Illustrated by: San Jose State University

If you go out to eat, the park, have a family gathering and a slew of many other events it is a common thing now to see people of all ages on their devices. Here is how I changed it and why….

For kids :

Little eyes glued onto iPads, mobiles and TV’s ignoring everything around them or their chores depending the situation.

That was not acceptable to me but I did not want to be labelled as the mean or uncool old person so would just let them be. I eventually came up with a 50/50 deal where kids had to earn the rights to play with their devices.

As kids enter my home I warn them all devices will be confiscated once seen and they would only get them back upon earning the rights to them. If taken I would then put a sticker on each device in order to identify who it belongs to later.

Kids had to do tasks like play hide and go seek for 30mins,  win in a thinking game like Scrabble,  help set the dinner table,  be a host greeting guests at the door or for the younger ones say their ABC’s,  1,2,3’s / play a basic Simon says game.

One of the best things about engaging them in this mannerism was when the time came for them to get their devices back they were too busy having fun to even think about requesting them.

For Adults:

The same concept is at play but you give them penalties for picking up their phones within reason. Such as every time an adult touches their phone they have to serve dinner for the night to everyone,  or get a smaller piece of dessert or have to put $1 into a jar. This even translates to a date.  If you are out with a person who keeps looking at their phone tell them that they have to foot the dinner bill or if they already offered that simply tell them that they might not get another chance to go out with you if it bothers you that much. KEEP IT REAL…

I hope this has given you some ideas.

Feel free to share some technology down time tips.

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