Julie Green: The Other Side of the Coin


Would You Spy On Your Nanny?

Secret Agent Mommy

How do you feel about nanny cams? You know, the secret cameras stowed into unlikely places, zipped into teddy bears, for the sole purpose of spying on your caregiver. 

Well, even though many parents claim to be dead set against spy ware, as soon as a nanny is found doing something naughty—as was the case with this nanny recently found abusing the 5-month-old baby in her care—suddenly all methods of surveillance are vindicated. Or are they?

According to an article in Today Moms, the Staten Island nanny was clearly seen slapping the baby on a camera hidden in the family's carbon monoxide detector. And while the hiding place is kind of genius you must admit, I'm still hesitant to support the clandestine camera club.

Of course no amount of screening and reference checks can protect you from a bad nanny. At some point, though, blind faith must prevail, right? We have to be as scrupulous as possible at the onset, then we must set aside our paranoia, cross our fingers and hope the babysitter has the due diligence not to raid the liquor cabinet or have hot sex on our leather ottoman. 

But those who own a hidden camera say they can't imagine life without the hidden camera. Another dad recalls his shock after witnessing his supposedly stellar nanny caught totally ignoring his crying babies on video. 

And while on occasion something spectacularly horrific happens, as with the New York nanny, our most primal parental fears are unleashed and we forget that these incidents, though horrific, remain truly rare. 

“The real benefit of surveillance is not to catch wrongdoers, but to prevent [the] wrongdoing in the first place,” says University of Maryland’s criminal law professor David Gray in the article. Gray recommends getting caregivers to sign a release form for surveillance, and consulting a lawyer before installing spy ware to make sure you aren't violating any privacy laws. 

The thinking here is that the safe than sorry mentality may impress moral conscience upon the nanny's behaviour. 

But let's stop and think about that for a second. How would you feel if your boss insisted on installing a camera on YOUR desk to supervise your every move as you went about your 9-5. Doesn't exactly instill a lot of trust, does it? Just because you have nothing to hide doesn't mean you are comfortable with paparazzi stalking you every second of every hour.

As a boss I want an employee I can trust to do their job right, especially when the stakes are high and the commodity is the most precious one going. That's why I hired them in the first place. 

Do you use a nanny cam? Why/why not?


Image credit: Flickr/ Simon Greig (xrrr)