FSA Urges Device-Free Dinners to Strengthen Family Bonds

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Over the last year, the Family Service Association of South Jersey has been developing a community awareness campaign as a way to get families to set time aside to put down the distractions and focus on each other.

When it comes to bonding time at the dinner table, is your family checked in or tuned out?

“We’ve noticed the disconnect happening in families with too many people looking at their devices and not one another,” said Cindy Herdman Ivins, president and CEO of the Family Services Association of South Jersey.

We’ve noticed the disconnect happening in families with too many people looking at their devices and not one another.

Herdman Ivins says that’s the reason the FSA launched the new community awareness campaign called “Device Free Dinners.”

It's their way of reminding families to turn off the distractions and tune into each other.

device free dinners “What we’re suggesting is that a family picks a designated spot where everyone pledges to put their phones, iPads, and other devices when they’re coming together for dinner,” said Herdman Ivins. “It’s just about getting a family talking.”

Even outside of televisions, mobile phones, and tablets, distractions are popping up in households every day.

But with a conscious effort of putting time into each other, Herdman Ivins says families can build stronger bonds, which could last a lifetime.

“The best way to strengthen a family is [to] help a family being strong together," said Herdman Ivins. "By being able to talk to one another about fun things, [and] about challenging times. If we can strengthen that relationship, that family will never need my services.”

The campaign was launched thanks to a partnership with Common Sense Media and the Family Dinner Project, with one, simple goal in mind: bringing families together.

“I do this in my own house,” said Herdman Ivins. “My daughters' friends know that no phones are at the table when we come together, and there’s usually lots of laughter and lots of fun. I think we all need more of that in our lives.”

Related: FSA Hosts 4th Annual Christmas Celebration 

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