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Helper arriving - what to prepare

  1. #9
    loupou is offline Baby Guru
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    New Territories
    Quote Originally Posted by sophwillsmum View Post
    I have written a daily schedule for our helper as per the 'helper's helper ' book. What I was wondering though is what sort of rules everyone sets for their helper. Also, how do they address you? Is it inappropriate for them to call you by your first name?
    I always tell them to call us by our names - but they always ended up calling us "ma'am" and "sir". Although our first helper started to call me by name after her second contract (I think). I don't want to make a big deal of it - so whatever they want to do is fine. I call them by their names (after asking their permission).

    The children call our helpers "Auntie" X. I did this partially because from what I understand of Filipino culture, it is the polite way for children to address women who they interact w/ intimately (e.g. not Miss. Y, like at school). Also because in Chinese it's also the polite way ('though one has to be careful and now that I am a "certain age" I call any woman who appears to be under the age of 65, "JieJie").

    When I refer to the helper in the third person to the kids, I'll call her "Auntie X".

    When starting our helpers off, I explain very seriously that I expect our kids to be polite and obedient. That when she is there and I am not, she is my substitute and the kids must treat her and her requests and instructions w/ the same respect that they would my own. Infractions should be reported to me or my husband and we will discipline the children.

    I also explain to them that if our household is a ship: Husband and I are the captains - she is the First Mate; the kids are the crew.

    The kids carry their own back packs, put their own clothes in the hamper; wipe up their own spills; carry their plates to the kitchen, etc.

    If you have an infant, of course many of these things are beside the point (for the time being) but I think it's good to think about these things right from the beginning and also consider how the children will be soothed and disciplined.

    For example, I've heard some helpers threatening kids w/ a "policeman" if they do not obey. I believe very strongly in only giving threats that will happen. I prefered that my helpers threatened my kids w/ tell *me* ;)

    Other rules:
    No hitting the kids
    Don't buy junk-food for the kids (even if they BEG)
    Report all breakage & ruined things immediately
    Generally no sleeping out (except for special holidays with our agreement)
    Don't borrow $

  2. #10
    TingTing is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2006

    I have a list of house rule and job schedule for our maid when on board. As I am a working mom, I have to brief her and make sure she is fully understand my instruction and requirement to take care my baby. Different culture and background will cause simple things or common sense complicated.

    Just my two cents... We all treat the maid as family member but sometimes they won't in return. If this is the case, don't be upset. I was disappointed to my first maid, as she finally break the contract (her reason is homesick) and borrow $ just before she left (no intention to repay), drunk in her rest day and etc. But thanks God, our second maid is a good one.

    Good luck!!

  3. #11
    joannek is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Hong Kong

    mintycat is right i have similar instructions re: borrowing money, home phone, etc. i try to lend them one fo my extra cell phones & ask her whether she needs a cell phone. if yes, before they save up the money to buy one, i lend her mine, and get her a PCCW card form 7-11 so that she can call home.

    you definitely need a list of chores you wish to be done & ask her to check them every time she did it, at least for the 1st mth. and revise with her after every week. i try to be nice & talk to her at the end of the mth to ask her how she's doing & settling in, missing home, etc.

    you might want to give her guideline as to when to talk on the fone. some chat on the phone while feeding the baby, and while they're "playing" w/ the children. i cannot accept that as when i was at the office i was expected not to chat on the phone while at work. maybe talk for a few mins to make plans for after work (for them it's their day off). so better set these rules before they go overboard.

    good luck!

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