Sunday, March 20, 2011

Computer Parenting

Okay, maybe my title is a bit hyperbolic, but I was struck when I stumbled across this commercial for a Nursery Rhymes app.

I basically had two reactions when I saw this. First, I thought it was sad that the dad can't be home to put his daughter to bed.  Maybe he's a workaholic (which I can relate to) or maybe his job demands long hours.  In our current world, most jobs put work before family. My second thought, after my second watching, is that the father is out of the country and can't be home.  He is away on business. It made the commercial a bit more palatable for me, but I couldn't help but wonder why he wouldn't want to have a conversation with his daughter.  Why not just talk?

If I were completely cynical, I would say the daughter wasn't really paying much attention to the father because she was playing with the iPad.  Of course she is paying a bit of attention because she is on the same rhyme as her father and children can listen and play at the same time (though sometimes I wonder if this is true). Also, they seem to imply the father is away on business because he speaks a different language to a colleague.  It doesn't seem to account for the time change, but there would be ways to rationalize that as well. And then there is concern about how screen time disrupts sleep patterns.  Maybe I'm just cranky, but the add rubbed me the wrong way.

It was just a thought.


  1. I, on the other hand, watched it at thought about my son's current bi-polar life. Every night, he uses Face Time or iChat to talk to his dad who lives out of state.

    It is far from perfect, but it is still a connection especially in those moments when the thread that connects us all feels very, very thin.

  2. Ahhhh...just marketing for us techie-geek parents. Interesting thought, though...

  3. i hadn't seen this ad, and i'm conflicted about it. it seems to me to be along the same lines as the "one-minute bedtime stories" books that you see. but if a parent really has to be away and can't have daily conversations, this would be wonderful.

    when i was 6 my dad was deployed to Honduras and I didn't see him for 6 months at a time. I don't remember phone calls, but I do remember that he sent cards and letters that my mom would read to us, and that before he left he recorded stories that he made up (MeganElliot the Dinosaur, for my brother and I) on a tape deck so we could listen to his voice and his crazy stories every night. It was the best thing he could have done for us to stay connected with him on a daily basis.

    I don't agree with this kind of thing for the sake of convenience, but it's sometimes offers the best possible outcomes to utilize technology (whether a tape deck or an iPhone)

  4. Well...this is one instance where technology might be a great way to connect to our kids, as my boys know much more about how to utilize these "gadgets". Since it was dad reading the story with his daughter, I have much less of a problem than if it were a plain recording. I found it interesting, yet sometimes I think technology hinders the "human" element of communication, especially with teens and Facebook...:)