4 Ways to get Your Family to Take a Tech Timeout
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4 Ways to get Your Family to Take a Tech Timeout

Foresters Tech Timeout #techtimeout

Do you ever go into total panic mode when you cannot find your cellphone? I know that I do. I feel like I have lost a limb when I am not connected. Our phones and other tech gadgets have become an integral part of our lives.

For this reason, life insurance provider Foresters™ recently launched a Tech Timeout™ challenge to encourage families to take a daily one-hour scheduled break from their electronic devices and reconnect with each other in a more personal way.

THE FORESTERS TECH TIMEOUT

Foresters™ hopes that by launching Tech Timeout families will grow awareness of how our attachment to technology affects how we spend time together, even when we are in the same room.  Foresters’ mission is to champion family well-being and encourage families to take the Tech Timeout pledge and “disconnect to reconnect” for one hour each day for a week.

Use this time to enjoy tech-free activities as a family and think about new ways to spend time together. Families are encouraged to disconnect from all things electronic with the goal of helping spouses, parents and children build stronger bonds, communicate more personally and get more involved in each other’s lives. Foresters is always looking for innovative ways to help families spend meaningful time together.

ABOUT FORESTERS

ForestersTM is a life insurance provider with a difference.  The fraternal benefit society, founded in 1874, supports family well-being through quality products, unique member benefits and inspiring community activities. Foresters shares its financial strength with almost 950,000 members in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom.  For more information, visit foresters.com.

HOW YOU AND YOUR FAMILY CAN DISCONNECT TO RECONNECT

Since Foresters™ launched the “Tech Timeout” pledge to encourage families to spend more time together, I decided that is exactly what we would do. I signed my kids up for swim lessons at our local YMCA. My husband and I plan to take the kids, get some exercise in while they are swimming and then we will all swim together as a family. I am making it impossible for any of us to be technologically connected.

Instead, we will focus on building stronger relationships and connections rather than being on our electronic devices. Here are a couple of ways that you can get your family to take a tech timeout:

1. Declare tech free hours every single day and stick to them. 

In our house, we spend every night from 5-7 doing homework and just reconnecting as a family. No one is allowed to be on their phones, laptops, tablets or iPods. We use this a charging time!

2. Find an activity that you can do a family that does not involve any technology.

I mentioned above how we are all going swimming together and this is the perfect activity for my family. We can all enjoy ourselves and not have to worry about being connected.

3. Get the entire family involved in picking a non tech activity. 

We take turns letting the kids plan what we do on our tech timeouts. Last week we all went bike riding together as a family and then we played frisbee for about an hour. Everyone had a great time.

4. Round up all of the devices.

The best luck that I have for a tech timeout is by rounding up all of the devices beforehand. I mentioned above that we charge our devices during our timeout times so I gather all of the devices or put a kid in charge of getting everything and then plugging it all in.

CHECK OUT THE TIME FOR A TECH TIMEOUT VIDEO

LIKE FORESTERS TECH TIMEOUT ON FACEBOOK TODAY

TAKE A TECH TIMEOUT TODAY

Visit TechTimeout.com to take action, get inspired, and share your thoughts.

Sign your name on the digital pledge wall.

Download, print, and sign the Tech Timeout pledge as a daily reminder for your family to take a break from technology.

Follow the Tech Timeout Pinterest page for inspiration.

Taking a tech timeout is the perfect way to reconnect with your family and get off your phone or computer. I laughed when I first saw the picture above but then I realized that is my family every single day so I pledged to take a tech timeout every single week for a large block of time and everyone in my family is enjoying it.

This blog post is part of a paid SocialMoms and Foresters™ blogging program. The opinions and ideas expressed here are my own.

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37 Comments Leave a Comment »

  1. My husband has the hardest time disconnecting. Being a small business owner, he’s on the clock at the customer’s demand. We have a cruise planned later this year when there is NO internet or cell service – perfect for us!!

    On a more frequent level, we take family walks around the block. Even if it’s only 10 minutes, that’s worth it!

  2. Kita

    I tried the disconnecting thing one Sunday and I almost died my poor little phone was just going off but I promised myself I would not check it I lasted most of the day but by 5 that evening I was about to spazz out I had to check it lol. It’s a shame we have become so technology driven when I grew up there was no such thing

  3. These are GREAT tips! My family really needs to do this and I think we will definitely be setting time aside during the upcoming holiday season to reconnect.

  4. Great reminder of how attached we are to our digital distractions 🙂

  5. Great ideas. I need to do this more often with my electronics obsessed family.

  6. We have a time limit – 30 minutes. that is all the children are allowed for all technology. If they watch a show for 30 minutes, that’s it. If they play a game, that’s it. Mom has office hours, and I am sticking to them.

  7. This is such a great reminder of how important it is to be unplugged and just enjoy each other. We strive to play family games at least a few nights a week away from all electronics.

  8. I have the hardest time taking a tech timeout! We really need to declare tech free hours, like you said and stick to them! Thanks for these great tips!

