As we all know, it matters what company we keep. Our peers can influence our perspective on life, our value systems, our core character --- this observation remains true especially for our staff. Oftentimes, the Filipino value of “hiya” or “saving Face” becomes the root cause of many disturbances between and among households.
When you feel yaya is acting inappropriately in any way, shape or form with regard to other co-workers or neighbors, it is best to nip this behavior in the bud. Since trust is always the foundation of any relationship, you owe it to yourself as well as to your yaya to tell her how you feel about the matter. Being silent and ignoring the potential problems of this situation will not make it go away. However, before you actually speak to yaya, here are some tips that may help.
1. Be calm. Being young and being foolish sometimes go hand in hand – and if you have ever been both, you will understand that the more a person in authority forbids an action, the more the subjects will be tempted to do the action. Hence, do not go into the direction of dogmatic, absolute rulings… they don’t always work. Instead, try a gentler although equally effective way of showing them a different perspective.
2. Get as much information regarding the situation and try to distinguish fact from fiction. Many times, problems arise from hearsay or neighborhood “tsismis” as they say. Try to get to the bottom of the problem by being able to assess if there is a “real” danger of yaya getting into a regrettable situation. If no imminent danger exists then perhaps a heart to heart talk with yaya should suffice. Otherwise, your stance on the matter might be more forceful.
3. Always approach the situation from the perspective of a mother or an older sister rather than just a person in authority - this way yaya will open up more and also want to exert all efforts to remain a part of your family. Make sure yaya understands that you are concerned about her well-being.
Introduce her to the many travails of unexpected pregnancies, broken families and ending up in a possibly disastrous relationship. Explain to her how she will be treated based on how she projects herself. If the message she wants to convey is that she is a person who is “easy”, perhaps even shallow --- flirting or acting inappropriately with the opposite sex will do the trick. However, if she projects herself as one who has enough self-worth and self-dignity, chances are she will attract a mate who will deserve and offer the same. Which would she prefer?
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