Virtual Babysitter: Monitoring Your Kids from Anywhere

It can be a daunting task trying to stay aware of what your children are up to, especially if you’re a working parent. Many of you probably invested in babysitters for years, but at what point do you take the nanny off speed dial and let your little ones off on their own? Take a deep breath, I know it’s a scary thought. The good news is that it’s easier than ever to stay connected to your kids, even if you’re backpacking in the Himalayas.

There are many tools currently available to achieve a parental presence wherever you are – even if you’re just sitting in the next room. One tactic being frequently utilized is using FaceTime or Skype to monitor your kids. In fact, the FaceTime Babysitter is a term being thrown around quite a bit lately. However, with new technologies popping up all the time, it’s important to know the best use for these devices.


It’s not recommended that you just leave your infant in front of an iPad… Image by Parker Knight

In what should be common sense, it’s not recommended that you leave your infant in front of an iPad to talk to grandma when no one is home. There needs to be at least some maturity on the child’s part when it comes to taking off the parental leash and letting technology assist.

The real game changer is for those children who are too old for a babysitter and yet too young to be left entirely alone. Being able to directly see and speak with your kids while you’re at work can be a blessing for both parties; you can help with homework, assist with heating up the leftovers and show them how to fold the hand towels, as well as gain some peace of mind for yourself.

This technological advance is especially noteworthy as we hit back-to-school season and, as any parent can attest to, back to school safety is a huge priority. So, in addition to your portable electronics, what are some other ways you can monitor your kids?

Smart Home, Smart Parent

The smart home revolution is changing the way we do everything and thankfully, smart home advances have made being a parent a little easier too; nowadays you can even program your pots and pans to get a deep clean in your dishwasher, all from your smart phone.

Worried that your kid is hopping off the school bus and not going straight home? That fear can be left in the past with automated door locks. One such company, Unikey, has unveiled a key system that can send a notification to your smart phone whenever someone enters the door. You can even time it up to unlock when you child is due home – so no more lost house keys.

What if your child ignores your FaceTime request or Skype call? How can you know that they haven’t run straight for their video games instead of focusing on their studies? That’s where sophisticated smart cameras have changed the game. With these highly intelligent cameras, you can completely monitor your child’s activities from your computer, tablet or smart phone.

There is a great bit of customization that comes into play as well. For example, you can aim a camera right next to the snack cupboard to not only see when your kids are snacking on chips, but also get a notification whenever they enter that camera’s vantage point.

This also becomes important when it comes to overall home security when your kids are home alone. Instead of panicking after receiving a notification that there may have been a break in, hop right online and investigate using your camera set up. This way you can see if one of your kids just forgot to disarm the alarm or perhaps tripped a sensor.

Another great feature focuses on being able to keep your kids comfortable when you aren’t there. Don’t want to keep the heat blasting when no one’s home in the winter, but also don’t want your kids fiddling with the thermostat? Problem solved! With a smart thermostat system, you can adjust your home’s temperature from your computer, tablet or smart phone.

Taking things one step further, smart home solutions enable you to monitor the health of your children. Do you have a child with asthma? New technology is emerging that can actually monitor the air quality of your home and detect asthma-related threats. It is technology like this that’s enabling you and your children to take a big breath of fresh air and relief.

All of these products and features aim to not only give your child the independence they crave, but also provide parents with piece of mind. Are you currently using any home monitoring technology for your kids?

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Written by:
Amy is a former business advisor, she writes about a wide range of topics, with a particular focus on investment and the use of technology in business.
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