Leaving the iPad behind when at restaurants is probably one of the wisest things that you can implement in your life, although it might bring you some peace and quiet.
Family is arguably the most important aspect of an individual’s life. Ever since you are a child, the only constant element in your life might be your family. However, in the current fast-paced life, the value and importance of spending time with your family seem to be fading. Due to the cut-throat competition in today’s world, dedication and hard work towards pressing matters makes it very difficult for parents to spend time with their kids throughout the day. Likewise, kids are engrossed in their studies and extracurricular activities. Amidst this, the only time that you get as a family may be sharing a meal at home, a vacation with your family, or a weekly outing at a restaurant.
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In the limited available time, if children are busy on their screens, they might as well go alone. Weekly outings are something that every member of the family would cherish. It is also one place where you catch up on each other’s week’s ups-and-downs. There is much to talk about. For some families, it is almost like a tradition. Your kids might find these as their favorite childhood memory ten years down the line and remember it for life.
However, when screens come into the picture, this family time seems to get sidelined. Toddlers tend to choose their favorite games, and tweens choose to text their mates while at a restaurant table. Their time on the screen just creates a void in the child’s mind with no memories to look back upon. They might only remember talking to that best friend who now might not even be in touch, or that video which has become too old and boring. Not just kids, but even parents should consider leaving their gadgets for a bit. It rejuvenates you and gives you precious time with your loved ones.
Besides that, eating and being on a gadget is not an advisable thing either. Your attention gets divided as a result of which you cannot do either appropriately. You might physically be at a restaurant table, but mentally you are more interested in what’s going on on your screen. This shifts your focus from the food. By doing this, are you really appreciating, rejoicing, or are even thankful for your meals? Overall, the energy that goes around while eating is not positive. Plus, excessive usage of gadgets can turn into addiction in the blink of an eye, of which is later difficult to let go.
However, the question is, what can you do if not swipe between apps on your iPad when at a restaurant with your family. You can adopt these things the next time you are at a restaurant, and you will not regret ditching your gadget.
Indulge in Conversations
As mentioned earlier, talking and catching up is one of the best things you can do. Giddy up, go to your favorite restaurant, order your favorite dish, and talk about your week. Family members are trusted loved ones to whom which you can rant without the fear of being judged. You will also be aware of how your child is keeping up with his classes or friendships. Moreover, it will foster feelings of love and security when eating together and not popping your eyes on the screen.
Play Games with Your Family
Another option is to play a game when at the table. It can be any game. While board games might not always be possible, you can also play verbal games –just rewind your head a little and think of all the gullible verbal games you played as a child. You might like ‘Would You Rather’ or ‘I Spy.’ While it is not always possible to carry one, some restaurants and eateries offer games.
Charise Rohm Nulsen, a social media influencer and activist, said in an article, “A deck of cards offers easy portability and an endless number of games you can play together as a family. Even the youngest of kids can partner with an older sibling or parent to participate in games like Go Fish or War. Card games allow for family interaction and lots of laughter.”
Take a Book Along
A book is probably the best mood booster for your child. They may get more out of reading a book instead of playing on an iPad. They can put themselves in their favorite character’s shoes and enjoy a comic or adventurous book. While being lost in the pages of a book, your child surely won’t get to enjoy many other things, but it is way better than torturing their eyes with the harmful rays of the screen.
Enjoy the Ambience & View
You might plan to go to that restaurant by the sea or the one with the stunning ambiance of a Greek village. Would it be worth to go and glue your eyes on a screen rather than enjoying the mesmerizing ambiance? It most certainly will not. Instead, have a light-hearted conversation and share a few laughs with your family and friends while looking at the sea. Listen to the sound of the waves or the smooth Bossa Nova in the background. It will only make your eating experience better.
Only ditching the iPad for a few hours, your children may gain a lifetime worth of memories. So the next time you or child are reluctant to leave the gadgets behind, remember this, gadgets are meant to make your life easier, not push you away from your loved ones. A night with your loved ones at the restaurant where no devices are allowed can actually make you happier and more contended. Enjoy where you are and live the moment to the fullest, because we don’t know what tomorrow brings.
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Source: Washington Ian, Family Education, CNN
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