4 Tech Products to Help Keep Your Family Connected
For families, technology can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it has the potential to encourage connections. On the other hand, it can also prompt family members to isolate themselves in individual bubbles.
In fact, it’s all too easy for the modern family to become fragmented. You can’t hope to escape technology — your goal should be to use it to your family’s advantage. Here are four technologies that can keep your family bonding and connecting throughout the years.
1. Digital Calendar
Having trouble just getting your family in the same room? It’s no surprise — modern kids’ and adults’ schedules are packed to the brim with activities. Just knowing who’s where when can be tough. One way to start reconnecting your family is by using a digital calendar.
When you use a digital calendar, you and your family will be able to see what everyone’s up to on a given day. A quick look at your respective phones, and everyone will know when your son has theater rehearsal or your daughter has basketball practice. You and your kids will feel more connected because you’re proactively aware of what’s going on in each other’s lives.
A digital calendar also lets you schedule family events in advance. A spontaneous trip to the city sounds fun in theory, but does everyone actually have time for it? Plan the date weeks or months in advance so everyone knows what’s coming and can adjust accordingly. By using a digital calendar, you can make the most of your family’s current and future life.
One of the sharpest of the technological swords, smartphones are, in theory, a perfect tool for connectivity. But they can also be abused and lead to isolation if used improperly. Worse still, they can expose kids to online predators and content that isn’t appropriate for them.
That’s why it’s important to get a safe phone for kids instead of just any smartphone. These phones are designed with kids’ developing and impressionable minds in mind. They forgo access to the internet and social media platforms, instead prioritizing calling and texting with family and friends. With this device, your kids can access simple apps like the family calendar while being protected from unsavory websites.
Getting your kids a smartphone can also offer a great opportunity to teach them about responsibility. After all, smartphones are essentially ubiquitous nowadays. But the way people use them is constantly changing. It’s important to prepare your child for the future, even if you don’t know what that future will look like. By increasing their level of responsibility, you’re setting them up for success later in life.
3. Streaming Services
A trip to the movie theater used to be a family entertainment staple. But with ticket prices climbing, and the risk of COVID infection still a thing, cinematic jaunts have lost much of their appeal. Luckily, that doesn’t have to put a damper on your family’s film-related fun.
Video streaming services grant your family access to virtually unlimited entertainment. With a couple of clicks, you can access thousands upon thousands of titles from movies to miniseries to standard TV shows. Use your new family calendar and schedule a weekly entertainment night. Friday is a great option, as usually everyone is around but tired from the work and school week. It’s the perfect time to kick back and relax.
Movie night can become a regular tradition that your whole family looks forward to all week long. It also allows individual family members to express their interests. Have a different person choose the movie each week, and spend some time discussing it together afterward. It can be interesting to compare each other’s movie selections and further develop your individual tastes.
4. Gaming Consoles
Gaming is more popular than ever before, with both individuals and families. Stop picturing loners in their bedrooms or teenage boys in the basement. Gaming is more culturally accepted and even encouraged than it was in the past. It can also be a fantastic way to connect with your family.
Playing video games is more interactive than watching shows and movies. This means that there’s a better chance of creating unique family stories. “Remember the time mom and dad forgot which team they were on and scored on themselves? It was so funny!” Spending time together in an exciting but relaxed atmosphere will create many happy family memories.
The other great thing about gaming is that it can actually foster your child’s cognitive development. Gaming was found to improve many aspects of cognition, including processing speed, mathematical intelligence, and deductive reasoning. In fact, it could also help keep your mind fresh as you age. So not only is gaming a fantastic way to have fun as a family but, in moderation, can help strengthen your gray matter, too.
Embrace Tech Where Appropriate
There are many technologies that encourage family members to connect with each other. At the same time, it can be easy to get lost in enjoying it too much.
Technology is at its best when it’s facilitating your family experiences, not replacing them. Creating time away from screens and devices is important as well. But when approached with a mindset of growth and moderation, technology can excel at keeping your family connected.