Spending Quality Family Time – Tech Swear Jar

tech swear jar

As a family in this day and age, it’s safe to say we integrate technology into our daily lives quite easily. Even though our gadgets stay within arms reach at all times, we still try to spend quality time with each other – No tech allowed. We attempt to implement this family rule everyday during dinner time. Every once in a while, we all lapse and take a peek at an incoming text or email. Our kids are only four and two years old, but they want to invite some talking doll or gadget with a bunch of lights and noises to the dinner table. So we have implemented a trick as a reminder of our dinner table rule.

If you need proof that we are a tech family, we have tech nicknames that I’ve used multiple times in my blog and on social media

Me: BrothaTech
Wifey: Mrs. Tech
Oldest Daughter: Lil’ Tech
Youngest Daughter: Tech 2.0

On the flip side, technology doesn’t run our entire lives. We use dinner time as our way to “disconnect”. Our typical dinner conversation goes like this: Everyday, Lil’ Tech tells us about her new friends, and discusses why she broke up with her old friends…just to be friends with them all over again the next day. “Busy” is always Tech 2.0’s response to how her day went; but, we do manage to dig out a new song or color she has learned. We just found out she knows her months of the year, so we are pretty geeked about that. Mrs. Tech talks about her co-workers how busy her day was (I wonder where the kids get their topics from). I talk about how crazy “fanboyism” is getting in the tech scene, or what new gadget or service I think our family can benefit from – No ulterior motives there…

We do pretty good forgetting about technology for that 30 or minutes or so during dinner…for the most part. There are times when I quickly respond to a tweet or blog comment. We try to get started with dinner around 6:30, but some times we have to wait on Mrs. Tech to “leave work at work”. The kids, especially Lil’ Tech does a good job of pointing out when we break the rules: “No texting during dinner”…She’s such a whistleblower.

For more accountability, we will be implementing a [tech] swear jar rule. We will sit a jar in the center of the dinner for everybody to see. If any of us gets caught “tech swearing”, we have to put money in the jar. When there are times when I think I absolutely must retweet that message, or when Mrs. Tech holds up dinner, or when the kids bring their own little gadgets to the table, the jar will be a reminder that dinner is not just a time to eat, but to spend time getting caught up on the day’s activities in hopes to grow closer as a family.

Haven’t figured out what we will do with the money if the jar gets full. We are open to suggestions.

As our kids get older and technology REALLY starts to play a role in their lives, hopefully our little dinner practice will be instilled in their minds so we won’t have to pry their smartphones (or whatever kids will be using in the future) from their hands just to have a conversation with them. They may even implement the tech swear jar as a rule for their own families later in life…

*Shudders at the thought of being a Granddad*

Be sure to leave a comment highlighting some of the ways your family breaks away from technology to spend quality time together.

This post was sponsored by Samsung Smart TV with Motion Control. Opinions are my own.




  • EPayne

    I love this post and linked to it in a post of my own earlier this week. We try to eat dinner as a family as much as possible and AT THE TABLE and dinner time the table is a tech-free zone. Although lately Mom has been the number one rule-breaker in this area, checking emails on her phone.

    • BrothaTech

      Yeah, I’m normally the one breaking the rule, so I know where my pocket change will be going, lol!

      Thanks for the comment.

  • P.O.W.E.R. ORG

    I love this “swear jar” rule! My son and I just removed our TV, but we catch each other at the dinner table w/other tech. It’s so important that “disconnection” time is a habit in order to cultivate relationships and preserve the bonds of families!

    • BrothaTech

      Just to let your know, the Tech Swear Jar is trademarked, copyrighted & Patent Pending, so don’t even try to steal it, lol!

      • LaToniyaAJones

        Funny. I didn’t even think of it as swearing when we are disrespectful in this way–especially to our family. Wow..I guess it’s like screaming/kicking/putting our heads down at the table as well!

  • Wendy Young, LMSW, BCD

    So, so, so important to connect in a way that is tech free! With two teens and a tween under our roof, that time is usually dinner, too! On a related topic, I’m happy to say that “note-writing” during class is still alive and well. I recently found a few in my 12 yr. olds clothes pile! Who knew kids still did that? I should have a “little talk” w/ him about paying attention in class, but I was waxing nostalgic over it all…and those few notes haven’t affected his grades…I should be happy he can write in coherent sentences.
    Wendy @Kidlutions

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