It is no secret that the advent of wireless technology, combined with increasingly hectic work, school and extracurricular schedules, is leading to less quality time between parents and children.
So, no matter how much time you devote to improving your family relationships and health, you are not going to succeed unless you power down the digital devices, say human development specialists at the University of Missouri.
Kelly Warzinik, extension associate in the College of Human Environmental Sciences, said that instead of watching TV or talking on a cellphone, parents could take advantage of daily opportunities to interact with their children at meal times or in the car.
Additionally, she also noted that parents should not overschedule themselves or their children to ensure that everyone has time to connect.
"Husbands and wives who are working and raising kids may need to be even more intentional about nurturing their relationship as a couple," Warzinik said.
"Touch base throughout the day by calling, emailing or texting, and after children are asleep, put down the iPhone, turn off the television and just focus on each other," she added.
In addition to strengthening family connections, turning off time-consuming devices leads to better health, according to Saralee Jamieson, human development specialist and Extension program director in St. Clair County.
She says people who devote more time to digital technology are less likely to make healthy food choices or be physically active and are less successful academically.
"People who watch a lot of TV are exposed to thousands of ads for high-calorie, low-nutrient foods as well as violent programming," Jamieson said.
"While it might not seem harmful, having a muted TV on while sleeping disrupts healthy sleep patterns and contributes to chronic fatigue," she added.