Common Sense Media, that great website for all things kids and tech, is encouraging families to join their latest campaign: Device Free Dinners. It is a simple concept: families commit to spending time at the dinner table focused upon each other rather than their devices. As Common Sense founder and CEO James P. Steyer explains, “Everything from better grades to a healthier lifestyle has been linked to eating together regularly as a family. By taking the Device Free Dinner challenge, families will gain important family time and set an example for kids that we all need to carve out face-to-face conversation time in our lives.”
For families who want to dive into this challenge, Common Sense Media has a #DeviceFreeDinner Family Starter Kit, which you can find here. Included is a family contract, for all to sign, which reads:
We, the ___________________________ family, hereby commit to have device-free dinner__________________________(every day, once a week), and we promise to
keep each other honest if we mess up. We commit to have great family conversations. If we succeed, we will ___________________________(do something fun), and if we don’t, we’ll keep trying.
Think your family can survive this challenge? Although we are down to one high school senior at home, we sit down together as a family to eat every night we are all there. Dining together is a really great way to check in with one another and talk about what is going on in all of our lives, and keeping devices out of the mix is a great way to keep the conversation going. (Truth be told, we do bring our devices to the table but try to use them only if we need to look up something we are talking about.) Trust me, this will be as hard (if not harder) on the parents as it will be on the kids, but it is certainly worth the effort. Let us know how it goes!