More and more parents are turning to electronic devices like ‘Alexa’ and Google home to read their children bedtime stories.
Children’s charity BookTrust said time-poor parents are increasingly relying on mobile phone apps and electronic home assistants – ‘smart’ speakers that respond to human voices – to carry out the task.
The survey of parents with children under ten years old found that, while almost half aim to read their youngsters a story every night, only a third do so.
Just over 31 per cent said work or commuting stops them getting home in time, while 20 per cent are simply ‘too busy’.
Just over a quarter said they use virtual assistants – such as Amazon’s Alexa – and other technology for bedtime stories.
Some 53 per cent said they would choose to use pre-recorded stories using apps on smartphones and tablets, or on video-sharing website YouTube instead.
Gemma Malley, BookTrust director, added: “Life has never been busier and many parents are finding it harder and harder to fit in bedtime stories.
“I know from experience that it can be tempting to replace reading to your child with time on a device, but swapping books for tech can have profound consequences.
“However, just 10 minutes of reading a book together a day makes such a difference – it helps build children’s language, resilience, confidence and imagination and is an amazing way for families to bond.”
Mums are not happy!
We asked our mums what they thought about using smart devices to read to children and they were astounded at the idea.
Kelly said, ” I don’t like that idea. Snuggling up with my two year old at night and reading a story with them is not only beneficial for him, it is for me too. Bonding, laughing and learning together. They won’t be Little for long so enjoy every second of it. Before you know it they won’t want to read books or have you tell them a story and you’ll wish you did.”
Yolandi said, “So sad when you cant even do that yourself? Story time is one of ur favorite activities since my daughter was born, we will never be too busy for story time.”
Kate shared, “May as well just put them in front of the tv!”
Another mum questioned, “Where’s the love and affection? Story time is a bonding time. I learn so much about my son during these special times. I think they are a good idea for maybe researching a topic together but technology should never replace a parent.”
Meanwhile some mums actually relished the idea, especially for older children.
“Hmm well I guess it’s the same as an audio book which my 10 year old listens to at bedtime? But he likes to fall asleep to a story and I would legit be in there for hours if I had to read him to sleep. I still read my younger kids a quick 15 minute book before bed though.”
Another agreed, “My 10 yr old uses google to read him a book or play him relaxing sounds at bed time.”
What do you think?
Share your comments below