As I am writing this piece, the whole local media is going crazy about a small girl. The girl, aged 7, has allegedly been abducted by their housemaid on 24th August. Her parents, both doctors by profession, were at their workplaces when the maid took the little one with her. The whole city was in chaos but kudos to our police department as the girl was rescued within 24 hours.
The incident has stirred sensation and worry throughout the state and people are left with thoughts that most people do not want to talk about. As more families have chose to go nuclear day by day, with both parents working, taking care of a child has become a serious issue. Gone are the days when working people left their child with grandparents and did their jobs.
For example, my child’s grandparent lives 400 km away from our place. There are so many parents who live away from their ancestral home and have to raise the child without any support from the family members. What do they do? Leaving the job may be an option but after creating a career with so much hard work, many women are not ready to sacrifice it. The solution is to hire a nanny or domestic help.
But how much can we rely upon hired help? As India is still away from developing a proper network of nannies or childcare, most of the hired persons are through agencies or just word of mouth. Hence it is always difficult to rely or trust initially. And considering the fact that your child is your world, you need to be extra careful in handing over him to someone who you do not know properly.
Here are five essential tips which can be considered in hiring help for your child. Though human nature varies from person to person and so do situations, these ideas can help you to some extent in choosing the best for your child.
1. Always have a clear chat with the domestic help. Telling her/him what exactly you want her/him to do can solve a lot more problems. If you want domestic help to help you only in household chores and not in handling your child, let them know. If you are hiring a nanny, do not expect her to help you in the kitchen.
2. The most important thing in hiring help is to get him/her verified. Most domestic help agencies verify their employees but it is still better to cross check yourself. Don’t forget to go through the mandatory police verification process once you hire someone. People always tend to ignore this step but if you want your child in good hands, do it religiously.
3. When you are leaving your precious child in someone’s care, always be extra careful regarding their health. Get the domestic help checked up by a doctor and ensure that she stays in good health. It also means giving her good food and proper rest. Please remember, they are also human and need care as much as we do. If they are healthy and fit, you need not worry about your child to some extent.
4. Invest some time in training the domestic help. If she knows what to do and what not in dire situations, the child remains safe. For example, if your child is allergic to some food, it’s better to let your help know about it.
5. Lastly, respect them. Being vigilant does not mean that we behave rudely or think less of them. Proper behaviour and respect can make the person more responsible in looking after your child properly. A good relation often has the benefit of getting good in return. Most importantly, teach your child to respect and love the domestic help. But do not forget to be alert and vigilant always. Some extra precaution doesn’t harm anyone.
Puspanjalee is a blogger and book editor who juggles continously between her job and her two year old human offspring. Whenever she gets time, she loves to talk about babies & parenting, time management for working moms, photography and books. She muses regularly on www.mywritingmyworld.com