I saw you, nanny.

There’s a story on the local news website about a mother using a nanny cam and finding out her nanny was being neglectful.  I don’t know all the details, but from what I read, the nanny was in charge of taking care of twin 7 month old boys, and one boy was sitting on the couch when he fell over, and the mother watched as the nanny walked by him several times and didn’t pick the child up, leaving him struggling on the couch.

(First of all, let me say that the idea of watching your infant struggle while someone walked right by him several times is horrible to me.  I couldn’t imagine how badly I would feel; how enraged I would feel.  And I’m glad that this mother fired her nanny and was able to take action before something else happened — something very harmful to a small child.  I feel like this might have been just a minor incident, but is indicative of someone who may have let something worse happen.  I mean, who doesn’t pick up an infant when they fall?)

But the article got me thinking about nanny cams.

I am a cross between a nanny and a home daycare provider.  I work for one family watching their two kids, but instead of taking care of them in their house, I take care of them in my home.  I don’t see myself as someone who has a home daycare — to me that means taking care of many kids — nor do I see myself as a traditional nanny — to me a nanny is someone who goes to the family’s house.  But regardless of what my title is, I take care of two children.  And I enjoy it.  But I do not think I would be willing to do it if I found out the family had a nanny cam.

Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing to hide.  And having nothing to hide, you would think I wouldn’t have a problem with a nanny cam.  (Also, I understand the desire for parents to see what is happening with their children.  In fact, if I were the parent, I may have a different opinion on this.)  I feel, however, strongly against me being filmed at all times, and without my knowledge.  Heck, I even have strong feelings about being filmed withmy knowledge.  I don’t like it.  I don’t like the idea of being watched while I ate, sang songs and acted silly with a child, heck, even adjusted my underpants after rolling around on the floor in a tickle-fight.  (You didn’t need that image, I know.  Sorry.)  If I found out a family I worked for had a nanny cam, I think I would leave.  It just makes me that uncomfortable.

Oh , and you know, the news article I read already had several comments that run along the lines of “you can’t trust anyone, film them all the time” and “if you don’t trust anyone then you should take care of your kids yourself and do without the income because your kids are more important.”  And, oh boy, I’m not even going to go near that battle — it’s too explosive.  But I am going to say that for the few families who have encountered a neglectful nanny, there are lots and lots more who have wonderful people caring for their children.   And I hope people remember that.

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