No matter how much we wish to be there for our children always, there will come a time when help would be necessary. Besides relatives and close friends, nannies or yayas have become an indispensable part of our lives.
While the goal may be to build a good relationship with our yayas, sometimes it's not that easy, especially when they exhibit unpleasant attitudes. Needless to say, many moms who have given the task of bringing their kids to school to their yayas sometimes feel frustrated. We spoke to them for tips on how to deal with these pet peeves:
"Yaya on call"
We've all encountered the yaya who is glued to her cellphone. Once she hands over the child to the teacher, she uses the waiting time in school talking on the phone or texting. For Patricia Del Rosario-Coromina, who works in a preschool, gauging the yaya is the first step. “Some yayas are actually open to constructive criticism while others get defensive. So it's always a matter of feeling for the right moment and the manner in which to tell them. A yaya may respond better if you say things half-jokingly, like, "Hala yaya, mamaya ka na mag-phone, baka pagtingin mo ulit college na sya." There was one that appreciated bluntness more, "Yaya, baka puwede mamaya ka na mag phone kasi mahirap na kung may mangyari sa bata dahil distracted ka."
Yaya "the Kapitana"
She gathers all the yayas in the waiting area for the latest gossip and updates in showbiz, politics and even insider scoop from their employers. Toni Fajardo, a preschool teacher for five years, points out “These chit-chats may be the cause of helpers being pirated between employers, among others." Instead of talking about other people's lives, "I would appreciate it if yayas can do more productive tasks such as knitting, writing or reading a book. The yaya of my student reads a dictionary while waiting!” shares Chany Antonio, a preschool teacher.
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She is quick to attach a label to the child, such as "bad boy/girl," "ADHD," and other names. “I am always a bit more direct with these yayas, because, as a teacher, I feel this is a more pressing issue to address. I always try to be gentle but firm about it. And I make sure that it is always away from the child's hearing,” reminds Coromina. “Instead of using street language, teach yaya to call the child’s name and explain the wrongdoing instead of calling the child “bad” right away."
Or the one who threatens if the child doesn’t follow her rules (Sige ka, sasabihin ko sa mommy mo na di ka kumain!) “It's better to just tell the child the actual consequences of his actions – if he doesn't want to eat, he'll get hungry, or if he doesn't want to pee before leaving the school, he might have the urge while you're on the road. Threatening to leave him will only cause resentment or other deeper issues,” explains Coromina.
In cases like these, parents can always seek the help of their child’s school. Thankfully, most schools nowadays conduct yaya seminars. “We tackle topics from hygiene (for the yaya and for the children), to food and snack ideas, to effective communication with the children and fun activities they can do with the kids at home,’ says Coromina.
“We’ve all been told that children learn by imitation. That is why parents and caregivers are expected to model socially-acceptable behavior and language at home and in school so that the children will grow up to do the same,” ends Fajardo.