While you might have heard that technology is tearing apart famlies, today’s writer Rachael Pace explains that tech can have a lot of benefits within the home. It’s just a matter of knowing how to best use or monitor it as a parent to help rather than hurt relationships with your child. So, how is technology helping bring families together?
Tech’s Impact on Family Life
Picture this. You bring everyone together in the living room for a great family game night. You put a favorite board game on the table and are ready for fun.
The only problem is, your kids can’t seem to look away from their phones long enough to play the game.
Yes, with cell phones acting as a constant distraction, statistics and studies reveal that social media use lowers face to face interactions between family members and encourages depression. It’s no wonder parents are upset about technology in the family unit.
But the truth is, tech doesn’t have to have a negative thing in your family life. In fact, when used right, it can be very beneficial.
Don’t let technology hurt your family. Instead, learn how to use it well with these 7 parenting tips about how technology can bring your family together, instead of pushing them apart.
- Bring Families Together over Distances
Whether you take a lot of work-related trips that keep you away from home or your oldest has moved away to college, technology can be a great way to keep in touch.
For example, face to face apps can have you as close to “in person” as possible with the click of a button. Skype is also great for those who are abroad or traveling somewhere where phone-use is limited or restricted. A great thing about Skype is that the only thing you need to stay in touch is a Wi-Fi connection.
- Family Game Night
Do you have a weekly family game night? If not, one of our biggest parenting tips is to start this weekly tradition. And here’s why.
Regular time with family has been shown to help improve a child’s cognitive developmentand linguistic skills. Playing games together has also been shown to boost hand-eye coordination and build upon other important skills. Those skills include math, reasoning, and problem-solving. Besides being a powerful tool in helping bring families together, credible marriage courses claim it to be a great relationship satisfaction booster between couples too.
Not only is game night good for staying close and deepening family ties, but it’s now easier than ever to plan it! With just a few online searches, you can find lots of ideas to entertain your family.
- How is Technology Helping Communication?
While millennials and Generation Z’s are less likely to interact in person with friends than their parents were at their age, that doesn’t mean they don’t like communicating with loved ones.
In fact, they crave constant contact with friends and family.
Technology makes it easy for family members to always stay in communication. A simple text, for example, can let you know that your child got home safe from their friend’s house. Or it can stop your worries about their whereabouts.
Texting and social media messaging can also make it easier for your teen to talk to you about things they might otherwise find uncomfortable or embarrassing.
- Sharing and Saving Memories
Most parents agree that there is nothing like flipping through a physical photo album and reliving the memories within its pages.
However, social media is the new photo album. On social media apps like Instagram, for instance, you can upload and share family pics. Each photo has a special memory.
This is a great way to keep track of important life events, such as having a baby. Then share these moments with extended family around the world. According to marriage courses it is also a great way to improve emotional intimacy between couples, as they remember happy times.
- How is Technology Helping Kids with Homework?
The internet can definitely help kids in school. There’s a lot of info at your child’s fingertips about history, science, math, and English, all online.
One of our biggest parenting tips is not to avoid technology. Embrace it, instead!
If your boy or girl comes to you for help with homework, use the internet. Have a research session with your kid right then and there.
The internet can be very useful for children who are visual learners. Many YouTube videos tutor and teach children how to do anything, including complex math. Learning about history and biology can also be much easier to understand with visual tools online.
- Easier to Get Help
Another one of our favorite parenting tips is using tech to improve safety. So, how is technology helping make things safer for the whole family? A few examples are:
- Alarm monitoring system keeps your family safe at home
- With GPS, get your family there by car easily
- Call 911 from your smartphone
- Look online about raising children
- Easily search online about health problems
- GPS trackers and “find my phone” apps make keeping an eye on loved ones easier
- Bank apps and wireless payments lower risks of being robbed while taking money out of banks
- Call Uber or Lyft to prevent drunk or unsafe driving
- Children can call parents whenever they want to
- Lots of Family Entertainment
How we watch shows is changing quickly. While TV and movie nights are still popular with families, the way we watch them are different than before.
How is technology helping those activities? There’s Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, and YouTube videos now. Many trivia games and quizzes online can bring families together too.
Technology can also be fun for parents and kids at the same time. Active families who snowboard, sled, play outdoor sports together or riding bikes can also benefit from health apps and wristbands. These tech gadgets can help track health goals and encourage you to continue being active together.
Final Words on Technology Helping Families
In summary, technology doesn’t have to pull your loved ones apart. Instead, let it bring families together! Traveling family members can stay in touch with video chats. And social media can be a great way to save and share special memories. Lastly, you can also use technology to plan family game nights and other activities.