Panasonic, which makes some of the best HDTVs going, thinks technology can be used to unite the American family.
Today, the company launched its new "Bring Bring Back Family Time" Campaign. To participate, family members of all ages can visit www.LivingInHD.com and get tips on how families use technology to spend more quality time with each other.
A new survey conducted by the Opinion Research Corporation looked at adults’ and teenagers’ perceptions when it comes to spending quality time together with their family.
It showed 91 percent of parents feel that spending quality time with their families is a meaningful experience and four out of five describe it as fun, educational and exciting. But 57 percent say they don’t have a dedicated family night.
“Pick a night of the week for family time that works for everyone and stick to it… no excuses,” suggests Dr. Cindy, a nationally recognized family therapist and founder of the Mommy and Me Association. “Start planning these nights when the children are young to lay the foundation that family night is an important ritual. It is also important to allow communication to occur in a natural environment that revolves around an activity that is engaging to everyone.”
The survey also found that eating a meal together, taking weekend trips, watching movies together and talking to each other all top the list as activities parents and teenagers would most want to participate in when spending quality time together.
So how to use technology to accomplish these goals? Well, more than 70 percent of parents and teens surveyed said watching a movie was a great way to spend family time together.
(The following tips are from Dr. Cindy and Panasonic)
Tip #1: Host a movie night where everyone is a critic. The act of watching the movie is entertaining, but the real family connection stems from the discussion afterwards. Talk about various themes in the movie and how they apply to family situations. Be sure to ask open ended questions to avoid “yes” or “no” answers and prompt meaningful dialogue.
Tip #2: Use a video camera to record a day-in-the-life. Gather as a family after dinner and show the video to elevate the discussion. Be sure to alternate family members each time to help paint a picture of everyone’s day.
Tip #3: Create a digital family album. Assign everyone one family time activity to document and after everyone has had a chance, spend the next family night viewing all of the photos and rganizing them into a photo album. Be sure to discuss each photo because they will provide an insight into how the family member perceived the day.
Tip #4: Plan a cooking night. There are hundreds of cooking shows and DVD’s that demonstrate how to cook amazing meals. Gather as a family and watch how a well- known chef cooks a meal then try to recreate it. Assign each family member a different task so everyone feels they played a critical role. Better yet, video it and create your family cooking show.
Of course, Panasonic would prefer you watch those movies and cooking shows on their new state-of-the-art 1080P plasma television, but the ideas, I think, are sound.