Children can live in virtual reality, with their parents watching them, and have access to a wide array of online content.
Now, they can also be held captive and forced to watch videos, according to a new report from the Center for Children and Families.
“The technology we’re using is a tool that allows them to have a kind of virtual reality where they can have an intimate interaction with their child,” said Maryam Boubak, the center’s executive director.
The report, which is based on a survey of parents, was published Thursday.
Boubaks said the center wants to make it easier for parents to communicate and connect with their children.
“We want to make sure that parents are not in the position of having to tell their child that they’re not able to watch their child’s video, or that they can’t access that content,” she said.
“There are other technologies that are being used that aren’t as readily available.”
One of those technologies is the watchcartoonsonline.com website, which offers the ability for parents and other guardians to have virtual interactions with their young children.
Boubak said parents can watch clips of their child at home on the web, and then have them watch online content in virtual environments.
“When they watch the video on the watchCartoonOnline site, it’s like a video chat, but they are able to have an interactive conversation with their kids,” she told ABC News.
In one video, a mother is seen chatting with her daughter as they watch a cartoon together.
In another video, an older sibling and a younger sibling watch a video together, then a friend of a friend who is watching a video also chats with her.
In a third video, the children’s parents sit around a table watching a clip of their friend’s sister, and the mother can be heard talking to her daughter.
“This is a way that parents can have a personal interaction with these kids,” Bouback said.
“This is something that really needs to be available to parents.”
A video of an online video of a child is shown in this file photo taken July 14, 2017.
WatchcartoonsOnline.com, which was founded by the center in 2014, allows parents to send their children to watch video clips of a family member.
WatchCartoononline.co.uk, a parent-led website, allows viewers to share videos of their own children.
WatchKids.org, which connects parents with children ages 6 to 10, is another site.
Watchkids.org allows viewers and parents to watch and discuss videos.
In addition, parents can use the site to upload their own videos.
“It’s just a very simple way to be able to communicate with these young children, and that’s the thing that is most important to us,” Bunchas said.