November 21st is World Television Day. In Western Society the television is a common household item, often with homes owning more than one. Can you even imagine that a hundred years ago people didn't even know what a television was?
The television was invented by an assortment of individuals in the late 19th and early 20th century. At first there was a very rudimentary mechanical version of what we now call the television. Then, in 1927, 21 year old Philo Taylor Farnsworth invented the world’s first electronic television.
America’s first commercially produced television sets were based on the mechanical television system of John Baird. These sets were shown off to the public in September, 1928 but it would take another ten years before they were offered commercially. Everyone wanted a television in their homes and the development of newer models with tweaks to the creation continue even to this day.
There is a unit study I'm working on right now that will cover some inventions and accidental discoveries with the hopes of inspiring innovation in the kids who read it!
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Screen Time and Kids
Growing up I had a lot of screen time. I was one of those kids who came home from school to an empty house and had the television as my babysitter until my parents got home. Almost every night we gathered in the TV room and watched shows as a family (we always watched my Dad's choice as he was commander of the remote). As a teen I got a little black and white TV that I could watch in my room. It provided company for me and offered background noise so I could focus on studying and homework. Today, I will still often have the TV in the empty house, just to keep me company.
As a parent I tried to limit how much TV my kids watched. I made sure watch time included educational shows so that they could learn something while they sat there. They were not given televisions for their bedrooms but there was one in the play room where they could watch movies and their favourite shows. The difficulty for me came when computers and game consoles began to dominate their lives, then limiting screen time became a lot harder. And even though we knew how important limiting screen time was for kids, being tired and being busy would cause us to allow more than we really wanted.
Parenting coach Lindsay Ford says setting boundaries is very important if you want to regulate screen time for your kids. Her new book The Positive Parenting Framework has some great advice on setting boundaries.
Pick up a copy of the book on Amazon!
As technology advances it is getting more difficult to limit screen time. Screens offer a portal for education, entertainment and social connection. I think it is important that we look at each household and determine the unique needs of each family. It is necessary to have conversations with the kids about dangers of too much screen time and the importance of taking breaks and moving around. We need to provide a variety of activities for children so they have choices other than screens for play and entertainment. I also think it is a good idea to spend time on screens with kids so you can see what they are doing, how it is effecting them and open an opportunity to share knowledge together.
About Kids Health has a chart to help you calculate how much screen time your child might be getting. Then, you can determine if you need to bring in some ideas to reduce or maintain adequate screen time for your child. Here is some good advice about how to help a child give up the screen.
Cami and Wyatt love their screen time.
Watching movies and playing games on their tablets is so much fun!
But are they missing out on other things?
And are their family and friends feeling ignored? Screen time addicts of ALL AGES will find this book relatable and funny.
Parents in particular will appreciate the gentle suggestions that inspire and empower kids to power down.
Join Cami and Wyatt in the third book of the Cami Kangaroo and Wyatt Too series, as they try to break this bad habit and find their way back to the real world.