Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Teaching Children to Respect Maids

One of the things I hate the most is seeing kids treating maids with disrespect. Since I have a maid in the house, I have to pay extra attention to this and make sure that my kids do not treat the maid with disrespect.

It is very easy for a child/maid situation to get out of hand. That is because sometimes, the maid is in the position and given the responsibility of minding the child but then she does not have the authority to disipline.

My maid tells me that she would often give in to whatever the children in her previous household wants just to pacify them because she is afraid they will complain to their mother about her and she will be reprimanded.

It is certainly not an ideal situation at all. So how do you teach children how to respect maids? I think ideally, if possible, one should...

  • separate the tasks. leave housework to the maid and child minding to someone else. If you are working, perhaps it would be better to get a relative to help or babysitters or childcare centres if there is no relative available
  • nip any sign of disrespect in the bud. As soon as you see  your child acting or talking to the maid with disrespect, stop them from doing so and tell them that they must respect the maid, an adult, just as they must respect their teacher and mummy and daddy
  • never ever allow a child to hit the maid whether by using hands, pushing or kicking. That is definitely a no-no!
  • not allow the child to give the maid any orders, even if it is for just a glass of water. Any instructions to the maid must come from you, the adult. If the child is thirsty or hungry or needs a toy or something, ask them to come to you, not to the maid, even though it will make your life easier. For older children, teach them to get it themselves
  • bathe, feed, toilet train etc yourself instead of asking the maid to do it
  • treat the maid with respect yourself
I try to follow all these myself. It is not hard for me to do because I am fortunate to be able to mind my children myself and have the maid help me with my household tasks so that I have more time with the kids. However, even then, I have seen the little one making rude faces to the maid and the elder one talking to her with disrespect (as she sometimes talk to me!) on a couple of occassions. All these I try to nip in the bud immediately! I inform the maid not to take any instructions from the kids, she will tell them that "mummy will scold" and I also inform her to let me know if the kids are being disrespectful.

The maid has been with us for 3 years now. So far, I am happy to say that the children are quite ok with her. They do not shout at the top of their voices "KAKAK, SAYA MAU.........!" as I have seen other children do. I don't do it as well. I always talk to her politely and with respect. They also do not expect her to do things for them.

Hopefully, in teaching them to respect others, they will learn to respect me as well. Honestly, at times, I do feel that they take me for granted and I think that needs to be nipped in the bud!!!

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  1. Yeah, it's impt to teach the kids to respect Kakak. They shld respect everyone, even ppl younger than them. They do ask Kakak directly for something, but I always remind them to ask politely. N not to forget their 'thank you's.

  2. Hello slavemom,
    Yes, getting them to ask and thank is good training too rather than avoidance...

  3. That's very important indeed. I've seen young kids shout and command their maids to do things and their parents don't even bother to nip it in the bud. Sad.

  4. Totally agree in separating the tasks between house chores and child minding. I once saw a child cried for the maid instead of his mom when the child was in fear. I wonder how the mom felt. I would be so heartbroken. I have a maid and she loves children but I would never want her to be too involve in my child's life unless necessary..

  5. mom2kiddos,
    Yes, its sad isn't it?

    Random Ramblings,
    My maid tells me that the little girl that she used to take care of will follow her everywhere, even to the bathroom and not let her out of sight, that is because she is in sole charge of the kids, bathing, feeding, getting them to nap, walking them to school and back and to tuition, getting them ready for school etc. She even sleeps with them. So how can the child not be close to the maid?


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