Technology has created a generation gap for parents and grandparents alike. This gap widens with each passing year as children grow up with a toy in one hand and a computer in the other. Young children who can barely read can use a cell phone to play games and send text messages. Older kids may spend more time on social media posting their events than they do with their loved ones. Computers are here to stay, and some schools have replaced naptime for young students with quiet computer time.
Today, most homes have more than one electronic device per person, and this can alienate families. Laptops, iPods, iPads, cell phones, and HD TVs can separate us from the very special young people in our lives. With each member emailing, texting, tweeting, surfing the net, or watching TV in their own room, families separate.
Young people love technology, and when their gadgets are not charged, they go through withdrawal. Some actually feel anxiety if they cannot communicate with their friends on their cell phones or laptops.
A few years back, four hurricanes hit Florida in close proximity, causing power loss for almost a week in our area. My son became bored and had a difficult time coping. Not having air conditioning or a refrigerator did not help. It was amazing to realize how little our children use their imagination. I remember a time growing up when we used our imagination to make toys. We had fun by ourselves or in a group, indoors or out. We read books, told stories and got plenty of exercise.
Carole Gordon spent a week with her seven-year-old granddaughter Zoe. Carole kept a journal about their daily adventures — like the time they saw the manatees. After she returned home, Carole wrote letters to Zoe recapping her trip. Gordon said, “These letters were addressed to Zoe so she feels it is something between me and her.” This is great idea for encouraging writing while developing a relationship with grandkids.
Ten successful executives were asked what they would like to do if money was no object. All chose to do things with the people dear to them. The things they desired to do did not require a lot of money, special equipment or advance reservations. Some mentioned spending time outdoors at the park or beach to enjoy nature and sunsets. Some mentioned enjoying a leisurely dinner at home with the family; others mentioned lying in bed with the children reading stories.
A hectic schedule may not allow for much leisure time, but make sure to spend regular, quality time with your children and grandchildren. I would like to see families spending time together enjoying sunsets, ball playing and story time — all things that are free and serve to bring them closer. To make it really special, make sure you turn off your phones and electronic devices.
Ro Martinez, model, actress, author, and modeling coach has been in the business for almost 25 years. Ro holds modeling and acting workshops focusing on people of all ages, sizes, and ethnic groups, and guides them toward successfully entering the exciting and glamorous field of modeling. Her book Modeling At Any Age is a step-by-step, comprehensive, easy-to-read guide for modeling and how to flourish in the industry.
Photos: Angela Mann Photography . http://facebook.com/Angela-Mann-Photography
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