Are you seeking new technology-free ways to re-connect with your family after a long day? I'll show you how you can reclaim family dinner time.
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Comcast. Personal story and thoughts are my own.
When I was a kid, the TV was the distraction at dinner time. The kids wanted it on. The parents wanted time to eat dinner as a family.
Looking back, that is one thing I truly appreciate about my childhood. We sat around the dinner table together every night and caught up about our days. I may not have loved it as a child, but as an adult, I can see how important that family time was.
Fast forward to today. I have a family of my own. Our family structure is a bit different than mine was growing up.
We homeschool our children and I work from home. One of us is always here with our daughters. It’s pretty spectacular that we have been able to make this work.
At dinner time, we usually have the TV on, and we don’t sit at the dinner table. I think the presence of technology at the dinner table has become pretty typical, but it doesn’t have to be.
If you’ve been looking for ways to reclaim family dinner time, then this post is for you. I’ll share some of my best tips for reclaiming family dinner time so you can reconnect with your family each day.
Have a Set Dinner Time
I know, you might be thinking about all of those extracurricular activities you chauffer your kids to every week. Your dinner time doesn’t have to be the same time every night – it can work with your schedule.
However, if you can have a set dinner time for each night depending upon your schedule (e.g., 6 pm on Monday, 6:30 pm on Tuesday and Wednesday, 7 pm on Thursday and 5:30 pm on Friday) you can get into a routine.
It can be on everyone’s calendars to be at the dinner table at that time on that day. It may take a bit of getting used to, but scheduling is key.
Take Turns Cooking or Cook Together
One thing I really enjoy is cooking with my family. Our kitchen is small, so it’s a bit crowded if we’re all in there, but we can still work together.
Our girls are becoming quite the cooks, and before long, they’ll have their own turns cooking dinner. For now, they help Brian and I in the kitchen to hone their cooking and baking skills.
If you aren’t cooking with your kids (and your spouse), you’re missing out. There is so much personal connection to be had during a cooking session in the kitchen.
Turn Off the TV
While we do watch TV during dinner now, it’s often something I wonder whether we should cut back on. If our kids attended school and we only had a few hours with them each night, I would turn off the TV so we’d have more time to connect.
When the TV is on, the conversation is really at a bare minimum. If you’ve been apart all day, switch off the TV and switch on the conversation. It’s a great time to learn more about what is going on in your children’s lives.
No Technology at the Table
Even worse than TV are the smart phones and tablets at the dinner table. Everyone is constantly connected to their phones – text messaging, social media and more – it can all be so distracting!
You can designate a basket or a bucket where everyone places their cell phones and tablets before they’re allowed to sit at the table. They should be on silent mode so it’s not a distraction.
Then everyone can pick up their technology at the end of dinner, after everything has been cleaned up. Your kids will work a lot faster to clear the table and help with dishes if they don’t get their devices back until they’re done!
Upgrade to Comcast Xfinity xFi
Don’t want to take the phones away? No problem. There is another solution. Comcast recently introduced Xfinity xFi, which is a new way to personalize your home Wi-Fi experience
Using xFi is a great way to help maximize quality time with your family and control Internet usage. If you’re currently a Comcast Internet customer, this new feature is available to you, at no additional cost.
xFi can do some pretty cool things, like pause Wi-Fi access during scheduled intervals. So you can shut off internet access during dinnertime and at bedtime with a quick tap.
You can also set parental controls and see what devices are connected to the internet. If your family member is on the internet when they shouldn’t be, you can easily add or remove devices. You can even find or change their password.
Watch this video to learn more about Xfinity xFi from Comcast.