What's the biggest challenge facing families this summer? Cancelled flights? Rain delays? Try unplugging from our 24/7 media lives. For kids, that means no texting, no DS, no iPod, no computer. For parents, it means cutting the cord that keeps us connected to work (or Facebook, or our favorite podcast...).
We know it's not easy. And it affects nearly every family, no matter how old your kids are. (Some experts are even saying that mobile apps are the hottest
educational tools for kids!)
But with planning, coaxing, and a major dose of self-control, you can ditch the gadgets and enjoy some family face time.
1. Soften the blow. Call a family meeting to discuss your vacation schedule. Explain that it's going to be a digital-free trip -- and why. Then move quickly to No. 2.
2. Be flexible. So no one feels completely out of touch, plan something media-related that you can all do together. Have a family movie night, or schedule time during the day that gives everyone time to check their email or text a friend. (Set a timer!)
3. Unplug yourself. Kids learn more from what we do than from what we say. So say so long to your iPhone or Blackberry.
4. Do your research. Plan off-line activities that relate to where you're going. If you're going to Hawaii, learn about the native culture -- or take hula lessons!
5. Choose the road less traveled. Unplug your GPS, and have the kids navigate using a paper map. Extra credit for those who refold the map correctly.For more tips, reviews, and recommendations on your family favorites, visit us at Common Sense Media.