Having fun can actually happen without using your phone/device.
Here is how we have a phone free family dinner without a fight!
My family and I are always busy. So I admit, we eat out a lot. My husband and I are business owners, so we are thinking about the business and usually doing something related to it on social media or just being available to customers/employees at all times. Our kids are teenagers (16 and 14) so their lives practically revolve around Snapchat and TikTok (a little exaggerated but still kind of true).
When we are at a restaurant, we are constantly telling the kids to put their phones down but we do not live by our example. So one day we forced everyone to put phones away and have some old fashioned fun (Ok, hubby and I were allowed to check a text/call – only if it was work-related). This is what we did – we made up our own game involving things we thought everyone knew (or should know). The teacher in me (I use to teach math at CCISD) started to ask questions about current affairs. Examples: Who is the President? Who is the Vice President? Who is the Governor? Mayor? This led us to realize that they only knew the President and literally had no clue about other stuff. Then we started questioning with other personal things like – What was the street address to where we lived 5 years ago? What was the mascot at the school you went to in first grade? What’s mommy’s birthday?
Now that we have been playing this for several years — we change it up a bit. I’ll tell the kids ahead of time to research questions/answers on their phone before we go to the restaurant. The kids really get into the game (sometimes they are annoyed but eventually they get over it. Did I mention they are teenagers?) When the kids learn something new in school that they think is “cool” – they will try to stump us with their new knowledge. The other day, my son finally knew who the VP was. I was so excited that I literally can not express how cool it was. Now, if only I could get him to remember the name of the Texas Governor (baby steps).
A few months ago, when we were playing, we were laughing so hard – my daughter and I had tears running down our faces. We might have even annoyed the table next to us that Friday night. I do not remember what we were talking about or what caused the laughing – but what I do know is that it was one of the best family times together. It was so random and so special and I will hold that memory dear to my heart.
We would love to hear your ideas, what do you and your family do to have phone free time together?