weekends in our home are pretty special. my hubby is gone for 12hrs a day and only really has about an hour with our daughter before bed during the week. so on the weekends, we try to make the most of it. ours was a 3-day weekend this past weekend. it stared off with going into his work for lunch and to check out what new movie he's been working on, followed by a night out with another family. saturday, they had a dad/daughter day watching movies while i was out with some girlfriends having lunch and seeing a movie of our our. sunday, she and i had some time to chill and watch a movie while hubby was teaching. then that night we went out to dinner just the 3 of us. it was a lot of fun just relaxing and having time together. little things like this can really make a difference. it's not about doing huge things to make up for time spent away, it's the quiet moments doing simple things that really matter to us in our family.
while at dinner i saw another random family that kinda irritated me and made me sad. there was mom and dad (around mid 40s?) boy 1 was about 10-11?, girl was about 12-14? boy about 15-17? and grandma. the family is seated and given menus. mom and daughter go use the restroom. oldest son looks at menu then proceeds to take out his smartphone, attach his white headphones to his ears and ignores the family. daughter comes back.....proceeds to do the same as her older brother. dad....he's sitting there on his smartphone doing who knows what. youngest son....HE's on HIS smartphone/device. mom finally comes back from the restroom.....SHE gets on HER smartphone!!! poor grandma is just sitting there. i could see them right in front of me, i quietly point this out to my husband. he kinda chuckles and reminds me of a PSA commercial we just saw last night while catching up on some Hulu. according to this PSA, the average child averages about 9hrs of media a day. from computer use, cell phone, tv, video games....it's just crazy! here was a family that could have totally fit into that research group.
it really irritated me because as a parent, i expect my child to intact with us as a member of our family. the ONLY time she is allowed to bring her itouch with her to dinner or such is when we know she's going to be the only child within a group of adults and even then that's greatly limited. she's almost 10 and interacts with adults extremely well for a child her age. jokes with our friends and will start/engage in conversations with them as well. and here was a whole family just completely ignoring each other, more interested in what's going on around them then what's with who's right in front of them. then poor grandma. i hope she didn't invite them all out just to be ignored half the night. if my daughter sat there like that, her privilege of having such a device would be taken away.
it made me sad because THIS has become socially acceptable. to sit with your family or even in a group of friends and to be constantly "connected" to everything else then enjoying who is sitting RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU!!! too many people are just so "trained" now to constantly pick up their phone the second something happens on it. i know there are times i'm completely guilty of it. and let me tell you, hubby and daughter both point it out to me and "yell" at me for it. but when you're out with your family, especially older family members who may not be around forever, you spend time with them. you're supposed to enjoy each other......or why go out at all? i remember that going out to dinner was something special. you cleaned up a bit and it was something to look forward to. something where you were expected to act a certain way and to use your manners and to engage with who you were with. now it seems it's more common to see children connected to their smart devices/video game players while the adults are staring off into space or the tv that's bound to be somewhere to catch the game they're missing.
i know i'm trying my best to show our daughter how a loving family works and how to interact not only with adults, but with people in general. time spent with family is special. i really hope when she grows up she'll have good memories of all the silly things we do together, remember laughing and playing games, time spent snuggling watching a movie or reading a book together. maybe we're old fashioned this way, but i'd rather be then disconnected with people right in front of me.