Does Mother -- Or Nanny Cam -- Know Best?

Sasha Brown-Worsham

If you're worried your sitter is a liar, there is one surefire way to catch them: the nanny cam.

The nanny cam comes in many versions. Some are hidden in teddy bears and toys. Others are simple webcams that capture one room in the house and all the action. They have grown in popularity over the years and just yesterday, a babysitter caught abusing an 11-month-old by the nanny cam was convicted in a Florida court room.

Most of us would do anything to protect our children, but I'm still adamantly against the nanny cam for many reasons, not the least of which is that it breeds a contempt among mothers for one another.

One sanctimonious mother says to another: "This is why I stay home with my children" (thus implying she's far superior to the other).

Meanwhile, the working mothers are all wiring themselves and setting up for when they have to leave their child alone with a sitter.

I was a stay-at-home mom for three years with very limited childcare. I know how hard it is to trust another person with your child and there were many times I considered wiring my son when I dropped him at the sitter's. And to be honest, when my older daughter spent the summer at my son's sitter's place, I learned some things I didn't know. Like she gave them candy to help with clean-up and sometimes let them watch PBS Kids. 

These aren't major infractions, though. I trust her to make good decisions for my children. If I didn't, I wouldn't have hired her. I was lucky with their sitter. Now that both of my children are in preschool, I have to regain that trust. But never would I ever consider installing a nanny cam.

I trust my instincts.

The father in Florida said that he and his wife noticed a black eye on their baby, which prompted the nanny cam. Really? A "suspicious" black eye prompted only a nanny cam?

I trust my sitters. I have to. I'm hyper vigilant and mainly leave my children with family who loves them, but sometimes I hire sitters and, like it or not, I trust them. I believe what they tell me. If I didn't, I couldn't possibly walk out the door even for 20 minutes.

If you trust your sitter, you don't need to nanny cam them. And if you don't trust them, they shouldn't be alone with your child in the first place.

Would you use a nanny cam?


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