To snoop or not to snoop? That is the question.
I remember the day the school district said they were going to put cameras in our classrooms and my fellow teachers became outraged at the invasion of privacy. I also remember turning to them and saying that I have trained every one of my student teachers with the notion that they will teach as if they are constantly being filmed because there should be nothing they do in our classrooms, you wouldn’t want the whole world to see.
Now fast forward to my home which has an array of cameras outside and inside. My husband probably likes them way too much but I love him and so I let him play with all his angles and security because it makes him happy and safe. We have a backyard camera, a front yard camera, a camera pointing in the alley, a camera in the grandkids room, and a camera inside the house pointing at the front door. Extreme I know, but I deal with it.
Whenever we have people housesitting or visiting us, we always tell them there’s a security camera and that they are 'On.' No one has ever complained. My grown children tease my husband but they also have access and know they can check on us or our property if we are away. I don’t pick my nose or adjust my underwear while opening my front door. This has gone on for so many years that we are all use to it.
Now fast forward to this present month. We asked our, out of town thirty something, nieces if they’d like to stay in our home while we were on vacation. They wanted to spend some time with their grandparents in the same town. They knew about the cameras but must have forgotten and chose to do some things that were rude and disrespectful.
My husband and I were disappointed and surprised. There was a moment when I actually wanted to call them on my cell and say, “You guys remember we have cameras and can hear every derogatory thing you’re saying?” But then I found myself feeling guilty. Guilty I had checked the camera at that exact moment. Guilty that I didn’t remind them on the note I left for them. Guilty that we even had cameras!
I mean, we don’t spend the entire time on vacation glued to our camera apps, but I did check to see if they were home yet to feed the cat or if our senior feline was doing her 'exorcist' kitty sounds in anguish for thinking she would starve to death!
According to these nieces, I am the dramatic one in the family and my husband is the sane one of the 'group.' He never makes waves and is always calm and rational but this time…he snapped. He vowed that they would NEVER stay in our home again and felt very disrespected…and then the dilemma began.
How do you tell them why you're upset if you don't want to admit to the Snoop Job?
Prepare Yourself for What You May See
In the end, their behavior was caught on an outside camera and that led to the conversation my husband had with his niece. It wasn’t necessary to embarrass them further with the knowledge that they'd forgotten we had one camera inside the house. The toothpaste spit all over the sinks and the mirror, the unflushed toilets, their forgotten dog poop in the backyard, all added to other issues.
My Home, My Rules
I kept reminding myself every time I felt guilty for intruding on their privacy, that it was our home and they were guests and our nieces and should have conducted themselves in a manner that would make any family member proud.
One thing is certain, our daughters and their children always leave other people’s homes better than when they arrived and that makes me proud. I believe our thoughts and words have power to heal and hurt so maybe we should all pretend there’s a camera in our lives and ACT as if the whole world could see.
Dramatic I know, but not a bad way to start the New Year?
Happy New Year, Bo-Peep
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