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Help needed...

  1. #1
    rooj is offline Registered User
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    Help needed...

    Hi

    Our helper was hired quite quickly as we were desperate for someone to start and she had a few days left on her visa so she was also desperate to find a family to take her on board. She is a good helper, with fantastic English, is pro-active and has been generally quite nice, chatty and easy going. however I don't think she is right for our family. She didn't have any experience of working with toddlers before joining us and my son is 13 months old, but she had experience of working with young children.

    She's very hands on with my son and by this I mean, she won't leave him alone! This infuriates me as Tomas has always been fairly independent and has enjoyed reading books and playing by himself (which is great!). Yet despite repeated requests to 'let him do it by himself' 'he can do this' etc... she still doesn't let him do things! I feel sorry for the poor kid who has to put up with it ALL day! He gets really quite frustrated.

    On top of that, I did come home today to find that she hadn't followed what I had asked her to do with regards to feeding my son. He has been having trouble eating his dinner so I asked her to cut back on his afternoon snack. She told me she had given him a bigger snack because what I had suggested was too little. Seems petty, but it really shocked me to think that she was judging my parenting skills by going against what I had asked her to do. I told her it was not her job to decide that for him and that it was mine.

    I feel really strongly about this - I was a SAHM for 13 months before being thrust into full time work (literally from one day to the next) and I do not want someone to 'take my place' at home. She already is doing that physically obviously, but I just don't think it's her place to be making judgments when they are uncalled for.

    Now, I've had a fairly rubbish week at work so I'm just putting this on here so I can try and gain some clarity. Am I overreacting? I have spoken to her on so many occasions I feel it's not worthwhile anymore. And I'm blunt! Painfully so! So I don't understand what she doesn't get...?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Honkyblues is offline Registered User
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    I know exactly how infuriating it is. I had a helper who was full of confidence in her own abilities and for the most part, she was very competent. But it meant she wouldn't listen to me. So, if I asked her to put 5 animal crackers in my son's school snack box, she would put 8 - "Five isn't enough! He eats them all and he's still hungry," she would tell me. No remorse for having tried to 'sneak' it past me. A few weeks later I would find she was again putting extra biscuits because she still thought I was wrong.

    If I were you, I would sit down with your helper and tell her the things you like about the way she works, but then tell her VERY STRONGLY that you are extremely unhappy with the fact she is not listening to your instructions regarding your son. And tell her if she doesn't fall into line with your parenting regime, she will be given a warning letter. Finish with a bit more praise (but don't over-do it).

    If she doesn't get this, then you should follow through with a warning letter. And if she doesn't buck up and give you and your parenting skills the respect they deserve, then you will have no choice but to terminate her or live with the daily frustration of knowing you are being undermined at every turn, and that your child is not being raised how you would like him to be.

    Good luck! I feel your pain!
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  3. #3
    elle is offline Registered User
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    I would follow the advise above, but skip the intermediate talk and put everything into writing. Wait until you are calm and have had time to think about exactly what you want from her before writing your expectations down and talking to her. Explain to her that on certain matters you value her judgment and opinions, but that the final say is yours and if you give a specific instruction you expect it to be followed to the letter - no exceptions. Tell her that if she disagrees she can ASK you (not argue with you but discuss, once) you and tell you why she would do it differently, but not just alter your instructions without speaking to you first and getting the okay from you. I have on more than one occasion found that our helper or nanny did have it right (i.e baby really was hungry and needed something else as or baby really was tired/ not tired and needed to stay up or sleep earlier, etc.) and I had it wrong and am glad that we have a dialoge that allows them to voice their opinions freely (but also respectfully) while still giving me the final say. Get her to sign the paper acknowledging what you have discussed and you must be prepared to follow through with terminating immediately if she doesn't listen. This is exactly how I would handle an employee in the office who was not following a supervisor's instructions.
    Last edited by elle; 09-02-2011 at 10:39 AM.
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  4. #4
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    carang is offline Registered User
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    i think that i would just explain to her in a calm manner that (1) having been a SAHM for so long you know what you are talking about and that if she doesn't follow your instructions again, you will have to reconsider her employment and (2) you realise that you are taking it all quite personally as you feel like your role has been usurped. this is hardly surpising considering the predicament in which you have found yourself.

    good luck! it must be extremely aggravating, and it is totally understandable that you are upset. but do remember one thing: YOU are the parent and there is NOTHING that she can ever do to take that away from you. your child will KNOW that you are the parent and you will ALWAYS be special in his eyes. he will only ever have one mummy and that is YOU!
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  5. #5
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    Gataloca is offline Registered User
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    I guess sometime the helpers would rather do "more" than "less". I also felt the same as you, and as you, I also wanted my baby to be more independent and be able to play and entertain himself. I really get annoyed when I leave my baby in my bed, for example, while I go to the next room to do or take something, and my helper would immediately go to my room to look over and try to entertain the baby...... I mean, I left my baby knowing that he is safe and happy, and I don't need anyone to go there and entertain him!!!... I would tell her "he is ok, just let him play alone", but she would still not leave till I get in the room.

