Sunday, 24 February 2008

Talking to Children

I often hear complaints by housewives that staying home with the kids is dreadful because they have to endure endless conversations with their children. They want to be around adults and have intelligent discussions. It's incredible how people tend to want what is scarce or want what they don't have.

I know a friend--let's call him Frank-- who keeps telling me that he feels a strong desire to have children of his own. He told me that he has never actually spoken to a child before. Obviously he spoke to children when he himself was a child, but when he became an adult, he never spoke to any children. He only ever seems to speak to people his own age (not including his parents of course). This is likely due to his being institutionalized in school and university. Through the education system he was put among people his own age.

Wouldn't it be cool then if he could have a young friend? Wouldn't it be cool if he could regularly talk to someone younger? He told me he would love to give the child advice about life, something he wanted desperately when he was young but never received.

The existence of this paternal or maternal instinct among people creates a demand. Where there is demand without supply there is a business opportunity. Why not charge child-starved adult customers to talk to lonely children through telephone? If this idea went ahead, there is a danger that actual pedophiles will start talking about sex explicitly with the children, so to stop this from happening, consumers have to register with the firm first before they talk to any children. The consumer opens an account and must have more than, say, $1000 in the account to be part of this program. Talking to the children can cost, say, $1 per minute. If the consumer swears to the child or abuses the child in any way, then $1000 will be deducted from the account. All conversations will be monitored. This will deter members from abusing children.

In order to find lonely children, the firm can advertise to parents, psychologists, and school counselors. Depending on how many lonely children are needed, a wage can be paid to the children or the children's parents. Increasing this wage may be necessary if the business turns out to be very popular. To keep the firm out from trouble, you must do everything you can to protect the children. Emphasize that this is a service designed to satiate paternal or maternal instincts to help confused or lonely children. Such instincts are already satiated to a degree with child sponsorship programs for example by World Vision. However, this program allows consumers to actually talk to a child, and hearing and interacting with a child in this way may be a more stimulating experience than looking at a child's picture or reading his or her letter every half-year.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The idea that ppl should buy in to talk to a lonely child is where you lost me. The parents should pay for the attention to their offspring, much like to a babysitter. The ppl wanting interaction w/ a child maybe should pay but the money should go to screening and administration. Otherwise parents would just have their kids on the phone w/ strangers all day making $$$. Really, ppl who want to know about kids should volunteer, read kids stories at the library or help out a local PTA or something like that.
It is terrible that we go for years w/o being around kids then for those that become parents the difference in interaction is a smack to the head.