'Alexa, read my child a bedtime story; I'm too busy'
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London - Parents are turning to electronic devices to read their children bedtime stories, it was claimed.
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.
Its 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 percent said work or commuting stops them getting home in time, while 20 percent are simply "too busy". And just over a quarter said they had tried to use virtual assistants – such as Amazon’s Alexa – and other technology for bedtime stories. However, 83 percent of parents said they generally use print books.
For the parents who do read to their child at night, technology is still a part of that routine. About 53 percent said they would choose to use pre-recorded stories using apps on smartphones and tablets, or on video-sharing website YouTube instead.
BookTrust director Gemma Malley said: "Swapping books for tech can have profound consequences. Just ten 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."