For some, technology can be a reoccurring character in the family drama. It might seem like communication is lacking, quality time is missing, and parents and kids are all around not connecting like they used to be. It doesn’t have to be like this. In fact, when used properly, none of these statements hold true.
Communication is thriving and available in ways like never before. Mobile communication offers a level of independence for kids. It wasn’t more than a generation ago that today’s parents were using home phones to talk to their friends. Their parents were more aware of burgeoning social lives, and they sometimes played a role in facilitating them. Meeting this generation’s kids where they are is the easiest way for parents to be involved (without being too involved). The Slack app helps families and groups communicate, share pictures, videos, gifs, and even reactions to posts.
Gaming doesn’t have to be an individual activity either. Nor does it need to hold the stigma of basements, Cheetos, and sedentary lifestyles. Games like Heads Up can be played on the iPad around the dinner table or in the living room, making everyone talk, laugh, interact, and get to know each other in a whole new way. Check out some of these amazing moments from Ellen, as celebs try their hand at this version of charades. Just imagine watching kids doing their best Frank Sinatra.
Entertainment is another key to the relationship parents currently have with their kids. Parents are just as guilty of using technology to unwind and turn off the day. Instead of everyone using handheld, personal devices, streaming movies can bring the family together. Get instant access to the best family movies on Netflix or Hulu and Amazon.
Families can use the convenience of technology to promote stronger relationships between parents and kids or siblings. Instead of screaming up the stairs multiple times for dinner, a text to the teenager locked in their room is a painless way to get them downstairs and at the table. Many parents would argue that something like that shouldn’t be necessary, others might say to choose your battles wisely. Rather than technology being the focus, let it play a supporting role in getting the family together for some quality time.
Kimberly Lewis is a graduate of Northern Kentucky University with a Bachelor’s Degree in education. She taught science at the Warren County Alternative School before choosing to continue her love of writing as a freelancer while at home raising her two children.