Being a parent is tough. No matter if you’re raising a toddler or a teenager, there are times when you really need to have eyes behind your head.
Thankfully, a new generation of wireless cameras can help parents keep a closer eye on their children.
1. Monitoring If Teens Made Their Curfew
Keeping an eye on your kids doesn’t mean “big brother” style surveillance or that you don’t trust them. It’s simply automating a part of parenting. There’s very little sense in staying up until midnight waiting to make sure your teen makes curfew, when you can let technology do the staying up for you.
Installing a surveillance camera at the front and rear entrance of your home not only helps you beef up home security, but it also provides a convenient log of when your teen leaves or arrives home.
If you purchase the right outdoor wi-fi surveillance camera, you can configure it to send you an email any time there’s motion detected at that entrance. Many of these cameras also offer night vision, so you can get a very clear picture even if it’s midnight and there’s no moonlight at all.
One excellent security camera that offers all of the features you need for this is the ReoLink Argus.
This camera requires no wiring for power, since it can be charged with a solar panel (sold separately). It offers night vision, motion sensing, and alert emails to multiple recipients.
Now you can go to bed early and get some rest for work. In the morning you can check your email to ensure that your teenager arrived home when they promised they would. Not only that, but it provides solid evidence if they didn’t.
2. Dash Cams and Teen Drivers
It’s scary enough sending your child out on the road for the first time. Now that there are so many distractions for teens like smartphones or other friends in the car, things are even scarier.
Just look at a few examples of what can happen to new drivers who aren’t fully aware yet how quickly distractions can turn into disaster.
All you need to do is install an inexpensive dash cam in your car to ensure your new teen driver is driving responsibly.
There are lots of options for these on the market. Just ensure you’re purchasing a dash cam that offers both front and rear (inside the car) cameras. For example, the ITrue X9D is highly rated by users and offers Wi-Fi access.
Wi-Fi lets you access the video wirelessly with a smartphone app. Also, cameras like these take an SD or micro-SD card, so make sure to purchase a card that’s large enough so that the looping video recording can capture a large enough amount of time.
The nice thing about using a dash cam is that it’s not just about keeping an eye on whether your teen driver is behaving. It’s a great way to capture important video in the case of an accident.
Video evidence can help your insurer prove the accident was caused by the other driver. This will keep your insurance costs from getting hiked. This is especially helpful since having a teen driver in your household leads to high insurance premiums as it is.
3. Making Sure Kids Are Doing Chores
For younger children, teaching them the value of contributing to a household is not an easy task. Kids will sometimes tell you they’ve done their chores when they haven’t.
And confirming whether they’ve done their chores is even more difficult if both parents are working outside the home. Thankfully a carefully placed wireless camera in the home can serve as a nanny when you’re away.
In most homes, brooms, vacuums and other cleaning tools are usually stored in the same place.
If the chore is to sweep the floor or vacuum, just keep the camera in an inconspicuous place, and make sure motion detection recording is enabled.
Every time your child goes to get the broom or vacuum to clean, your camera will send you a text or email notification.
A good option is a D-Link Wi-Fi camera, because it has night vision and you can easily configure it for motion detection email alerts.
These notifications will give you the time and date that your child did their chores.
D-Link’s Connected Home Series will work for the purpose described here. For all of the examples in this article though, we’ve used D-Link’s HD Wi-Fi Security Camera because it’s so inexpensive, requires no smart home hub, and captures very high quality video and images.
Using such a camera for keeping an eye on chores is a great way to make sure your kids are doing what they promised they would do. And if they don’t, you have the evidence to support a grounding!
4. Watch Out for “Parties” When You’re Away
It can be very tempting for teens to invite their friends over when you’re away from home for a few days. It’s something parents often worry about, not to mention the safety and security of their teenager alone at home.
It’s such a frequent event that you can even find videos on YouTube aimed at teens, explaining how to effectively clean up the house after a party so your parents don’t know about it!
Don’t be one of those parents. This is another great reason to install an outdoor wireless security camera, like those mentioned at the start of this article, at both front and back entrances of your home.
