A new app being prepared for launch, the Kiddo, promises parents that at last they’ll be able to monitor almost every aspect of their children’s lives:
Login to the Kiddo app. Tell the app about your child; enter age, gender, height, and weight. Turn on Bluetooth, and then sync the Kiddo with your smartphone. Identify healthy habits you want your child to adopt and select appropriate goals.
It’s just like programming your breadmaker! Except…it’s your kid.
The Kiddo tells you you child’s activity level, sleep patterns, and if it could, I’m sure it would tell you what’s going on in their dreams. (Maybe that’s Kiddo 2.0 .) The whole idea is that parents can now treat their kids like a slightly buggy device they can tweak to perfection.This includes the child’s weight:
Log the foods your child eats. Using your child’s actual activity levels, the Kiddo app compares consumed calories against those burned through exercisse and recommends appropriate activities to help them maintain a healthy weight.
Log everything your kid eats? Isn’t that for serious dieters? (And don’t they mostly not end up doing this anyhow?)
And just how healthy is it to obsess over a child’s caloric intake? How healthy is it for childhood activity to be framed in terms of weight loss? How healthy is it for parents to assume this kind of hospital-like monitoring and prescribing is just what normal parents do?
Eating is not simply calorie intake, but to an electronic device, food choice is just data. In fact, to an electronic device, kids are just data. Resist the push for us to look at our kids that way, too. – L