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Diatribe: Why Bother Parenting When You Can Buy Your Child Smart Pyjamas?

05/10/2013

SmartPyjamasMy childhood was filled with books and music.  Books by Dr. Seuss and anything that involved Charlie Brown, Linus, Snoopy or the rest of the Peanuts gang were staples in our family library.  As a small child, I remember that my mother, my father or both would tuck me in at night, listen to me say my prayers and sometimes read to me until I fell asleep.  I vividly remember my little sister falling asleep in my mother’s arms as she lovingly hummed or sang to her as they rocked together.  Music and reading were times of bonding between us all.

Parents today are, arguably, much busier than my parents were when I was young.  The world is a very different place and it seems that so many things in our lives happen immediately.  Our lives are very fast-paced and we multi-task throughout the day.  Some parents, apparently, don’t have time to read a book to their kids or sing a song with them.  So they buy them Smart Pyjamas.

Last weekend, I saw Iron Man 3.  Among many special effects, the movie featured a house that was run by a voice-activated centralized computer commanded by Iron Man’s alter ego, Tony Stark.  Requests were spoken and results were immediate.  Tony didn’t really have to do much of anything.

So now, for those parents who don’t want to invest the time that it takes to read a bedtime story or sing a lullaby, they can “scan” their kid, activate an “app” and go about their business letting a mobile device do their job for them.  Sure, for many years parents used television as a baby sitter, plunking toddlers in front a screen to be entertained and amused for hours at a time, and some might say that Smart Pyjamas are essentially the idea, but it seems to me that we’re slowly inching closer to a time when parents can simply speak “rock the baby” or “bedtime story” and, like Tony Stark, their house will do their job for them.

What do you think of Smart Pyjamas?

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7 Comments
  1. I think we’ll end up with a generation of adults who have no social skills and are more likely to speak to a computer, a phone, a tablet, than they would to an actual person.

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  2. We live in a culture that despises children. They are seen as a burden. Why take time to read to a child when you can buy them a gadget where they can read to themselves? Fatherlessness and bad parenting are the two worst problems in the world today.

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  3. I think we’re robbing parents & children of the opportunity to bond together. We’re also encouraging children to spend LESS time reading because they can now push a button & someone will read to them or at them. For children whose parents never bother, this might be a good thing – but for people who try to be really good parents & read or sing to their children now – NO!

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  4. This is so sad. I feel sorry for the parents as well as the kids. I have so many memories and side stories from reading to the kids. They will ask questions about the material. I forgot who said it, but the greatest gift you give your kids is “your time.”

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  5. I say anything to get out of *actual* parenting…..

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