It is a strange irony that as the world we live in becomes more connected by means of technology, our family lives are being pulled apart often by the very same thing. I
t has become increasingly common for families to sit in the same room and each have their eyes glued upon their smartphone or tablet, not actually communicating with one another.
For parents, this is not a good place to be.
The modern world
The modern world has given us so much, but it has also given us distractions. Busy days for working parents, after-school activities for kids, and multiple means of entertainment simply mean that many families are not always cooking and eating meals or socializing at the same time.
Parents who see little of their children when they get home of an evening or at the weekends run the risk of missing out.
The things we miss
For parents with young children, it could mean that they miss out on their child’s firsts, such as their first step or first word.
For parents with older children, it could mean not being around to spot when a child is struggling at school or having problems with other children, which could be extremely damaging to their academic progress and personal development.
What is the answer?
The answer is to make an effort to have personal time with your children.
This could be achieved in several ways. If you have a heavy workload and often work late or take work home, then you could cut this down so that you leave the office at 5pm and adopt the mindset that if work is not completed by that hour, then it has to wait until the following morning.
If you normally have a family dinner gathered around the TV, then swap the TV room for the dining room and ensure that the family talks to one another over dinner. Even an hour or two spent in this way is better than no personal time at all with your children.
What if you are a new mother and need or want to go back to work? How can you ensure that you still have plenty of personal time with your baby?
If your work allows, consider taking your baby with you to your workplace. Just remember that you will need to plan ahead and take everything you need for your baby with you on a daily basis. It could be helpful to prepare a backpack that contains all the baby products you will need throughout the day.
There are purpose-designed bags from a popular brand for this, so look out for special diaper backpacks that have pockets all over for easy access.
Sometimes, life just keeps getting in the way.
Household chores need to be performed to create a clean and safe environment for your children, but modern surveys have found that some mothers spend up to four hours a day cleaning their home, leaving little time for their children.
One solution is to encourage your child to keep the home as clean and tidy as possible, or make them responsible for cleaning at least their own room. When it is time for housework, you could assign your child a particular task so that cleaning time is reduced.
If you have to do the ironing, why not bring your child into the room and talk to them while doing it? Or at least have them reading in the same room so that you are company for each other.
Alternatively, if your finances allow, hire a cleaner.
Technology can help
Despite technology sometimes being a factor in families being uncommunicative with one another, in some instances, technology can actually help a family keep in touch. Equip your child with a cell phone and they are only ever a speed dial away, plus this can give you peace of mind over where your child is at any time of the day.
You could also use tablets and smartphones to engage with your child by doing something they enjoy, such as playing dual player video games.
You could even use a tablet or eReader to read your child a bedtime story.
Parents should aim to make their children their number one priority, and despite the hectic nature of modern life, this is still achievable.
Get together at mealtimes, keep technology distractions to a minimum, and find activities that you and your kids will enjoy doing together to enjoy some quality time as a family unit.