Almost everyone has a social media account nowadays (and using them constantly), from Facebook to Twitter and Instagram—nannies included. You can’t take it against yaya if she wants to sign up since it is probably the easiest way to connect with her own family and friends. Some moms also swear that it’s easier to contact them via Facebook when they go on a vacation leave.
However, when yaya’s social media account becomes a cause for worry, how do you deal? We called on experts Cristine Mendoza-Joson, founder of and speaker at the Super Yaya Seminars, and Menchit Ordoveza of My Dearest Nanny RI Educaregiving Resources, to dish out advice.
1. Is it okay to share the household's Wi-Fi password with yaya? Yes as long as you have established clear and appropriate rules beforehand and implement them consistently. Discuss specific times yaya is allowed to use the Wi-Fi, and what she’s allowed and not allowed to post. Ordoveza also suggests changing your Wi-Fi password periodically to remind yaya that having free access to the Net comes with rules and responsibilities.
2. Should I be Facebook friends with my nanny? Is it okay to limit what she sees on my feed? There’s nothing wrong with accepting yaya’s friend request or adding your helpers on Facebook, says Mendoza-Joson. "Aside from the fact that she will feel a sense of acceptance from you, it could also be a means [for you] to get to know her more. Plus, you can monitor [her social-media use]," she explains.
However, as with any employer-employee relationship, you and yaya still have to maintain a sense of professionalism online. Mendoza-Joson says tweak your settings to filter what she sees on your social media account especially if you want to keep some personal posts private. "You can also create a private group with you and your helpers where you can discuss concerns and issues about the home," suggests Ordoveza.
3. My child’s yaya posted a lot of photos of my kids! I worry about our safety. How do I deal? "Tell yaya early on that you do not allow posting photos of your child and your home on the Internet for safety reasons. If the photos are already online, ask her to [take them down] or report the Photo so Facebook will take it down," Ordoveza stresses. Be firm, but remember also to talk to her in a non-aggressive way, Mendoza-Joson emphasizes. "Tell her that you saw the photos online, and let her know that you appreciate her fondness for your child. Then, explain to her that you are concerned that the photos may pose a security threat to your family, including yaya." Bring up some (real) scenarios of what could happen when people with bad intentions figure out where you live or what time you leave the house. "To yaya, her post may be harmless, so it’s your responsibility to educate her and lay down the rules," she adds.
What mom-of-three Vicky Roquez does is it to take photo of yaya with her kids during special occasions or when they go on vacations and just tag her when she posts them on her Facebook. It’s a way to appreciate yaya's pride in being part of your kids' life.
4. Can I ask our nanny to be as strict as I am with her social-media settings? Yes and no. "The fact that she is taking care of your child and she is under your employment lets you have a say on this matter because it could affect your family’s safety, too," says Mendoza-Joson. Clearly explain your concerns to yaya, and then ask if she’d allow you to modify her account’s location or privacy settings. It is, after all, her personal account. "You have a say only when it comes to posting your child’s or your home’s photos online," says Ordoveza. You can also make it a policy that she gets your approval prior to posting photos of your family and your home.
What made it easier for account executive and mom-of-two Sue Espiritu to explain her concerns to her kids’ nanny was the real incidents that happened in their village. "We had two neighbors that got victimized by the ‘budol-budol’ gang, so our helpers knew the risks. They promised me they’d be extra careful, so I didn’t feel the need to ask them to modify their Facebook settings."
5. My kid’s yaya uses a foreign-sounding surname that‘s different from her real one. Is a deliberate ploy to keep me out of her account? "We have to learn to trust them," says Ordoveza. "You cannot over-control them. Instead, be consistent and vigilant when it comes to imposing safety and security procedures. Make them understand the consequences if these procedures aren’t followed." Accomplish this by reinforcing rules, doing drills, and conducting meetings on a regular basis. Change your mindset, too. Don’t automatically assume that yaya uses a different name to keep you out of her social media account.
6. Yaya posted a rant on Facebook that's obviously about me and my rules. What should I do? Social media has become an outlet for some people, especially if they are far away from family or friends."Nannies have off days, too, but we must [address] how they should deal with their complaints or concerns properly," Ordoveza stresses. Mendoza-Joson suggests, "Talk to yaya calmly. Explain to her why you have set those rules, and then let her voice out her feelings as well. Make it clear to her that you would have a better relationship if she talks to you first rather than rant online or in public."
7. I stumbled upon yaya’s Facebook account and saw photos of her using my earrings and my makeup and posing on my bed! how do I confront her about it? First, check if your belongings are missing. If all your things are accounted for, it’s time to have a serious talk with yaya. Mendoza-Joson warns, "For me, this is already a red flag. This could lead to her stealing and being dishonest." Talk to her and explain to her that you are very particular about your personal belongings, and you don’t want anyone else touching or using them, more so posting photos of them online. Emphasize the importance of privacy and respecting other people’s property. "Give her a chance to air her side, and then weigh the pros and cons of your next move," she says.
If yaya has strong attributes and you think she’s worth keeping (e.g., she takes care of your child very well, or it would make your child very sad if she leaves, or you really can't be without her), then give her a warning, suggests Ordoveza. Take the necessary precautions. Be extra careful in keeping your stuff. Install nanny cameras at home to help you monitor and observe her behavior. Make sure she’s always accompanied by someone you trust (e.g., a trusted helper or a relative). If she repeats the offense, or you no longer feel at ease with her, then let her go.
This article originally appeared in the September 2015 issue of Smart Parenting Magazine. Minor edits were done by the Smartparenting.com.ph editors.