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I always assumed that’s who those monitors were for, but a New York Times Motherlode blog post opened my eyes to another type of parent who likes to use them–the observer.
In the piece, Beyond the peace of mind and potential safety benefits that come from extended use of video monitors, many moms and dads would agree that “it’s more fascinating” to watch your child via a video monitor than to listen to him or her via audio, said Alan Fields, co-author of the baby gear review book “Baby Bargains” and the “Best Baby Monitors” online guide.
The early audio monitor was a way for parents to hear remotely when their baby woke up, but video monitors let parents see what their baby is doing when they’re not there.
I never really thought about the concept of toddlers and privacy, but if I stop and examine how I feel about it, is it ridiculous to say that I believe they should be afforded some?
Everyone’s favorite accessory isn’t necessarily surveillance, but it is performing the same function—enabling parents to track and observe that their children are okay, without the need for blind trust.
I sometimes wonder if all parents watch for the rise and fall of their child’s chest when they peek in on them at night.
In her research article, Without a surveillance gaze, children have the opportunity to be trusted, to learn how to trust others, and perhaps to show others they can live up to this trust.
Once the surveillance is in place, this opportunity is greatly reduced…
if surveillance is applied as a response to fear rather than a more balanced response to any actual risks involved, then arguably both adults and children become reactive agents, contributing to a cycle of suspicion and anxiety, robbing childhood of valuable opportunities to trust and be trusted.
I stomped through Europe in my early twenties without a cell phone and with only a promise to call my mother once a week.