Face time or FaceTime?

You are enjoying a sumptuous dinner at a Chinese restaurant. You smile as you notice many families enjoying a meal together, and think to yourself that family bonding in Singapore is still quite strong after all. Then you realize – at almost every table, there is someone glued to his or her phone as the rest of the family talks on.

Indeed, mobile gadgets have invaded the family space, so much so that some restaurants have resorted to campaigns to get diners off their mobile phones and back to face-to-face conversations. A recent research showed that parents using their mobile phones during mealtime interacted less with their children and were less responsive to them. It also found that these parents were less sensitive to their children’s needs, and some even overreacted when their children acted out after being ignored.

Why are mobile phones a seemingly more appealing distraction? It could be that in this age of technology, we are more comfortable communicating behind a screen, and sadly, less adept at maintaining meaningful conversations in person.

However, it doesn’t have to be that way. The next time you have a meal with your loved ones, resist the temptation to Instagram your food or respond to that Whatsapp message, and focus on the people in front of you. Ask them about their day and share about yours with them. When you have the desire to truly connect, your conversations will likely be more meaningful and ultimately, more engaging than the most interesting mobile application.

Dads, here is a perfect opportunity for you to bond with your daughter – bring her to Date with Dad. Put aside your mobile gadgets (except when taking “wefies” as keepsakes) and purpose to spend that time focusing on her, speaking into her life and simply listening to her. We trust that you will have a wonderful time together!

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