It happens, although probably more often than we are aware, that sometimes yaya is tempted to eat her “alaga’s” food supply. How does one deal with this situation? Do you let it go and say that it’s only food and therefore should not even be an issue? Or do you put your foot down, instill discipline and call yaya’s attention regarding her actions?
As in all things, we must first determine the reasons for which things are done. Why is yaya taking from your child’s food supply? Is it that she is not fed properly and is therefore constantly hungry? Is it just a natural desire to taste food that is “alien” to her? Or is it just a habit of “trying things out’?
If real hunger is the cause, then make sure that yaya is fed properly. It only makes good sense to guarantee the proper health and nutrition of your child’s caregiver. After all, how can she possibly perform her duties properly if she is on the verge of constantly fainting from hunger? If, however, yaya takes your child’s food supply only out of curiosity, in as much as it is important to give value to the desire to learn and taste new things --- asking permission should be in order. Taking anything that does not belong to you without asking permission is unacceptable, and this rule should be the same for everyone.
In the latter’s case, set aside food that yaya can snack on. Explain to her that perhaps, if she finds herself hungry between meals she could consume this stash for her consumption instead of the food for your child. Paint the picture of your child’s snacks being more appropriate for a child rather than an adult… it is not that you are being selfish about food in general --- only that a certain amount of propriety is needed.
In truth, most staffers will be too embarrassed to discuss the reasons for this behavior once she is caught getting from her ward’s supply. Usually, they will just keep quiet and pray that you will ignore things. Should her actions become more of a habit --- you may decide to call her attention. However, once you have decided to do such, make an effort to be gentle with your reprimand.
Sometimes, out of “hiya”, your yaya may choose to leave your employ, having felt that she was not treated fairly or that she was being judged. No matter how ridiculous it may sound, you may end up losing a staffer for the simple case of a bag of potato chips. Although always a possibility, you can stack the odds in your favor by offering Yaya an alternative --- perhaps ample time for a break to eat a real meal with her co-workers. Either way, do not treat the situation like it’s a major problem. Many times, simply establishing clear parameters is the solution to a problem.