By Zunammie Keren
Every parent knows how important it is to have clear, open lines of communication with your children. Being able to talk to your kids is important to knowing what’s going on with them, making sure they’re OK, and informing them of important family events and happenings. However, children have a problem that they share with adults, and that is too much attention gets paid to the phone. As adults we know that we are guilty of this as well. One solution to this problem could be a No-Phone-Zone.
What is a No-Phone-Zone?
A No-Phone-Zone is just what it sounds like, an area of your house where phone use is forbidden. The progress this makes toward the goal of better communication with your children is clear. If you need to talk to them, or if they need to talk to you, then you should go to the No-Phone-Zone. This lets you have a space where you can be sure that the people in the conversation will dedicate themselves 100% to the conversation, rather than browsing the news or playing a game and missing out on important details or events.
How to Make a No-Phone-Zone Work
No system, no matter how perfect, can achieve its goals if it isn’t used properly. There are several things that you can do to help make sure your No-Phone-Zone is a success. The first is to make sure that you follow its rules. Your children will notice if you break the rules and this will result in the message that the zone isn’t important.
Another thing that you need to be aware of is the enforcement of the zone with your family. If someone breaks the rules of the zone then it is more likely others will try as well. One solution to both of these problems is to not even allow the presence of phones in this area, be they in pockets or purses. This will send a clear signal that conversations in this space are to be taken seriously, helping you achieve your goal of better communication with your family.
One important thing to consider is that the No-Phone-Zone shouldn’t be a tool you use to force others to do what you want. Overusing the No-Phone-Zone will create resentment and undermine not only those communication efforts, but also likely cause other efforts to suffer. This would result in a worse communication environment than you started with, which is not your goal.
As you can see, the No-Phone-Zone creates a clear, easy to understand solution to one of the biggest communication problems a family can face. However, it is important that the zone is used fairly, its rules are enforced consistently, and that it is not abused. If you follow these guidelines you may find that it is easier to express important information, events, schedules, and news to your family, without having to compete with their smartphones for attention. This will improve your family’s communication with each other, and help eliminate conflict in other areas as well.
Taken from the April 2017 issue of Geek Parenting, out now!