How far would you go to sort out your child's behavioral problems? For many parents, when they're having trouble with a kid, therapists or behavior interventionists are a fairly standard approach, along with plenty of support from their child's school and family. But some families are going a step further, with parents paying a new company to watch them 24/7 and fix their parenting.
Cognition Builders is a relatively new company that aims to help families in difficult situations, and its approach to doing so is fairly unorthodox. To help a family struggling through a challenging transition or circumstance, Cognition Builders sends "family architects" — either live-in or live-out — to observe the family over the course of several weeks. It also installs streaming devices (Nest Cams, more specifically) in the family's shared spaces, letting the architects hop online to watch certain moments, whether that's after-school moments fraught with arguments, dinnertime interactions that are less than ideal, or drama with visiting family.
The architects take notes, craft improvement plans, and give feedback. According to Cognition Builders' website, family architects can create optimized routines and schedules for families, help with difficult social situations (whether that's a presentation or a school activity), and guide them in dialogues either in-person or from afar.
Having someone monitor your parenting 24/7, however, costs a pretty penny. Romper reached out to Cognition Builders about their rates, but did not hear back immediately. According to The Cut, however, Cognition Builders' clients currently report spending six figures on the service. Eventually, though, the company's service is something founder Ilana Kukoff would like to be accessible and less cost prohibitive. "I want us to be able to help everybody," she told The Cut.
According to The Cut, several Cognition Builders clients reported seeing changes in their children and being happy with the services. At the moment, though, not everyone can afford family architects' services — nor, I'm assuming, would all that many people feel comfortable bringing strangers and cameras into their home to critique their parenting on a minute-by-minute basis.
Fortunately, there are other, less invasive ways to work through difficult situations — whether that's a divorce, a move abroad, or a child's challenging behavior — as a family. According to Psychology Today, that's exactly what family therapists are for: to work collaboratively with entire families to find solutions to their issues. They can help parents figure out if they need to switch aspects of their parenting, they can give children a stress-free zone to talk about their problems, and they zero in on the most effective ways to create change. Some health insurance plans cover family or couples counseling.
It might be a while before the average family starts receiving play-by-play help with their problems via nanny cams and texts — but I suppose it's good to know that the option is out there if needed.