We recently bought an IP cam for Callum's room to replace our dying (and crappy) video monitor. It's awesome in a ton of ways. In fact, we had wanted one when we originally got the video monitor, but at the time we didn't have iPhones or iPads and we wanted something portable, not something that required a laptop to check, so we went with the traditional monitor.
(My, how things have changed in just two years, huh?)
Anyway, the IP cam is amazing. It has awesome resolution. We can see when his eyes are open at night. We can see exactly where he is and what he is doing. It's just so much clearer than the video monitor, and therefore much more useful.
The video monitor--for us--wasn't really necessary when Callum was a baby. He was just a lump and there was nothing to see. But now that he's a toddler, it's incredibly useful. Especially now that he's not sleeping in a crib anymore and can get out of bed on his own, it's extremely helpful to be able to see what he's doing.
Which leads me to my next point... we are basically spying on him. Which we always have been doing, but it feels like more, somehow, because a) we can see a lot better, and b) he's older and has a bit more autonomy. I mean, it's not like he's doing private things that we shouldn't be watching. But it feels more invasive now than it did a year ago.
The biggest thing, though, that really makes me feel like Big Brother is that we can talk to him over the camera, and as far as I can tell, he thinks that the Voice that Issues Forth is some sort of Omniscient Being that Must Be Obeyed.
Which is great. GREAT. When he hops out of bed at naptime and romps around the room, we can get on the mic and tell him to get in bed and go to sleep... AND HE DOES. If we went to his room to tell him that, we would get nowhere. But over the camera? IMMEDIATE OBEDIENCE. It's a little scary, really.
Also, at first only Torsten talked over the camera mic, and then one time he wasn't there and I did it and Callum burst into tears. He obeyed and lay down in bed, but he was crying for Mommy. So I got on the mic again and told him that everything was OK and he didn't need to cry. And he stopped. And went to sleep. For two hours. It was magical.
BUT when I went into his room to get him up after his nap, the SECOND I cracked open the door to the room he pointed right at the camera and said "Woman! Woman not sleeping!"
So it clearly made an impression, is my point. And also, he definitely doesn't seem to understand that the voices coming over the mic are Mommy and Daddy and not some scary third-party observer/authority. Which seems to work in our favor, as far as getting him to do things that we would like him to do, like stop throwing a party and go to sleep. But it makes me feel bad! The poor kid! He seriously must feel like he's living in 1984. I actually tried to explain to him that it's just Mommy and Daddy talking to him, but I don't think he quite grasped that.
So! Effective parenting technique, apparently, but also maybe a little cruel? But it's not like I'm going to stop using it. Though that brings me to another question... when DO we stop using it? Not just the mic but the whole camera? I can only assume that over the next year or two, it will become even more interesting and useful to watch him on the camera. But at some point he WILL need privacy, or at least the awareness that he has a space to himself that isn't being monitored. And I'm starting to think that it may not be immediately obvious to us when we've reached that point.
What about you? People who use video monitors, when are you planning to stop? (Or when did you stop, if your kids are a little older?)
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