As a parent in my 40s that has a couple of young kids, I sometimes feel inadequate & confused. Should I be on top of everything they do, hovering over them with a watchful eye? Or should I let them experiment & take risks, with the danger of them getting hurt, albeit temporarily? I’ve always felt that my primary role as a parent is preparation rather than protection. I want to prepare my kids for the “real world”, with all the ups & downs it entails. However, when they get hurt or mess up, I feel guilty & tell myself that I should have done something to prevent it.
When I’m at work, I feel less pressured to be “on top” of my kids, especially since I’m fortunate enough to have a supportive wife who primarily takes care of the kiddos’ needs when she’s at home. However, I know couples who, either by choice or necessity, leave their kids at home with a trusted relative or helper while they work as employees or do stuff for their own business. I’m sure that a lot of “worst case” scenarios run through their heads while they’re away from home, but technology has allowed parents like them to maintain a presence at home. Phone calls, text messaging, photo/video sharing — these are just some of the tools available to help us keep an eye on our kids & the people taking care of them when we’re out.
Still, I can’t help but wonder if there are better ways to keep tabs on my kids while I’m not around. One recent trend that has become ubiquitous in more developed countries is the proliferation of entire sets of devices built for “smart” homes. Basically, a smart home system fully or partially automates common household tasks, and allows a user to control these tasks via a computer or mobile device. Components of a smart home system include digital locks, video doorbells, & digital assistant speakers. Here’s a helpful article that includes a couple of items that can be added to any smart home system to help parents keep tabs on their kids at home.
However, there’s one aspect of remote “parenting” that may affect some adults in their 40s: their own parents. The same tools that have been created to help keep an eye on our kids can also be used to monitor our parents who may be approaching or already at the senior level. There are unique challenges to taking care of your senior-aged parents, so special systems have been developed to help monitor & manage their needs. I found an interesting post that shows that large companies such as Best Buy have invested resources to help address this highly-specialized market.
Hopefully, our upcoming software Veeda can help people who have this special need. More details will be available in the next few months, but for now, all I can say is that we’re very excited to make this product available to the public.