Look who's watching.

Written by Oladotun Togun

Recently, a short video clip went viral on the internet showing a nanny brutally beat a toddler in one of these East African countries. As a parent, it got me thinking, “how many people do I let into my home whom I really know nothing about?”  A very alarming thought I must confess.

Like every other thing in life there is a risk with getting other people to watch over your kids. So How can you protect your children from becoming victims of abuse in the hands of their care givers? Here are my thoughts:

  1. Carry out adequate background check before employing your nanny. Background checks are just as important as medical and other test we do. Parents tend to over look this especially when someone they think they know refers the nanny. You can never be too careful even when the nanny comes highly recommended, do your own checks
  2. Get a second eye. You can never be everywhere at all times so it’s better to get technology to help be your eyes on your kids when you are not around. It’s not enough to install nanny cams and hidden cameras, make sure you watch it as often as possible.
  3. Educate your children on what’s right and wrong so when someone is leading them in the wrong direction they can refuse and report to you. That way, you empower them to take charge of their own lives and safety.
  4. Social media is a great way to connect with friends and false friends too. So use that also add you staff as a friend on Facebook and whats app…you may just learn a lot from what they post or what their friends post about them. And that way you may just be able to get their real names and not the ones they claim.
  5. Lastly ensure you have proper documentation of everyone that works in your home. Passport photographs, completely filled out employee forms with contact details and referee information which you must verify when they start working with you.

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Just some thoughts for you to start with but I’m sure creative parents out there have found other ways to protect their kids. Care to share yours?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net