Thursday, January 8, 2015

A Good Wake-Up Call

Thomas recently got back from a week-long trip to visit his family and attend his twin brother's wedding in New Zealand.  Since it had been awhile since the two of us had a date, and because I was more than ready for one after he was gone for a week, we celebrated his return by going out for dinner and to a movie.

Through the grapevine, he had heard that there was singing in Into the Woods, and since I love musical-theater type stuff, he said he wanted to take me to see it.  Other than the fact that we knew Cinderella was somehow involved and that there was singing, neither of us really knew much about the film, which was completely obvious once the it began.

The show is pretty dark and not something either of us would typically pay to go see.  When it finished, we both kind of looked at each other and were like, "Hmm...not sure what to say about that one."  It wasn't really a big deal because it was just the two of us and at least we had some time together.

But our experience did get me thinking, because there were parents who had brought their kids to the show, and it made me wonder if these parents knew more than we did about the show.  And the thought I took away with me was that I better make sure Thomas and I do our homework before we take Reid and Esme to a movie.  Since we've never brought them to the movie theater yet, I don't think we've really thought about that before.

With this in mind, I was reminded of the website commonsensemedia.org - from my point of view, this is a pretty great resource.  As their tagline puts it, "We rate, educate, and advocate for kids, families, and schools."

On their site, they provide a great array of helpful, informative material, everything from movie reviews, to best picks for various age groups for music, movies, games, etc., and now they've added an area called "Parent Concerns" which articles and tips on things like cyber-bullying, screen time, and learning with technology.

When I went to their site, I found an interesting blog post titled "7 Resolutions Every Family Should Make in 2015."  The resolutions are all related to technology, and though I do think the blog post is worth reading, here's a snapshot of those resolutions.
  1. Focus on content quality, not screen-time quantity
  2.  Play a game with your kid
  3. Learn something online
  4. Embrace the next new thing
  5. Do some good
  6. Go indie
  7. Stop texting and driving
For each of these resolutions, there are also some links to further information and concrete suggestions of things to try, such as "24 video games you can say yes to after school" or a list of family video games.  Best of all, as it says in the post, all of these resolutions are easy, fun, totally doable, and family-strengthening, and I like the sound of that.

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