Thursday, April 10, 2014

Nannys in the Tech Age

When my children were young and I had to go back to work, cell phones were in its infancy.  I said I'd never be a person to walk and talk on the streets of New York City, but that all changed.  It changed because between work and home, my only "me" time was walking to and from work.  So, I fell and fell fast.  What also changed?  Caregivers were given cell phones by employers for emergencies and nervous mothers could be in touch or surprise the kids in the park.  What has evolved is horrible.  Now, you see caregivers on their cellphones constantly yacking and yelling in front of their charges.  Many are using language that many parents wouldn't want to have their kids hear.  Many are just loud on the phone and not paying any attention to the kids.  What can a parent do?  I have no idea.  You can't stop a person from talking on their own phone, which now everyone has.  You can maybe ask your caregiver to be on the phone only when the child is napping, but that is a suggestion that I'm sure is largely ignored.

When we had our first nanny, she was a talker.  Not on the phone, but she spoke to the kids constantly. She was pointing out things all over and naming them.  She was 100% attentive and, though at the time may have driven me nuts, in hindsight, she was a gem for the kids.  Her high pitched voice and happy personality was perfect for infants.  In today's world, there seems to be so little attention paid to the kids.  If you go to the park, you see all the caregivers on the phone and not seeming to be that watchful.  While pushing the stroller and talking on the cell phone, it's no wonder there are not more incidents.  

What is it doing to the development of our children?  Of course, I don't know, but I can imagine that those that are being hired to watch over our children, but are often too busy to notice a toy dropping or a fussy sound, may be damaging the children.  By the time we figure it out, it's too late.  I don't even know what the answer is.  Maybe it's more daycare centers and not so much individual care.  In an indoor setting, cellphone use can be curbed.  It certainly is once children go to school.  Teachers are not on cellphones during class.  Just go to your nearest park where caregivers gather, you will see a lot on the phone while the children are running, jumping, climbing all over.  Maybe it's a bigger problem in NYC and not outside this big city mentality.  Babies and children need attention.  It's how they learn to interact with others.  If more and more caregivers are spending more and more time on their cellphones, then what happens to the children?  Do you know?  Is it a problem where you live?  

Sidebars:  OMG, Law and Order: Special Victims Unit was unbelievable and so stupid this week.  Has it jumped the shark?  Just watching the commercial before it aired, I groaned. It feels like they are doing anything to get Mariska Hargitay an Emmy nod.  It was ridiculous and ludicrous.  If you are a fan, did you notice that they are down to three detectives?  They need to bring in new blood and then end on a high.  Please don't peter out. Watched Survivor last night.  I had to laugh because either they are on Catalina Island on a set or they had the best promotional placement for Outback Steakhouse.  I am new to this show, but that really gave me a laugh.  Also, wondering how you can starve yourself and be eating basically nothing and then stuff your face with fully loaded potatoes, steak, vegetables, and margaritas. I don't know how their systems can manage it.  Shark Tank is on twice this week: tonight and tomorrow.  David Letterman is retiring. I hope that Late Night stays in NYC and at the Ed Sullivan Theatre.  Just announced that Steven Colbert is taking over.  It's going to be a very interesting late night skyline.  Poor Craig Ferguson, though he is reportedly $5 million richer.  It is Spring finally here.  Enjoy!

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