Family vacations are one of the best times to bond, and recharge your batteries, but making connections can become difficult if your children are constantly plugged into their devices.
We have all become so dependent on media and technology in our lives. But a holiday is a great time to disconnect or at least reduce the time you spend with electronics, to make memories with the ones you love.
Here are a few strategies to strike a balance between electronic engagement and family time:
- Do not carry them all. One of the advantages of bringing a tablet, laptop, or a smartphone is you can watch movies in the plane or use apps for fun. It’s a great way to pass time during boring journeys but it’s always a good idea to decide on the right time and place for screen time.
- You can create an inside/outside rule. You can allow tech at the hotel room or the house, and only during night time. Daytime should be for outside adventure, play, family interaction, and exploring, so leave the screens back inside the room.
- Go to the local theater. Rather than individual members of the family plugging into separate electronics for the same movie, go on an outing to the nearby theater.
- Set phone rules. Establish a few rules, such as “No calling or texting during outings.” Phones should only be allowed to take pictures till lets say 6 p.m. Also, putting cellphones on airplane mode in a foreign country does not just give family a time to bond, it also saves a lot of money (as you can avoid high data charges).
- Friendly fire. Children tend to miss their friends when they are out of town. It is important to respect their desire to share vacation photos from their cellphones or through Facebook, Snapchat, etc. But they must take a break from using their cellphones throughout the day. Tell your little ones that if they stay glued to the phone, they will step out of the group experience that shows a serious lack of courtesy for those around them.
- Pack family games. Children love to play games such as Uno, Apples to Apples, or card games — all of which can fit easily inside a suitcase. Car Bingo and Mad Libs are great for the road. Avoid taking videogames with you.
As a homeschooling parent you need that special time with your children so that you can make memories and share more experiences together apart from studying together. These small tips can help you enjoy your family vacation to the fullest!