How Connected Is YOUR Family? Take This Quiz To Determine Whether Your Children Really Enjoy Your Company
- Psychologist Corinne Swift has devised a simple quiz
- Seven question quiz is based on how your family spend mealtimes
- Will determine whether your children enjoy your company
You may all get on well but do you know how well-connected your family really is?
Psychologist Corinne Swift has devised a simple quiz that will reveal exactly this – and whether your children really enjoy your company.
The seven question quiz, which is based on how your family spend mealtimes together, determines how much quality time your family are spending together.
Are your family well-connected? Psychologist Corinne Swift has devised a simple quiz that will reveal whether your children really enjoy your company
Corinne, who worked as the psychologist on Big Brother and is now lending her expertise to the Dolmio campaign quiz, says that mealtimes are an important indicator of family life so has based her questions around how you spend this time together.
‘It’s a time when everyone comes together, after work, school, play or travel, and share experiences, stories and support,’ she explained.
‘However, mealtimes aren’t what they used to be, as many families struggle to get round the table due to work and school time-tables, and also due to the lure of technology. Often, family members are “snacking” or “grazing” in different rooms on different devices.’
1. How often do you eat at the table with the whole family present?
A. We try to eat together once a day
B. It varies, but about two to four times a week
C. We struggle, possibly once a week, sometimes not
2. Do you eat with devices on at the table?
A. We agree that eating as a family, without tech on, is best – unless it’s an emergency
B. Occasionally, we try to turn off, but someone usually is checking their phone
C. Invariably someone is on a phone or screen, or we watch TV
Corinne, who worked as the psychologist on Big Brother, says that mealtimes are an important indicator of family life so take this quiz to work out whether you’re getting it right
3. As a parent, what happens when you say it’s time to turn off?
A. No problem. We probably have turned off as a matter of course, and wouldn’t bring a screen to a family meal
B. We try hard, but once someone’s phone rings, it’s hopeless. Plus getting the kids to the table is tough
C. They are ignored. Everyone carries on, as if nothing has been said. Or check phones under the table, regardless
4. How do you agree to turn off tech together at meal times?
A. We’ve had quite a few family discussions about it, and agreed to turn off for mealtimes
B. We’ve talked about it, sometimes, but then a phone goes off, or someone brings in a gadget, and we forget
C. We’ve never discussed it as we don’t see the problem – everyone has their tech today
Corinne says that mealtimes aren’t what they used to be, as many families struggle to get round the table due to work and school time-tables, and also due to the lure of technology
5. How do you feel if someone asks you to turn off during a meal?
A. I wouldn’t have my device on in the first place, so the problem wouldn’t arise
B. I’d be embarrassed, or even angry, if I thought it was necessary to have it on. I’d also feel a bit guilty, as it depends how I’m told
C. I would ignore them. It’s my life, my device, and they can lump it
6. At a family meal, a parent breaks the rules, and the children probably feel…
A. That’s not fair. We agreed we all wouldn’t use them, so s/he needs to turn off
B. Well, rules were meant to be broken, and adults earn the money, so…why not?
C. It’s OK, we all use our gadgets anyway
7. While you’re cooking in the kitchen as a family…
A. We like talking and catching up whilst preparing dinner, and the kids get involved in the preparation too
B. We like to get the kids involved, but invariably they sit there playing a game on their phones
C. We have all our gadgets with us, a TV on, a laptop on the table, phones on, it’s fun
Give yourself one point for each A, B or C answer. Read the description below of your biggest score.
You are a family that values time together, and you generally prioritise mealtimes as a way of spending ‘quality time’ together.
You have negotiated the thorny issue of tech use, despite its lure, probably through discussion of what makes sense at mealtimes. And also, probably, because you enjoy each other’s company and want to catch up.
You probably find it a bit ‘rude’ when people check their phones constantly at the table, and make it clear, politely, that gadgets are not welcome socially. You handle this with some alacrity, as you don’t want to upset guests, but you also believe in clear boundaries.
You are probably fun people, who prioritise ‘family time’ and the children understand the importance of meeting up once a day for invaluable contact over good nourishment.
What to look out for: making assumptions that guests, friends and colleagues will understand how you operate as a family. Today most people are tied to their tech 24/7 and you are a rare beast. It’s best to explain, politely, how you like things to work in your household to avoid conflict or embarrassing situations.
Do you find your family rely on technology at mealtimes? Try to agree to turn off for at least one meal a week, round a table, to improve a feeling of family togetherness, she suggests
You are a family that enjoys being together, but you are often time-pressured. You like good food, but are not averse to eating on the run, or snacking on laps, when necessary.
You probably find it hard to set rules at the table, as asking the children to turn off tech, has been a problem. Possibly the adults are also welded to their tech, so it’s become a difficult benchmark to set (‘if Dad does it, why can’t I?).
You also likely to make an effort for important moments and holidays, and like the family to come together round a table, if not once a day, once a week or even once a month.
What to look out for: letting tech creep in to meal times , to the extent that family mealtimes become a rare occurrence. Tech-free meals have all sorts of advantages, improving communication between children and parents, boosting exam results, forming trust and awareness about any difficulties before they become acute. And there is simply the enjoyment of eating together. You will need to keep an eye on this, and try and establish at least one tech free meal a week – make it fun, playing a game like ‘high’s, low’s and ha ha’s’ where everyone has to tell stories about their day).
You are a family who lives very much on the run. Although family time is important to you, it happens mainly on holiday or on rare weekends, when everyone is around.
Mealtimes round the table are largely a thing of the past, something older relatives do, when you see them. Or it’s what happens in restaurants and cafes, although you probably don’t turn off your technology there, either.
You would describe family life as busy and constantly on the go, packing as much into each day as possible. After all, it takes a lot of effort to coordinate family activities and keep everything afloat. However, you might be missing out on some invaluable ‘down time’ with family members, and this might cost you longer term.
What to look out for: If you cease to eat together as a family, round a table, it can impair family relationships. It might also be a sign that the primary relationship (parents) is under stress. Also always allowing tech at the table, especially if you are there together, means intimacy, closeness, and trust is impaired. Try to agree to turn off for at least one meal a week, round a table, to improve a feeling of family togetherness. If parents feel this is anathema, then they might need to seek some counselling help to get talking face-to-face. Making the effort to be together will really pay off, longer term.
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