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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

The babysitter is a spycam

When “nanny cams” were new, parents used them to monitor babysitters. Now, for parents of teens, the

spycam is the babysitter, reports Ronda Kaysen in the New York Times.

Working parents can use an array of security devices to keep tabs on middle and high schoolers who are home alone after school.

I could install a keyless lock, like Kevo by Kwikset, and receive a text message when he unlocks it. With a digital home security system, like SimpliSafe, I could get an alert that he has disarmed the system and a video clip of him walking in. I could use SimpliSafe door sensors to warn me if he opens anything off limits — that’ll keep him out of the cookie drawer. With a microphone-enabled camera, like Canary, I could talk to him from the mantle. Imagine his reaction when he hears my disembodied voice emanating from a little box ordering him to put down the Nintendo Switch.

A majority of parents who buy these systems say they need to monitor their children, writes Kaysen.

A Canary television ad trades the creepy home invader in the bushes for the wild teenage babysitter who invites her boyfriend over and, while they canoodle on the couch, the unsupervised children take the car out for a spin and flood the bathroom. The message is clear: Home security is about keeping tabs on the people inside your house, not the strangers lurking outside.

Half of Americans think a 12-year-old is too young to play unsupervised in a park, yet more than 40 percent of children are left home alone at times, notes Kaysen.

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