Are you Will Ferrell The Smartphone-Addicted Dad?

Love this from Common Sense Media’s #DeviceFreeDinner campaign.

Even though I’m probably a little more like this…

 

We’re not bad at having a device free dinner… but its not like we have a teenager… Could I actually be Will Ferrell?

While I’m not sure how well it works for families with little little ones, if you have concerns, or just want to find out abit more about the affect of using Digital technology on family life, I recommend giving Mark Ellis’ Digitox a read.

Digitox is split into two sections; The first is looking at why taking a break from digital can be good for you. The second looks at what happened when Mark decided it was time for his family to take a one day break from digital living – every week.

Lesson 1. Plan what you’re going to do with your time in advance.

Grab it here from Amazon. 

(Affiliate links above)

I originally posted this over at Digital Caffeine.

#MySundayPhoto – Balloons!!

A small sample of the balloons we blew up for the The Little Ones Birthday.

Two Hundred and Twelve this year, between myself, my brother in law, and the Little One saying yes… it looks like we’re planning for more next year…

 

Photalife

A Digital Ghost?

Have you ever received a Facebook notification reminding nudging you to wish Happy Birthday to a deceased friend? It’s an odd experience, almost as if the internet is nudging you to hang out with an old friend. It’s almost, because any interaction is strictly one way.

What if interaction could feel like its two way, and you almost feel like you could see the one you lost?

The below video tells the story of one guys experience playing a computer game against his dead Dads previous best, and at the same time, giving what could be the best reason to play computer games.

The voice over is pulled directly from a YouTube comment that was under a video called, “Can Video Games Be a Spiritual Experience?” Could the above be described as a spiritual experience?

I sometimes wonder what technology would look like in 20 – 30 years time. If people can have experiences like the above with what would now be consider old technology, what does the future hold?

In fact, is (what we might consider) a future technology already happening?

I read a theory a few months ago, that you could argue that human beings are separated into two separate states. One is our physical bodies. The other is our identities, or our souls.

Most (if not all) religions have a concept of an afterlife. A place where the soul lives on, but what if our earthly identity could be captured?

Eternime is one example of a company with plans to help your digital identity live on. They plan to combine everything you put on social media, photos from smart phone, email, and so on – the aim being to create a digital version of yourself, that will be accessible after you die.

According to the BBC website:

“Depending on the facts it has collected, the avatar will be able to offer anything from basic biographical data to being an engaging conversational partner,” says Marius Ursache, Eternime’s founder.

It is set to launch next year, and according to Eternime, more than 37,000 people have already signed up for the service.

I don’t know about you, but I’m not sure how I feel about this.

On one hand, I’m not going to be around for ever. Could there be some comfort in having a “digital dad” available online after I’m gone? But what if the service fails? Wouldn’t that be some sort of “second death”?

Doesn’t the idea of a “second death” sound creepy?

Does the whole thing sound a little creepy? People I’ve spoken to have commented on how weird it sounds. Is weird, because it sounds unnatural? And is it so unnatural, that we’re in danger of not just playing God, but going full blown Black Mirror? 

One last thought. If parents are meant to set an example to their children, how are we meant to set an example about something like this? 

sat sash

What to do during the Summer Holidays?

Its the Summer Holidays. Or (according to the guy on the radio), its when parents realise how underpaid school teachers are. The kids have weeks off school, and you’re there wondering… WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO WITH THEM??

Well I figured I could either write a nice list of summer activities, or I could leave it up to chance, and present the Summer Activity Picker!

Click the wheel below, and it will tell you what activity you should try with your little ones.

Good Luck…

 

Obviously, Dads Sofa isn’t responsible for anything that happens because you’ve tried any of the above, or got confused between activities, or got drank too much wine.

(Dont worry, I know this is a little silly)

Alternative Parent Friendly Sports Day

Welcome to the close of the summer term at school. If you have a kid at any sort of school, the chances are they’ve either had, or about to have a school sports day.

There will be parents all over the place cheering on their kids in what ever shape or form, and sometimes – there is a chance for parents to join the sports day fun. Normally this looks like racing each other in some form.

Now I reckon there are other sports that fit the world of parenthood more than a egg and spoon race.

Here are my ideas for parent related sports:

  • The dash home. Triggered by the cry of “I need a wee”, in the appropriate pitch that makes you believe that things are coming out. This sport starts when home is the nearest toilet, but is still seemingly far away. To partake in this sport, simply pick up your Little One in your arms, and dash home quick. The winner is the parent that gets their kid home fastest. (Bonus points if you remain calm even though you believe you’ve been wee’d on.)
  • Midnight Lego Walk. Its dark. You have bare feet. The floor has Lego. Go!
  • The Dash Up. This starts with you downstairs, while the little one is asleep upstairs. The night is peaceful, suddenly peace is interrupted by a blood curdling scream. HOW FAST CAN YOU GET UP THOSE STAIRS? Ready?
  • Confident Cyclist. How much confidence can you show your kid, while shes sat on a random bouncy chair behind you as you cycle. When you brought this bike, you never imagined cycling with a passenger, now is your time NOT to freak about how difficult it is! How far can you cycle without the kid freaking out?
  • Hide the chocolate. This parenting game is a variation of “Hide and Seek” except your hiding, and eating the chocolate before the child finds you…

The above may have been inspired by times that the Little One has kept me on my toes.

What sports do you play?

Mudpie Fridays

Being Beautifully Different

Learning about being being different is good, with the help of the children’s book called Beautifully Different…

Kids books are great.

I’ve read kids books to our little one that are about everything from dirty sandwiches, to little girls and their pet ducks. Whatever the book is about, the book is generally a nice positive, uplifting read that leaves you feeling at least slightly ok about the world.

There also seems to be kids books that are about something more than fantastic adventures. There doesn’t seem to be many, but there are some that tackle… subjects that are an emotional step above things like going to the dentist, first day at school, or having a hair cut.

If “Paper Dolls” by Julia Donaldson is an exercise in dealing with grief, “Beautifully Different” by Dana Salim is a look at how everyone is different from each other, and how that difference makes the world a better place.

Arguably a message that more adults could do with learning.

The book follows Yousuf as he plays an imagination game to find out why people are different. During his game he finds beautiful flowers, but there are weeds coming to scare the flowers away!

As you can see from the instagram video below, the story is filled with bright illustrations, can you spot the bit that makes our 4 year old go “Woo Hoo”?

Beautifully Different can be found on Amazon.

Kids books are great.

Maybe more adults should read them?

 

Beautifully Different by Dana Salim has been supplied free for review purposes, but all opinions are my own. Affiliate links can be found above.  

 

My Current To Do List

I felt oddly compelled this evening to share my list of things I want to get done around the house.

I cant be the only one who struggles with motivation in this sort of heat, right?

The Tee and Mo Playlist

Putting this here mostly because Little Sofa occasionally has a deep want to dance to Tee and Mo from CBeebies.

If its here, I know where to find it easily.

Also if it here, it gives you the chance to hear the catchy brilliance for yourself…