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it's always the kids and the helpers who lose out

  1. #1
    aussiegal is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2007

    it's always the kids and the helpers who lose out

    You know reading a couple of these threads has gotten me thinking that there really is a divide out there between those of us employers who treat our helpers respectfully and those that don't.

    Those that don't, want them to work 7 days a week, to not pay them when they (the employer) decides to go on a holiday and not take them with them, to not give them time off when they are sick, to give them ridiculous curfews on their time off etc etc.

    Whilst I think all of this is beyond reprehensible, the helper is an adult and should be able to stand up for herself. A good helper can find work elsewhere. What does suck however is that employers like this often have children who suffer the most from their behaviour. Clearly, many of this type of employer do as good as nothing with their own children leaving the helper to raise them.

    I hate to go to playrooms and play areas on Saturday and Sunday afternoons and see helpers looking after kids that are clearly not theirs. My husband and I love to hang out with our son and would never think of fobbing those days off on the helper. When do you see your children, if you do? When do you show them that you love them and are interested in them? When you are tucking them into bed at night?

    And how can you expect to raise a child that will be loving, kind and socially adept? Helpers are simply paid to do a job - they are never going to care enough about what type of person your child becomes, how they treat others. Want to know which kids are being neglected by their parents? Look for the naughty kid who pulls other kids hair, pushes them over, is mean etc.

    We have a playroom in our building and the last three times i've been there (including twice on saturday and sunday) one little boy has been in there with his helper who was as good as sleeping on the ground with other helpers ignoring the boy. The minute he saw my son (who is only 15 months old) he ran over to him, pinched his arms, screamed at him and pulled his hair. Each time we've been in he's done this and the helper is always away in the corner minding her own business. She doesn't care and why should she, it's not her child. More often than not for her to take such an extreme attitude whereby she knows the kid is naughty and does nothing to stop it shows that she does not like her employer at all and is not motivated to look after the child.

    I wish that more employers would treat their helpers with respect. You don't need to give them a million dollars, just be reasonable. I wouldn't want to spend 10 minutes with some of the kids i see running amok yet many have to spend 6 days a week with them.

    And almost at the end of my rant - how about thinking about those of us out there who make big efforts to raise our children to be kind to others. Do i really have to take my child out of playgroups and playrooms whenever i see your child there fearing the bad habits they'll pick up otherwise?

    Last edited by aussiegal; 05-28-2007 at 11:39 PM. Reason: spelling!

  2. #2
    josoo is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Hong Kong

    its always the kids and the helpers who lose out

    You may have the luxury of spending a lot of time with your child, however a lot of parents have to work to make a living. Tons of companies operate on a Saturday and work travel is essential for most jobs. Balance is important for children...there really never is a clear right or wrong. What works for one family, may not work for another.

  3. #3
    fee is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Tai Po, Hong Kong

    Well said Aussiegal. You would think that parents would want to look after the person who is raising their (often only) child. Especially when they are not able to be there themselves.

  4. #4
    Sumei is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Hong Kong

    hi aussiegal, couldn't agree more with what you have said, while you may think you are ranting, you have brought up very fundamental issues which unfortunately alot of parents to do seem to think crucial. You are spot on that maids are not there to bring up our kids and this is the reason why you see a whole generation of spoilt little emperors and empresses trotting around with no sense of self or can we expect hired help to instill in our children values we want them to have? I am a full time stay at home mum and I see ALOT of what you see going on in playgroups/play centres/outings - and unfortunately you can't blame the kids as they are not responsible for their situation. While I have said in a previous thread that I know there are some situations where both parents do need to work otherwise they will starve, the reality is that alot of parents just try to have it all thinking if they spend a hour in the morning and an hour at night tucking their little one into bed they have met their parental obligations! Josoo, while I agree each family is different in terms of what works for them, there are fundamental principles that lead to well rounded, settled and happy children and no matter how great a helper you have, she is not the parent! If both parents are working really long hours ascending the career ladder and has no time for the children, one wonders why they had them in the first place? Kids are not posessions, you don't pop them out and stick them in a corner at home like last season's handbag, I think the excuse that work demands are heavy on parents is just not a good enoguh excuse.

  5. #5
    Matty is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Sai Kung

    Josoo, I don't think Aussiegal is talking about parents who have to work long hours, but still make the most of the limited time that they have with their children.
    You are right, balance is important, but I guess someone who's child is with their helper Sunday after Sunday, really isn't being parented.

  6. #6
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Sai Kung

    although i do agree with everything you have said, try not to pass judgement on the parents of the kids you see on saturday and sunday in the playrooms. you do not know the agreement reached between the employer and the helper. it is entirely possible that the helper has a different day off or something else is at play.

    for example: we are seriously considering a move to the other side of HK(way out to sai kung country park from DB).when we decided on sunday to go look at a place, i asked my helper if she wanted to come along. i told her that i didn't mind either way, but if she did want to come and have a look (because we are 95% sure that we want to move, i thought she'd might like to see). she decided that she wanted to come along.

  7. #7
    HappyV is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2005

    HI aussiegal,
    I agree completely with all your points.

    Josoo, it's not a question of what works for 'one family' - it's a questions of what is good for children. In my years of working in HK, I see so many children wo see their parents a few times a week - simply not good enough.

    However, I will agree with the point made tat not everyone has Sunday off. Mu husband and I work strange hours - we're quite often working on the weekend, but we may have a couple of days off in the middle of the week. When we hired our DH, she knew we would need her to be flexible in this regard, and it works very well. So in our case, our helper working on a Sunday os not an indication of anything but that we're working too.

    We've all heard the stories about how hard and long HK people work. Again, in my experience, a lot of these hours are time for the sake of time. I know people who take two hours for lunch, yet stay in the office until 8pm. One friend says if she waits until then, the kids will bein bed, and it means se can have a rest when she gets home: what an example of great parenting.

    We're so spoiled in HK - very few other places in the world could you afford to have a babysitter, tutor, cleaner, cook all in one for the bargain price of $3xxx. And yet the majority of people I know treat their helper's like a piece of furniture. Yes, many of them are poor, but they have left their familes to work. They often speak English better than their employers (!! YEs, it is true!!) and yet are treates as if they are ignorant just becaue they didn;t anticipate an employer's every whim and fancy. They are paid a pittance, yet every dollar is begrudged, and often, not paid in full.

    They're human beings - and they deserve respect - they work longer hours than most of us do. Those of us who actually spend whole days with their children by choice, know that it's extremely hard work to proprerly parent a toddler or newborn. Give these women the respect they deserve.

  8. #8
    madaboutCows is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Hong Kong

    Whilst I agree that most parents have to work to be able to afford to live, there are also those parents who could quite happily survive on one salary but can't because of the lifestyle they've become accustomed too.

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