Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 4th 2015 Contents By Suzette Camacho
DURING THIS SEASON, we must reflect on those who help us, who give
to us. Can many of us can say these words..."She is a loving, kind person
who takes care of my children and my home"? "She is like family to us"?
"She is our caregiver/Nanny/Housekeeper /Helper"?
We can sometimes underestimate this role, which is so glaringly vital, and
yet so overlooked. How should we perceive this person, who makes it
their duty to enter our homes every day, be a part of our lives, and take
care of our children? This person fulfils an obligation to clean, cook, and
babysit for us. She does not steal, lie or mistreat our children.
There are many negatives that can arise out of the caregiver/employer
relationship; after all, this person is replacing you in a sense, to do duties
that you as a mother/wife should do, but cannot due to work and other
restrictions. Once we have found an honest and reliable person, we must
always try to nurture a warm relationship with her; she is a person with
feelings who genuinely cares for you and your family. She should not be
taken for granted.
Here are some ways we can maintain a positive relationship with our
1) Communicate -- Do not expect this person to know what you are like
and what your preferences are with regard to housekeeping and taking
care of your children. Ensure that you actively communicate from the
start of the employment on what your expectations and requirements
are. Be very specific! Also communicate in a manner that is respectful and
considerate, and speak in a kind tone. Set out lists in the beginning to help
the person remember everything and even make little reminder notes to
stick on certain areas in the house which will assist. Once she gets the
hang of it, the notes will not be necessary. Explain carefully her salary and
other benefits verbally, and in writing if possible. Be very professional
about her employment terms and conditions. During her employment,
continue to communicate with her on anything positive or negative re-
garding her tasks. Give praise when it's due, and constructively criticize
2) Monitor -- Be aware of the relationship your caregiver has with your
children; give her calendars, reminders and activities to maintain effi-
ciency. Observe how your children and pets react to her, and whether
they are happy to see her. Pay attention to the quality of her work with
regard to chores and be sure to point out areas of improvement.
3) Kindness -- Treat your caregiver with consideration. Have a lovely con-
versation with her, genuinely show concern for her feelings, and give to
her whatever you can to assist if she is less fortunate and needy for
items. If she doesn't own a vehicle, you can sometimes offer her a ride
after work to get transport.
4) Make her feel welcome -- Embracing your caregiver into your home is
a transitional period that will happen over time. Show her around and
teach her the different aspects of your home. Let her learn the dynamics
of each space and how the family utilises each area. She will also observe
herself how everyone interacts at home. She will then settle in once she
feels included by the family. This is the same situation as settling into a
new job, it can be nerve-wracking to see new faces and fit into a new en-
5) Appreciate each other -- This is a two-way street. When you appreci-
ate your caregiver and you show her appreciation, she will in turn appreci-
ate you. She will be willing to go the extra mile for you and your children,
and she will grow a genuine love for your family.
This caregiver is so important to us. She can be an asset to you once you
treat her with the utmost respect and kindness, and do not take her for
granted. Remember to please interview extensively, and get references
for anyone you hire to work in your home.
Suzette Camacho is the founder of Trini Moms, the first parenting net-
work in Trinidad and Tobago. Check their website Trini-Moms.com or
their Facebook page for upcoming events for kids and the entire family.
This caregiver is so important to
us. She can be an asset to you
once you treat her with the utmost
respect and kindness, and do not
take her for granted.
| FAMILY |
10| WOW MAGAZINE
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt January 4, 2015
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