WSJ article: "A Voice Assistant Has Become My Co-Parent" (April 2019)

OK, set aside all your personal feelings about this particular author’s parenting style, there are several interesting ideas in this article.

My personal favorite is the idea of using a voice assistant to create countdown timer reminders for when game time is over.

There’ve been a couple of studies released recently which show that it is, in fact, very difficult for kids to disengage from video games for some very real neurological reasons. The games are designed to be addictive, and while maybe that’s not the right technical term for it, it comes pretty close.

Lots of parents and relatives see regular tantrums and meltdowns from kids up through the teens when the child is told it’s time to turn off the game console. (To be honest, we see it in my own house with adult housemates. :wink: )

So one of the suggestions was to set up three voice announcements: game time will last for 45 minutes, you have five minutes left, you have two minutes left, and then the timer goes off. I can see where that might be much easier for the gamer to disengage from the game on time.

Also, we don’t use it at our house, but there is discussion in the article of one of those parental control systems which I know is becoming very popular and how to integrate that with a voice assistant. I’m not sure if those same options would be available with plume, the parental control options that are built into the Samsung Wi-Fi mesh system now, But if so, there might be some good options for some families there.

Anyway, I just thought it was an interesting topic and an interesting article.

Although there are a lot of parenting use cases already covered in existing project reports, and baby projects under the “project nursery” list in the “project by rooms” section of the quick browse lists, I thought this was worth starting a new list on using tech to support parenting needs. :sunglasses:

Tagging @bamarayne

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