Not only do they insure that you’ll get notified instantly if a stranger is at the door, trying to get in. You’ll also know immediately if there are a bunch of teenagers arriving at the house throughout the night.
5. Keep a Watchful Eye on Drugs and Alcohol
Nearly every household has family members who need to take prescription drugs.
Many parents don’t realize that even some drugs you would think are safe to have in the home, can be abused by teenagers looking for an easy high if the drugs are taken at a high dosage.
The responsible thing to do as a parent is to always make sure all prescription drugs are stored in a lockbox that only the parents know the combination to. This way parents can distribute a daily or weekly supply, and keep the remaining prescription stored safely away.
The problem is that if a teen is intent on getting access to prescription drugs, they can figure out a way to get a hold of the combination. They may even figure out how the lockbox you use can be “hacked” or broken into.
Don’t gamble by trusting the lockbox completely. It’s very easy to install a Wi-Fi camera in a hidden location, keeping a watchful eye on the prescription supply.
A wireless camera with a heavy base provides easy mounting to walls or ceilings. This lets you position the unit in a hidden location, monitoring your lockbox without anyone knowing.
The same dangers are true with alcohol. If you’ve raised your kids right, the odds are pretty good they’d never get into your stash of alcohol.
But you can’t be entirely sure that their friends were raised the same way. So mount a wireless camera somewhere in the corner of your pantry or wherever you store your alcohol. Point the camera toward those bottles.
You’ll want to make sure you’ve purchased a Wi-Fi camera that has night vision, because the odds are good that whoever goes into your pantry looking for alcohol may not turn on the lights to do so.
Luckily, most high-quality Wi-Fi cameras on the market feature night vision.
Installing these cameras doesn’t mean you don’t trust your kids. But anyone under 18 years old statistically has a much higher probability of making a bad decision.
You can’t be everywhere at once. Setting up cameras like this allows you to have parental eyes everywhere you need them, even when you’re not home. It’s just the responsible thing to do.
6. Always Use a Babysitter Cam
If you have an infant, leaving it at home with a babysitter can be a nerve-racking experience.
Many parents try to alleviate this stress by only hiring a babysitter from the family, or someone they know very well. Still, it’s scary leaving a helpless baby with someone else. This is where Wi-Fi cameras can really provide new parents with peace of mind.
In fact, babysitter cameras have caught some terrible situations before they could have led to serious injury or worse.
We won’t show any of the terrible nanny-cam videos that have caught abusive babysitters in the act. And hopefully, in your case, your camera won’t capture anything bad happening. Instead, let’s hope it only catches wonderful moments between siblings, like this one.
You don’t have to feel bad about using a nanny-cam. You’re just being a responsible parent.
In this use case, you’ll want to make sure you install a good size SD card in the camera and enable sensitive motion detection so that the camera can record many hours of activity while you’re away.
7. Keep Those Tots in Bed
The funniest experience I had as a new father (although I didn’t find it funny at the time), was all of the tactics my daughter would take in order to avoid sleeping.
Once she got old enough to crawl out of her crib, she started escaping so she could run across the room and sneak books or toys back into her crib. We only realized this one day because she fell once while making her crib escape and started crying.
You would be surprised at the antics children will get up to in order to avoid staying in their crib!
If the technology was around back then for us to install a Wi-Fi camera in the baby’s room, we would have. That would have showed us on the very first night that our innocent little child was escaping her crib and staying up all night.
A Wi-Fi camera in the toddlers room is a very powerful tool for parents to keep an eye on their child, even when they’re sleeping! Because if your toddler makes an escape attempt, you can have the camera send you an email or a text alert that’ll wake you up so you can put that little rascal back to bed.
Just remember that when you’re setting up a camera in your child’s bedroom, you need to take the security of that camera setup seriously.
Using Wi-Fi Cameras for Parenting
Now, this doesn’t mean cameras should ever be used as a replacement for parenting. You know perfectly well, as a parent, that you need to be present with your children as much as possible.
But there are lots of demands placed on parents that you can’t control. Sometimes, you just can’t keep an eye on everything.
Let technology help you be a super-parent. Install cameras everywhere you need to keep an eye on. You’ll find that it’ll reduce stress, and you’ll sleep better at night.
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