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How Do I Choose the Best Professional Cleaning Service

Keeping your home clean can be an exhausting task, especially if you have to squeeze it in between the chaos and work and keeping your family in line. And if your life feels like it’s nothing but cleaning and tedious chores, perhaps it’s…

How to Keep Your Pool Clean Without Using Chemicals

The weather is getting hotter and hotter, and if you haven’t done it already, you are probably getting ready to open your pool and start the swimming season. Having a pool in your backyard is wonderful, but it requires quite some effort before you…

8 Ways to Make Food Shopping as a Parent More Bearable

No one is denying children aren’t the gift that keep on giving. But, as a parent, there are just some tasks in day to day adult life that shouldn’t be accompanied by kids. Namely the weekly food shop. Opening yourself up to a world of whining, potential tantrums and…

Last year, I watched my son and my niece (who are the same age), give conflicting commands to Alexa, the digital assistant in our household. At first they were doing pretty well, taking turns asking for different songs, but it devolved into them talking over one another until parental intervention was required. On another occasion, I had a guest (who was used to interacting with digital assistants) interrupt almost every song on a playlist to ask Alexa a question about the artist or the album related to the song.

It was from these incidents, and several others like it, that I learned to play music from another source and unplug Alexa when the kids were around.

But maybe that is a bit extreme and selfish of me: I didn't want a device to interrupt my vision for the day, but maybe others really enjoy interacting with digital assistants.

I pay attention when my son interacts with our devices. It's not often, but he will ask it for music, the weather, to set a timer while cooking or to tell him a joke, basically repeating the behaviors of his parents (that last request was learned from my husband). He hasn't quite figured out that Alexa can do so much more than that, although I am sure those days are numbered.

One thing I haven't done is asked him his thoughts about Alexa. That seems like an obvious miss on my part, as there are a number of studies right now to research how children think about the devices present in their home.

What I do know is that I need to start thinking about Alexa's place in our lives, just as I do all the other devices in our home: Just because I (for the most part) ignore them, doesn't mean that this will be the right behavior for everyone.

(I may still unplug it when guests are over.)

What role do digital assistants play in your family's life? Tell me in the comments.

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