  9. It’s a very different world we live in now! I’m not sure I would set total non-tech hours, but I do have times that I personally don’t let tech interfere — when I’m driving, checking out at the grocery store (or ordering at a restaurant or coffee shop) and more. I really do my best to not let my phone rule my day (and my delay in responding to text messages is usually proof of that).

  10. My oldest son is the worst, his phone is attached to him at all times. Like an umbilical cord to a baby.

  11. I could use a tech timeout!! I will be getting one next weekend and the week after while on vacation!!

  12. Yes! My family needs a tech timeout, especially me! I know it’s bad when my kids run around and pretend to be on the laptop like me, constantly want to watch TV, play their games on the computer (even if they are educational, they want to spend way too much time on me) and the kicker was when they pretended to text like I do…ugh. I need a big time tech timeout. Thanks for the tips!

  13. I really need a tech timeout myself. I have been sitting at my computer all day. My neck aches.. I am hungry and thirsty. Thanks for the post, I need a big time out!

  14. We could definitely use a tech time-out at our house. My girls don’t have tablets or phones yet but I need to get them in the habit! lol

  15. My kids are only allowed to have anything tech related for 45 minutes a day, that includes tv, games, etc. The rest must be reading, physical playing and family time. These are great tips.

  16. yes, yes we do, and won’t get it until we move out of my In-Law’s place and into our own home. Because there is no space for my kids to act like kids where we are now, so tech is the only way to keep them calm.

  17. A tech time out is definitely something I need to instill more often! Although Smartphones are amazing, every ding brings me back to it! Thanks for the great tips!

  18. Jessica

    This is a great reminder for all parents. We really aren’t techies and I always think these conversations don’t apply to me, but I really am on my phone more than I am aware of. I like the now gadget rule in the evenings… it’s the perfect time to connect with the family.

  19. I am definitely attached to my phone in the same way. I panic so much when I think I’ve lost it! It’s nice on trips where I literally just don’t get reception on my phone so I have to totally shut off.

  20. I know everyone is into getting off of technology. But one of my family’s favorite memories is when we all played the Google game Little Alchemy at the same time and challenged and supported each other.

  21. I usually walk away from the computer for several hours in the evening and it does me a world of good. I’m so glad that tech wasn’t really an issue when my kids were little!

  22. Dinner time is when we disconnect. My husband and I leave our phones in another room so we won’t be distracted. The television is off by the time our son goes down for nap every day and usually isn’t turned on in the evenings. It’s still manageable now, but I know as our boy gets older, it will be harder to do tech timeouts!

  23. It’s so so sad, my husband is in def need of a tech time out. I keep stressing the importance of it and telling him to me, you are not in the moment even if you are present if you keep looking at your phone, texting or even worse talking on the phone. I have demanded one more than one occasion for him to give the phone a rest, but then I catch him sneaking trying to use it with hands under table. Duh, I see you keep looking down in your lap. How odd/obvious is that! I find only way it works if I am like the tech sheriff and confiscate his phone for a while.

  24. We try to take tech timeouts on weekends. It’s a great way to spend quality time with family.

  25. There should be no tech during meal time but sometimes I am guilty of that. We have TV on while eating our meals.

  26. I am glad the Foresters company is encouraging family time. My kids know that dinner time means no technology at the table. This is the time we talk to each other and find out what is going on with one another. I have three teens I am lucky I get that much disconnected time.

  27. We play board games each week and during that time we are not allowed to check laptops or cellphones. Also, every night during dinner and TV watching time they are not allowed.

  28. Piera

    Love that Foresters is doing this! We try to take daily Tech Timeouts, but sometimes it’s hard. Lately, Lucas has been the good one – he’s been reading and doing art projects a lot more, which I am very happy about! It’s daddy and me that are bad because we both work from home, own our own business – so that can make it tougher to disconnect. We’re still trying though!

  29. I tired the disconnect thing and…..I failed. LOL
    I usually make it all day on my anniversary( if it’s on the weekend) and through date night. But any other time noooo. LOl

  30. I’m way to attached to my devices 🙂 But when my hubby is home (he’s out for work 3-6 weeks at a time) I make a point to have blog posts and social media scheduled and taken care of so I can mostly unplug and spend some quality time with my favorite person 🙂

  31. Jayne Townsley

    This would be very challenging for us. Seriously challenging. I applaud those who can do it, though!

  32. My kids don’t use technology that much but my husband and I are always on the computer, phone or tablet. We recently decided to turn all our devices in the evenings and do not go back to the computer until after the kids are asleep. These are some great tips.

  33. Tory Blum

    This is such a smart article, awesome tips! Many families are growing apart because of technology..

  34. Sheila

    I read a post with a topic like this before and it always makes me think of it when all the members of our family are so busy with their own tech. anyway, my kids still little and still listen when i shut everything up. they get upset but eventually they will calm down. tech time out is important for family to bond and know what’s going on with their school, life and everything.

  35. I take a tech timeout everyday and go somewhere outside the house with my daughter.

  36. We are way too attached to our devices in our house Thanks for the reminder to take a tech timeout!

  37. Anjanette @MommaYoung

    We do love our technology, but yes I know we need a break from it all and get some face to face time.

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