Child Babysitters via Skype?
There are countless articles online giving parents directions on how to use Skype as a ‘Nanny cam.’ Forget spending your hard earned dollars on an expensive baby monitor with a built in video camera, when you can use the free Skype service as a surveillance camera in your home. Setting it up involves the minimum of fuss, provided you have the necessary equipment, namely a couple of laptops, or tablets and a Skype account. Easy, right?
It is also suggested that you can use the service to monitor the babysitter or nanny looking after your children, to ensure that a proper level of care is given to your children.
But, and it is hard not to come over all Judgy-Mc-Judgerson when I say this (as in normal circumstances I pride myself on being anything but), BUT I was, to put it mildly, horrified, earlier this week to hear about a couple in Australia babysitting their 7 year old grandchild via Skype in Japan.
The child in question was too unwell to go to school, and since the Father was unable to take time off work the grandparents babysat all day via Skype, playing games like Connect 4 (I don’t even want to think about the logistics of getting that to work), and reading books, etc. Apparently, and I can well believe it, it was a pleasurable way to spend a few hours for all concerned, but the anxious parent in me finds it hard to imagine a situation in which I personally would be comfortable leaving one of my children under these circumstances.
Granted my eldest, also a 7 year old, has ADD and a moderate speech disorder, so perhaps the child in question displays a far more mature attitude than my own son, and comparing my reality to theirs does not really equate. BUT, the mother in me says “No. This is not okay. “
You don’t even want to know what the anxious mother in me wants to say. She is seeing all kinds of unforseen circumstances and calamities that could befall a child left under these circumstances. Even knowing that the grandparents have Dad on speed dial in case of emergency does little to allay my fears should an emergency arise.
I have Googled it, and it seems that this kind of practice is not an isolated case. Parents wanting to spend more time alone and less time on babysitting charges are turning to family to Skype-sit their child/ren.
I’m sure by now you have got the gist that I am something of a worrier by nature, or at least I have been since becoming a mother! (Just another of the perks of the job!) So I am interested to know if I am overreacting?
Would recruiting a babysitter via Skype or Face-time be something you would consider, either at a considerable distance, or if you were a few doors away at a neighbours house?