most of the taglines on the boxes will tell you. Just stay away from Monopoly as it takes forever and nearly always results in someone having a strop, which could put pay to any future games nights.
Take day trips
If you’re not in the market for a holiday right now, then just taking day trips can be a great substitute. There are bound to be plenty of local places you’ve told yourself you’ll visit but never have, or places you never even knew existed. Here’s a list of 50 great days out in the UK if you’re stuck for ideas.
Pick up a (real) book
An obvious way of reducing the amount of time people spend looking at screens is to read a book instead. However, these days that can also often mean staring at a screen as a lot of people read books on tablets and e-readers. Therefore, picking up an actual book is the best option, although some e-readers are ink-based rather than screens and not quite as bad.
All eat together at the table
A great way to ensure everyone unplugs for a while is to all eat together in the evenings at the dinner table. Don’t have a TV on and make a no-phones rule so that everyone is encouraged to chat whilst they eat.
Does your family have a problem staring at screens? If so, what do you do to combat it?