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By Thea Theresa English

How you can do a digital detox with your family

In light of the growing amount of technology that many families use each day, it is sometimes easy to get caught up in gadgets. For this reason it is important that families take time out every few weeks to do a digital detox. By doing a digital detox, families can connect in more meaningful ways and the kids can learn better communication skills. There is something special about face-to-face interaction and dependence on technology interferes with this.

Look for fun creative sources of entertainment

For older babies and toddlers, you can do some coloring projects in a coloring book or in a scrapbook. If you have teens at home, some good ideas include having karaoke night with snacks, playing board games, telling stories about relatives that you remember from the past, or cooking new versions of your mom's treasured recipes. Other ideas include swimming at a local community center, creating a family scrapbook or camping out in the backyard.

Do tasks the old school way

Our dependence on technology has even affected the way we do daily tasks. Instead of doing online banking, start writing out checks and learn to balance a checkbook. Instead of searching for recipes online, get creative and prepare recipes using only the items you have in your pantry. You can search for the latest kids' events in the local newspapers rather than apps on your smartphone. Shop at local thrift stores instead of the online stores to buy clothes and housewares. If you need to look for a second job, walk inside the businesses or attend job fairs.

Keep gadgets out of living room and other areas in the house where you hang out the most

To reduce the temptation to get sucked in by gadgets, it would be a good idea to keep them out of rooms where the family gathers the most such as the living room or kitchen. Tell your kids that in certain rooms they will not be allowed to bring their gadgets. The purpose of this is to focus on connecting with the family and being emotionally present in the home. You can also have a ban on the use of gadgets in your bedroom as a couple after a certain time.

Take up new hobbies

Another way to do a digital detox is to learn new hobbies as a family to replace the screen time. For example, if your oldest sons are interested in learning more about World War II, visit the library and check out some books on the subject. Then you can write some book summaries on the books and have discussions about it. Or if your daughter is interested in playing the piano, seek out affordable piano teachers so she can learn the skill effectively.

With these suggestions, you don't have to be glued to the screen in order to have fun. You can enjoy life more and reduce stress at the same time. Seek out suggestions from your spouse and kids as they may have ideas you never thought about.

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