    Recently we got a situation in where my helper was feeding the baby, and my baby was clearly full and didn't want more food... He was closing his mouth when she tried to shove him the spoon, turning his head away, saying no with his hand, splitting food. So I told her "It is ok, probably he is full". But then she continue trying to force him to eat "one more, one more". I had to tell her again "<her name>, it is ok. Don't feed him more, he is full". She showed me that there was only one spoon left on the bow, so I just told her to throw that away. Then as she was cleaning up and taking the baby bib away, she tried again to shove that last spoon into my baby mouth before giving up, lol!

  6. #6
    rooj is offline Registered User
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    Sorry to only reply now! I didn't get emails telling me there had been a reply to the thread! Thank you all very much for the replies and for the advice. I did talk to her last Sunday and we made our expectations very clear. She was very apologetic and this week had started off being better but yesterday she didn't follow several of my instructions. It's making me really quite upset and I think we will terminate her contract, once we have another helper. I can't be at work wondering whether she is doing what I have asked her to do. How do I go about terminating? Do I need to pay her money? I'm such a rookie at all this.

  7. #7
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    Hi Rooj,

    I had the same experience as you're having--only it wasn't with my helper, it was with my in-laws who were taking care of my son while I worked. Must trickier when you have to deal with family. He was about a year old and they would give him crap food to eat (oreos all day long), not make him take a nap (and then he would be burnt out and over-tired at bedtime and so difficult to get to sleep) and let him stay up until 2 am watching cartoons! I tried everything--being polite, explaining clearly, being blunt...they always apologized, smiled and then kept on doing what they thought was best. In the end I got fed up (after this went on for another 6 months) and then my husband lost his temper and had a huge fight with his mom (that was the only time I've ever seen anyone in his family fight!) and we didn't talk to them or allow them to see their grandson for a few months. That was a rough time.

    But, if I had a helper who was bulling the same BS (and I really think that's what it is) I would terminate them for sure. Obviously, you simply can't "terminate" family. LOL. (We did make nice with my in-laws but we had to draw stricter boundaries and it was a long, long time before my son was allowed to go over to their house--things are different now that he's a bit older).

    How do you terminate your helper. (We had to terminate a helper before as well). Simple. You have two choices. The first is to terminate her immediately. That means you give her little or no warning. You ask her to sit down with you and give her a letter in writing that explains that you're terminating her, effective immediately. In that letter you pay her 30-days wage in lieu of notice--I would pay her in cash. Then you go with her to her room and ask her to pack her things while you watch--this is to ensure that there is no confusion over what was taken and what wasn't. So if there are items that she has that are yours and you want returned, you can say so then. You then escort her out of your house and send her on her way.

    You write a letter to immigration stating that you had a helper, her name what her ID number was, when she was hired and when you terminated her. You can get the forms on the immigration website--very simple. You have to give a simple reason for termination such as, "Performance not up to standard." You have to send this documentation in no matter how you choose to terminate her.

    Option two is to notify her 30 days beforehand that she will be terminated. Give her a letter notifying her that states when the date her termination is effective. Then she lives in your house for the next 30 days until that date. You do not have to pay her 30 days in lieu of notice but you pay her wage on the day she is terminated and again, observe her pack her bags and escort her out of your house. Afterward, you send the letter to immigration.

    We chose the first option because we simply couldn't stand having our helper in our house one more day and didn't want to sit under her resentful glare for the next 30 day while she waited to be fired. We also didn't have another helper lined up but made due with the help of friends, my son's nursery school and my in-laws until we could get a replacement.
    “Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a
    spiritual uplifting, the power of which they have never previously been aware …
    To such a woman childbirth is a monument of joy within her memory.
    She turns to it in thought to seek again an ecstasy which passed too soon.”

    ~ Grantly Dick-Read (Childbirth Without Fear)

    Mother of Two
    JMW, boy, born November 29, 2007, 9:43 pm, USA
    MJW, girl, born March 17, 2011, 4:14 pm, HK

  8. #8
    mummymoo is offline Registered User
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    Thanka2, you have to love that husband of yours, not many HK hubbies would do what he has done for you, irrespective of how much their wives were being disrespected and I am speaking from experience!

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