16 Apr

Parenting is always a balancing act, and part of that is making sure your children are safe when you’re not around. There are many different stages and tactics, from baby monitors to afterschool care. In the past year, new challenges and solutions have appeared. This post is to provide food for thought and starting points to think about how to protect your minor children using resources, technology, and long-term estate planning. 

Finding Local Babysitters

Before, during, and certainly after pregnancy, you’ve already most likely given some thought to who can watch your child when things come up, planned and otherwise. The best advice is regardless of who you approach, take your time, ask questions, and make sure they (and you) are comfortable with babysitting. 

  • Talk to friends and family. An invaluable resource, those who live in your area can refer you to their favorite sitter. Also, make sure to inquire if they want to sit: this is also vital for possible short and long-term guardians (more on that below).
  • Use online resources. There are some great websites out there that put you in contact with local sitters, complete with specialties, reviews, and certifications. Two of the most popular are Care.com and SitterCity.com.
  • Spend time with them and your child. Talk to them about their experience with children. Beyond their referrals and certifications (such as CPR and First Aid training), think about doing an “observation session” where you see how they interact with your child.

Smart Homes: Surveillance and Security

Smart home technology has exploded in recent years, providing many options for security and surveillance that puts the baby monitors we had as children to shame! Depending on the devices you already use, you may have the foundations for a smart home through Google’s Nest or Amazon’s Alexa Smart Home. These combine home security options with things like baby monitors and cameras, all viewable from your smartphone. There are also packages for DIY security and monitoring from a wide array of brands: do a search for “DIY smart home” and see which one fits your budget and know-how! 

Emergency Planning: Incapacity and Guardianship

Beyond someone spending a few hours with your child and cool technology, it’s also essential to spend some time with an attorney to talk about guardianship and incapacity planning. These documents will provide clear steps for emergency responders on who would look after your child if you were injured and gives those close to you the legal power to see your wishes done when you can’t. It can be a tough topic to wrap your head around, so we recommend starting with our vlog on short-term guardians. When you’re ready, we're here to help! Contact us at Mulhall Withrow, and we’ll schedule a consultation to go over your estate plan, help nominate short and long-term guardians, and make sure your children are surrounded by the ones they love and trust during a time of crisis.