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Technology Togetherness

Mar 23, 2008
We all have special recollections from our childhoods of special times spent with our families - making forts, cooking together, playing board games. Some memories are quirky, some silly, and some sentimental. Although those moments are long past, the memories linger. And now that we're parents ourselves, we want to create the same kinds of memories for our kids.

Unfortunately, the easy and carefree days we remember from our own youth seem to have transformed into busy and chaotic ones for our children. Not only do kids today seem to be involved in more after-school activities like sports and music, even when everybody does happen to be home at the same time, the lure of the television, video games, iPods and computer command our attention. Needless to say, attempting to create special memories like the ones we had as kids seems futile.

But all hope is not lost! The world may indeed be faster-paced than it used to be, but the age of technology actually provides many fresh and exciting opportunities for memory-making moments. Maybe one of the following ideas will appeal to you and your kids:

1. Capture the Moment. Break out that digital camera and start snapping. Be silly, make faces or be serious. Once you've finished your photo session, upload the pictures to your computer and create a photo album, slideshow, or other inventive keepsake to look at time and time again.

2. Movie Making Moments. My kids love making movies with our video recorder and I have to say they do a great job behind and in front of the camera. Assign each person a role - writer, director, actors - or make every aspect a group effort. If you come up with something to really be proud of, why not post it on You-Tube or God-Tube to showcase your movie making talents to the world?

3. Let the games begin! So maybe monopoly just doesn't do it for your kids but a competitive game of Guitar Hero gets their adrenaline pumping. Show your kids you've still "got it" by jamming to those rock songs you used to love. Be sure to sing along, too - admit it...you still know every word to Joan Jett's, "I Love Rock 'n Roll."

No Guitar Hero? Any video game will do. To make it fair, go to the video store and rent a game no one has played before. Who will emerge the champion?

4. Have a Dance-Off. Pop in the latest CD and put on your dancing shoes. Show your kids the old style and let them demonstrate a move or two for you. Better yet, try your hand (make that, feet) at Dance, Dance Revolution. An added bonus - you'll be getting in shape while making those memories! See who can go the longest without collapsing on the couch.

5. Family Movie Night. Remember how much you looked forward to the Disney Sunday Night Movie? Now, with so many DVD options, movie night can be any night of the week. Don't forget to load up on popcorn, candy and soda of your choice. Hey - at least all that sugar and caffeine will keep you awake! Consider setting aside one movie night per month. Afterward, discuss your thoughts over old-fashioned ice cream sundaes. (Not everything has to include electronic devices.)

So the age of technology offers many opportunities for memory-making moments. Just remember, when it comes to family fun, one thing will never change. It's not so much what you do that counts, but only that you're doing it together.
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