Technology provides us with a great many benefits but one downfall is its impact on our empathy levels. When we are immersed in our devices we get less practice with face-to-face interactions, communication and interpreting peoples feelings, all key components of empathy.
To build empathy this week, start to carve out device-free time in your home with a phone bin. Use it over dinner, while playing a family game or walking to get ice cream. Have everyone with a device throw it in the bin and just enjoy each other’s company without distraction. Try to find a few chances every week to connect this way.
Time without technology is critical in helping our children develop empathy. Even before they themselves have these devices, our empathy levels as parents are impacted by this divided attention and we are modelling behaviours that are very important for our child’s future development. In my home, I find my 7 and 9 year old will ask for this device-free time now. A great start for when they get their own technology to manage.