How many times have you exclaimed to your children, “Dinner’s ready” or “Turn off the lights. It’s time for bed,” only to be ignored while they are entranced by their phone or tablet? We would bet this happens pretty often.
As many of us at Killerspin are parents, we are acclimated with the parental struggle of continually looking for ways to remove ourselves and our kids from constant electronic use.
The solution isn't force. The solution is transforming your family culture.
As this video from the Wall Street Journal points out, parents are relentlessly looking for ways to unplug their families:
The Bigger Issue
Our children are increasingly becoming more and more dependent on their smartphones, laptops, tablets and video game consoles. Social media, text messaging, web-browsing and elaborate video games are creating not only disconnect between families, but are possibly leading to social issues down the road. Furthermore, electronic dependence is starting earlier than ever, where kids as young as 10 (the “new teenagers”) are using their devices to run their everyday lives.
As children are ever-connected to their electronic devices, they experiencing noticeable and imperceptible negative effects such as:
- Loss of real-world social skills – constant digital interaction can have long-term effects on their communication abilities as they get older
- A sedentary lifestyle – lack of playtime, exercise and sunlight can lead to poor overall physical health and weight gain
- Brain drain – especially when it comes to mind-numbing activities such as video games and smartphone games, constant digital device use can halt cognitive activity and even cause cognitive regression
- Disconnect from parents and siblings – lack of family interaction can lead to poor social decisions such as associating with undesirable crowds
Create An Outlet
While vacationing mentioned in the video can be an effective way to jump-start family togetherness, it is short lived. Once the vacation ends, electronic dependency rears its ugly head all over again, tempting everyone to catch up on what they missed – possibly making the matter even worse.
Other common family activities such as designated dinnertime or short outings to a movie or restaurant are becoming increasingly ineffective. This can often be “forced activity," making children associate this well-meaning bonding time to an unpleasant experience. Other physical activities such as “mainstream” sports are fun and accessible to some, but not all. Families need to have an effective outlet at their fingertips to reinforce family-time on a regular basis.
An effective outlet is fun, engaging, mind-occupying, and involves all members.
Table Tennis - the Perfect Outlet
The tried and true staple of American homes, table tennis hits on all points of an effective outlet - regardless of your family members’ ages, genders, body-types or physical abilities. Table tennis not only pulls people away from their electronics, but is also fun, requires concentration, and is an aerobic exercise that gets the blood flowing with little risk of injury. Check out more benefits of table tennis here.
Think about it. Remember a time playing table tennis when you were a kid. You associate it with good times with your family and friends.
Table tennis has the power to transform your family culture. Instead of continually begging your children to put down their phones, they will be constantly begging for "one more game."
UnPlugNPlay with Killerspin
Killerspin’s UnPlugNPlay initiative is bigger than table tennis. It’s a concept that families can have a cost-effective, permanent outlet to literally unplug…and play. Killerspin is leading the way with a brand and a purpose people can resonate with and the quality equipment that lasts. There is no need to have an ugly ping pong table to hide away in the basement – Killerspin offers luxury, aesthetic equipment to ignite the table tennis flame while adding a flair to your home you and your kids will love.
The longer you wait, the harder it is to change your family's electronic habits. Now is the time to take action. Start your own UnPlugNPlay lifestyle and be on your way to a happier, healthier family.
Check out our complete packages to get you started.