Parents today must wrestle with a host of questions that their own folks never had to worry about. No longer are sensitive conversation topics limited to determining the most appropriate age for “the talk”, the first date, or that necessary conversation about the perils of peer pressure.
If kids have access to the Internet, the barriers we put up to protect their innocence can instantly break down.
Though many parents already own a digital device they allow their children to play with (given the right circumstances and supervision), brands that cater to children know the power of making a kids’ version of anything, be it an oven, a cell phones or an automatic weapon. Children are an incredibly profitable demographic, and though they like to mimic adults, kids still want their own things.
Toys ‘R’ Us knows this, too.
In October, Toys ‘R’ Us will offer the Tabeo, a scaled-down version of the Android Tablet, exclusively at its retail stores. The 7-inch device features a 1GHz processor, 4 GB of storage, an HDMI port and enough power to handle games, apps and software downloadable via a Wi-Fi connection. And of course, what 4-year old can go without a camera function?
The company’s new PR campaign wisely touts the educational benefits of the Tabeo, but is a children’s version of an Android really worth the $150 Toys ‘R’ Us is charging? We’ll just have to wait and see.
We have a feeling that parents who do buy the Tabeo this autumn will work from an ulterior motive: They don’t want their kids to break their pricey tablets.
Call us cynical if you must–We lost our innocence a long time ago.