In this day of electronic games, computers, social networking, a million cable channels on TV, families find more and more often that they don't spend a lot of "real" time together. While they may be in the same house, they are largely focused on their own activities of choice and spend little time actually doing things together. A lot of people blame it on the advent of computer gaming and gaming systems, but I am here to actually sing the praises of one such system as a family togetherness tool.
My kids got the Kinect system for the X-Box for Christmas. They were very excited for it and I have to admit I was intrigued by the whole gaming without controllers system as I am very hand/eye coordination challenged and have never actually played a video game that requires a controller with buttons on it. So, Christmas Day the kids get their new Kinect all installed and set up with their new game of Kinect Sports that includes such hallmarks as bowling, ping pong, soccer, boxing, track and field. We all decide to try out the bowling as we have all actually bowled before on leagues in our house. It was so much fun! We spent quite a long time playing and everyone had a great time. Over the last few days, we have all participated in the various activities of the game and had a really great time. It's fun, engaging, and absolutely fantastic exercise. And it's something the whole family can do together.
But the fun doesn't have to end with a computer gaming system. There is lots of fun to be had with board games as well or card games. Any game that the whole family can participate in. Getting everyone involved with the Kinect lets the kids know that playing with the parents isn't a terrible boring idea and then they become open to doing more things as a family. Scrabble, poker, anything that everyone can play together. Fast moving games are even more fun. We plan to try apples to apples soon for a party. There are a lot of ways that families can spend time together.
So, if you find that your family is in the same house but everyone is alone doing their own thing, you might want to investigate a Kinect system. It's fun, something everyone can do, and it's also great exercise. Bring the family game night to your house and see what grows out of it.