Sunday, December 22, 2013

Technology Can Bring Families Together

Let us all admit it, the picture above has played out a hundred times already this year in our families. When everyone in your family has some type of device, including +Lee Green's family wearing Google Glass, it almost seems impossible to have good ole' fashion family time. Nay, I say to thee! Here are three ways technology can bring the family together: Friday night fun time, Making your children millionaires, and Country boy living.

Friday Night Fun Time 

  • Buy Chromecast ($35 at Staples) use it to cast History of Rap 1 with Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake on your TV. (Everyone will smile and you can relive your glory days back when rap was fun)
  • Use Chromecast to broadcast Jimmy Fallon's Lip Sync Battle on YouTube. Hilarious, but wait, there's more.
  • Now turn on Pandora (Chromecast compatible), go to any 80's channel and proceed to embarrass your wife and children with your killer lip sync skills. No doubt, they will all join in.

This is exactly what we did the first Friday out for Christmas break. Who would have thought one simple device would turn into hours of fun and laughter in the Ellison household? Thanks for the gift Lee.

Making Your Children Millionaires

  • Use your phone, computer, or tablet to research investing ideas for kids. Look up companies they know such as Under Armor, Apple, and Disney, so they can see how their stocks have made money over the years.
  • Open up a account and teach them about mutual funds and IRA's for long term growth and compounding interest. 
  • Find resources that graphically represent compounding interest, and the benefits of early investing vs. long term investing. Dave Ramsey's Ben and Arthur are easy to understand for everyone.

I have done this with my own children, and it is amazing how they get so interested in the topic of investing. Really, who doesn't want to be a millionaire?

Country Boy Living (Anything that interest them, but my family likes to hunt, fish, and ride dirt bikes)

  • Use your device and pull up YouTube videos on cooking duck breast. Of course, this is more fun when you actually duck hunt with your children and have some fresh duck for the kitchen.
  • Get something that needs to have a nice Camo paint job (boat, blind, or homemade redneck duck retrieving pole), then Google around and find some tutorials or videos on the subject. Go outside and give your kids some spray paint and enjoy. 
  • Visit some forums on subjects that interest them such as dirt bike riding. Research places to ride, riding tips and build up project bikes. Take the time to show them how to post on a forum, explain what Trolls are, and teach them about being a good digital citizen in the world wide web. 

You may not like these topics, but pretend it is a Mad Lib, and substitute ducks, Camo and dirt bikes for any other subject that interest your family.

We all ignored our parents at some point in our childhood, and today's children have a lot more ways to do so. Harness the power of these devices to bring the family together versus isolating everyone in their own digital worlds. You never know, your child might just become the world's greatest wild game chef, next multi-millionaire, or dirt bike racing champion. Regardless of what they become, I promise you they will remember the time spent with them for the rest of their life.