Tales at Bedtime - Technology Gone Mad?

My love of books began at an early age and as a child I was an avid reader, I loved my books and was reading my much favoured Enid Blyton stories from the age of  five or six. I also vividly recall been given my first book ever - a Rupert the Bear Annual - by my parents when I had a short hospital stay to have my tonsils out. Oh, I adored that book and loved when either of my parents read excerpts from it when tucking me in at night, even though I was perfectly well able to read it myself!

In time I got to enjoy the ritual of the bedtime story telling as I tucked my own child in to his bed at night. Admittedly it can sometimes be the last thing you feel like doing after a busy day and the battle to actually get your child into their bed, but it was always an enjoyable parenting job once in the midst of it. Even if more than one book was requested! It was irreplaceable parent and child time, snuggling together in the bed with tales told in quiet whispering, ever-changing to suit the character, voices. And I did a mean read of The Gruffalo books, if I do say so myself!

Now I know that things have moved on in this technological age of ours and, don't get me wrong, I love my technology I really do. These days I like to mix it up by reading physical books that I either get from my local library or purchase if they're by a favourite author, or purchase on my Kindle. I enjoy the read no matter the method but nothing quite beats the feel of a physical book in your hand and the turning over of a page as you devour the words,

So far it would seem that the e-reader hasn't quite usurped the print version and I sincerely hope it never does, if for no other reason that I feel that a lot of books are condensed to the point of causing confusion when being made e-reader ready.

Now, getting back to bedtime stories, imagine there was an available technological bedtime reading or tale-telling alternative for your little one at night. Some children are too young to read to themselves of course so this would need to be via a different method. An audio one perhaps? So then, imagine downloading a carefully penned, and probably beautifully told, fairy tale with soothing background music and most likely accompanied by appropriate special effects, on to your MP3 player or iPhone. You then connect your earphones to chosen device, pop your little one into his/her bed. You tuck them in, lovingly kiss them goodnight as you ruffle their sweet smelling hair, popping the earphones into their ears as you press 'play', then tiptoe out of the room.......  whispering 'Night Night' as you go.

Well, there is such an available alternative as I was informed via email today and, rightly or wrongly, the above is the scenario that immediately came to my mind. And it saddened me, it really did.

Technological Fairy Tales.

Is this technology gone mad ..... or can it be absorbed into our eclectic daily lives in a supervised, monitored and fun way? And, should it be?

No doubt children will adore it. It would be like a.... a movie without the pictures, but how sleep inducing would that be?

Either way of one thing I am absolutely certain; it could never replace the irreplaceable parent/child bedtime ritual and it could never give your child a good cuddle until he/she gently floats into slumber land.

And whatever you do don't let Joan Burton get wind of this! She already thinks that lone parent's seven year olds + no longer need their mothers, so much so that they should go back to work (or an educational programme), somehow obtaining the magic nineteen hours work required to qualify them for another allowance (FIS) to supplement her Lone Parent cuts. Technological 'advances' like this might be seen by her as a nice, gentle activity for a seven year old+ key-latch kid as they wait for their mum to get home from her part-time job/study having let themselves in after school!

Good Lord, what next?

Technological babysitters?!

Or perhaps you think differently.........


  1. Nothing beats a real book so I'd be loathe to get my daughter used to technology books before she is able to lose herself in a real book.

    1. @Midlife Singlemum: I totally agree. It can be hard enough to get some children to read a book as it is. Book reading is one of the non-screen alternatives left for them these days. Mind you, if my guy would read an e- book I'd let him! Reading is a skill....xx

  2. I have very mixed feelings about this - I can think of times when this idea could be very handy, yet I have also seen how technology can build barriers between people, even within families, so much of the time it gets in the way of shared activities. Approach with caution, I would say! xx

    1. @Looking for Blue Sky: Yes, most definitely! I can see what you mean and there are most likely some children for whom this would be a handy (and even suitable) option but for children on the whole? I think technology gas completely invaded and taken over some children's lives (you know exactly what I'm referring to ;-) and this, for me, is a step too far. Let bedtime for the younger child (well, all of them really - in an ideal world!) be technology free I think.....xx

  3. I don't thin anything replaces real books and I certainly don't think anythign replaces snuggling with your child on their bed an enjoying the story and a cuddle together. Mich x

    1. @Michelle Twin Mum: I entirely agree. And d'ya know what? I have found that the child who gets the night time snuggles (and all day ones too!!) can grow into teenager that is not too old or uncool to accept the odd quick snuggle ;) Totally priceless.......xx


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