switching the gaze from iPhone to eye contact

Switching The Gaze From iPhones To Eye Contact: Reconnecting With Your Teen

With the iPhone 6 now available, it is no “news” that our culture is influenced by and—at times—is all about technology. There are of course numerous reasons why technology,  and phones that also serve as computers are helpful, entertaining, and at times necessary. However, there are also a handful of reasons why these ‘computer phones’ can be burden—a key reason being they take away from the quality time that children and teens spend connecting with their siblings and family.

Set Technology Limits and Reconnect with Your Teen:

Setting limits on the amount of time your teen spends on their phone/iPad/laptop may help you reconnect with your switching the gaze from iPhone to eye contactteen. Your teen may have some initial resistance to this plan, however if the time spent without the device is spent in a meaningful and positive way, she will eventually open up to (and possibly even look forward to) the ‘tech free time’.

The following activities are ways to make ‘tech free’ time meaningful and positive:

  • Have a heart-to-heart discussion
  • Cook/bake together
  • Play a board game
  • Go for a walk or bike-ride
  • Invite your teen to suggest some ideas of what to do during this ‘tech free time’. This will be another way for this time to be enjoyable. Also, inviting them to suggest ideas is another way for you to reconnect and learn about your teen—you can learn new things about her when asking her to share what she would like to do with you.
  • Or do anything that would be enjoyable for both or all people involved—as long as it provides for some face-to-face and eye-to-eye time.

Similar to teens, adults and parents are also at times immersed in their phones and tech devices. It is important that the adult and teen disconnect for a set period of time. Providing specific praise as to how meaningful the time is, and how much you love and appreciate your teen will also be an important way to reconnect with her and show your teen how much this time—and she is valued.