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Do you play with your kids?

And I don't mean watch American Idol with them. Or watch a movie together. Or sit together while plugged in to separate devices.



Or take them to the park and merely hover, ready to pounce when they fall.

I mean getting down on the floor to play Legos. Getting your own hands in the fingerpaint. Playing hide and seek - and really "seeking."

Jeff Everage, speaking at the It Takes a Village to Raise a Child parenting conference last weekend in Miramar, made the argument that as adults - as parents - we have traded play for entertainment.



We're online even in our leisure time, playing Words with Friends, checking Facebook, Tweeting our every move, watching everything "on demand" on TV.



Then we complain that our kids don't want to go outside and play.



Everage's point is that the kids are going to grow up to be what we model. We need to show them how fun it is to be a grown-up. That play is important at all ages.



Susie Walton, in her talk at the conference on "the joy of raising teens," reiterated that 95 percent of what our kids learn is what we model.



"It's not what we tell our kids; it's what we show our kids," Walton said.



It recently occurred to me that we have never taken our 9-year-old daughter to the Everglades. Shameful.



Once Hurricane Sandy blows past South Florida, we should be in for some great weather. Organize a family game of touch football, set up a fire pit and roast some marshmallows, take a walk through one of the awesome nature trails that permeate our parks.



Take them to see the real live alligators.



Show the kids how much fun it is to unplug.



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