Our world has changed so much since I was a kid. There is so much to entertain. Sometimes we even need to be entertained while being entertained! It’s literally at our fingertips. With so much to distract, it’s easy to get into some bad habits. How often do we favor scrolling through our phone than paying attention to our spouse or children? What message are you conveying when your child needs something and you take your time to respond so you can finish reading your article or playing your game? Relationships take effort. Being present speaks volumes of love. It says, you are important, and worth my time. We have made a few decisions in our house to help us make time for being intentional with our family.
- No devices at the dinner table. We eat meals together as a family, and everyone sets aside their phones (or toys for the younger ones). Mealtime is probably the most important time of the day to engage with each other.
- No TV’s in the bedroom. This was a little more difficult to give up, but I’m so glad we did. The bedroom is for sex, and for sleeping.
- Play games! Board games are so different from when we were children. There are so many different kinds of games out there. El Fury and I love playing games together, and it’s a great way to engage with each other. We watch TV sometimes, but that feels more like parallel play. There are a lot of cooperative games out there too, so you can even be on the same team.
- We often say to our kids “people are more important” when they want to play on their tablets instead of hang out with our family. It’s a good thing for them to hear, and a good reminder for us as well.
- We also try not to be on our phones in the evening. After the kids go to bed it’s our time to hang out. We guard that time. We don’t get on our computers or phones, we spend time together.
When your spouse is talking to you, set your phone aside, and look them in the eye. They should be more important to you. Your relationship is with a person and not a device. At the end of your life are you going to be happy for all the time you spent with your spouse, or are you going to wish you would have spent more time on your phone?