What parent hasn't struggled with the influence of electronics? Unless you have no television you probably have too much television in your life and there's nothing more pleasant than being the referee between your children and the lure of things with a screen.
There's a new product from Hopscotch Technologies that offers to be the detox solution: BOB Time Manager. Use it to control time on computers, video games or television:
"BOB allows you to set time allotments for the connected device. Just decide how much screen time each child should have either per day or per week. When a user wants to access the connected device they must enter their PIN. BOB then tracks the time. Once all of their time has been used up, BOB turns off the connected device and restricts further access for that user."Now let me first say that parents shouldn't abdicate their jobs as regulators. In order to be effective, you need to be able to make unpopular decisions such as "You've had too much television, it's time to turn it off" without having to resort to electronic backup; however, there are many times when parents aren't there to regulate and a device like this would be terribly helpful--and better than seventeen straight hours of Pokemon.
Also, with the start of a new year approaching and new year's resolutions coming on strong BOB would be a great way to introduce new habits to your family in a way that would appeal to children and take some of the pressure off you as the Bad Guy. Kids will love having a secret PIN and the novelty of the gadget could be enough to get the whole party off the ground and get the family watching less television.
So now that your family is getting less television and video games how are they going to fill up that free time? How about with some good old-fashioned reading? Discovery Girls is a new company that combines a website, magazine and books aimed at the pre-teen years and appears to be all a modern, hip girl could ask for.
Discovery Girls produces Fab Girls books which seem to be the answer to mothers who can't take another ounce of Bratz. Designed to help girls navigate the social and emotional pitfalls of life, the series of four books examines topics like friends, bullying, divorce, family and (of course) boys.
Now for the prizes (yes I said PRIZES--plural). Good news folks, the good people at Hopscotch are offering a $10 discount toward the purchase of BOB if you enter SCRIBBIT in the coupon code at checkout here anytime through December 24th. Shipping is already free. But if you're feeling lucky you can have a chance to win one of two BOBs that I have available.
AND Discovery Girls is offering a set of Fab Girls books to another random winner. Because I have three prizes this week I will draw three names from the pot, the first two get a BOB, the third gets a set of Fab Girls books but if you have a preference and really want one of the prizes over the other please note that in the Message field of the entry form. I will try to accommodate as best I can (but make no promises).
And now . . . here's how to win:
Before 12 am Monday go to the giveaway entry form on this page and enter your name and email. I will pick one of the names at random, contact the winner via their email and publish the winner's first name and home town in next Tuesday's post. See the bottom of the entry form for more details.
I'm sorry but this giveaway is only open to those with a United States' mailing address. Good luck!
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