If you have children who have reached that age where their phones have become the most important things in their lives, this blog post is for you. When your family is at the cottage the last thing you want are your kids on their phones the whole time. Cottages are for family bonding through laughter at the dinner table, story telling by bon fires, and outdoor activities you can’t do at home. Here are 4 ways that will help prevent phones from ruining an amazing cottage experience.
- The first thing and perhaps the most important thing of all to note is to not force your kids from not using their phones. This then makes them resentful of you and creates passive aggression and moodiness. Instead, allow the kids to still have their phones, however set boundaries for when they can use it. For example, not allowing your kids to use their phone when the family is playing a board game, whether your child wants to play the board game or not. Then no phones during meals should become mandatory, since these are times when the greatest bonding moments occur
- Next have enough activities planned that makes the experience stimulating enough so your children don’t feel “bored” and want to use their phone all the time. Family activities like walking in Algonquin Park (which has no reception, bonus!), or going for a boat ride and maybe even tubbing are great fun activities to keep the kids off their phones. In a sense, the more fun you can jam pack into a vacation, the less time the kids will be bored and on their phones.
- Stay off your phone! If the kids see you on your phone they will go on their phone or become envious if you have prevented them from going on their phone.
- Have times during the day when the whole family shuts down their phones, so that means no notifications at all distracting you. You could even make a game out of it, if someone catches a person sneaking a peak at their phone, the person has a negative consequence. This could be monetary or nonmonetary like having to run for a kilometre.
- If you want to go cold turkey, you could go to a cottage with no Wi-Fi and possibly no reception so there is no possibility anyone can use their phone. Or if that is not an option you could, in a sense not find out the Wi-Fi password, which would at least keep the kids off social media in most cases