Hiring a yaya or nanny is a hard task for parents as she should possess good characteristics that may contribute positively to the holistic development of the child. Looking for the right person who will fit our description of what a good nanny is and who will be there for our child until his/her teen years seem to be now a fantasy. Gone are the days when nannies grow old taking care of their ward and even their kids in the long run.
Being a new mom four and a half years ago, I was very hesitant to entrust my child to a nanny. Like all moms, my daughter is so precious that I don’t even want a mosquito to get near her. Fortunately, my husband requested me to stay at home and take care of our baby together with her yaya. So from the start, I never had worries that my daughter will experience “nanny-cruelty” as reported in the news since I was also at home 24/7. But, this didn’t limit me from having parameters in choosing my daughter’s yaya.
Before I share with you my experiences with my daughter’s nannies, here are some tried and tested qualities that every parent should consider when hiring a yaya:
- First on my list, she has to be honest.
I value honesty since this will be the foundation of our relationship as employer-employee and her relationship with my daughter. She has to be honest to me at all times most especially in cases when my daughter is accidentally hurt. A person who will inform you the truth on what transpired despite putting herself to bad light is for keeps. When I know that a person is honest, as days pass, she’ll definitely earn my trust.
- She has to be dependable.
Dependability is important since there will be instance when the baby will be left solely under her custody even just for several hours. She has to have knowledge on proper childcare, sharp-mind and awareness on how to act on emergency cases.
- She has to know how to control her temper and has great patience.
I think there are really people gifted with long patience. You can easily know if your nanny possess this characteristic based on how she treats your kid’s demands and reacts on his/her sudden tantrums and whims.
Knowing the value of respect plays an important part too. She has to know how to respect us, as parents, our decisions, our belongings. She has to respect our child and keep in mind that he/she is just a growing baby who’s starting to learn new things everyday. Respect should also be given to our parents, in-laws and other relatives that visit the child. Furthermore, she has to respect the privacy of our home and family life and not divulge our everyday affair to the other nannies in the neighborhood.
- Her openness and willingness to learn new things and adapt to change.
There are nannies who are older than we are, and are raised traditionally. Most of the time, they scratch the new method presented to them in taking care of a child. The child should grow up the way his/her own parent want him/her to be.
- She has the capacity to love.
She should not only consider baby-sitting a job that she has to do but a job that she loves. When a person loves her job everything will come in a breeze. If she’ll learn how to love our kid, she’ll definitely give him/her the utmost concern and care like what a real family member will do.
- She should know how to communicate properly.
She has to know how to correctly verbalize what she feels in Tagalog or English. Speaking the same dialect as we know is a must. I always believe that all great relationships are products of good and open line of communication. I will highly appreciate if she can report to me what my daughter does when I’m not around so thru her I can keep track of my daughter’s behavior because sometimes kids behave differently when they are not with their parents.
It’s important that the nanny knows how to listen to the parents and to her ward. I dislike nannies who are always pre-occupied listening songs in the radio or always busy chatting with earphones on.
- Set a good example and contribute positively to the development of the child.
The nanny should be a good example to the child most especially to toddlers who absorb like a sponge the things they see and hear. More importantly, she should not use vulgar languages when talking to anyone since the child may adapt her words.
- Lastly, a good personal hygiene is a must!Who would want to have an untidy nanny, who knows, she might transmit virus or bacteria to your precious one. Being always neat and clean will also benefit the yaya since she won’t be susceptible to sickness.
And, now let me share with you my experiences with Keisha’s nannies…
I remember back then, two weeks before I gave birth, Keisha’s yaya was already with us. During that time, my husband and I were living with my parents since our house was submerged in the flood (Ondoy) and house reconstruction was in process. My mom taught her how things should be done – how to wash feeding bottles (just to be clear I breastfed Keisha for 2 1/2 years and those bottles were alternately used when I do errands but still with my stored breastmilk), how to use bottle sterilizer, proper way of washing and keeping Keisha’s garments, etc. Though, she grew up traditionally, she embraced and accepted the ways on how we want things to be done. Her personal hygiene was also discussed since she will be faced-to-faced with my daughter most of the time. She’s way older than my husband and I, with kids and husband in the province and left us after seven months.
When she left us, I had three other yayas who were all apparently unequipped with the traits that I was looking for. Then, came another one who was referred to us by a trusted person. Well, I may say that she passed on the qualities that I was looking for. We’re about the same age and I was truly praying that she’ll stay with us for a long time. The only reason that I see why she’ll leave us is when she’ll have a family of her own. With God’s will, she stayed with us for almost four years. So that’s almost four years of great service and genuine love for my little girl and peace of mind on my part. She left us last January 2. She only asked for a 2 weeks vacation, and, after a week she texted me that she will no longer comeback. That broke my heart because I know it will be hard to find someone as good as her. Later on, I found out that she settled down with her long time boyfriend in the province. That news made me feel better knowing that she left us for a better reason.
Keeping a yaya for several years is not that easy nowadays, and I guess she stayed with us for almost four years because she felt that we are good to her and we value her.
Here are some tips on how to keep your nanny:
- Treat her as a family. When you ask my daughter the members of our family, she’ll say daddy, mommy, Keisha and yaya. I didn’t teach her that, that’s how she feels towards her yaya.
- Make her feel at home and at ease.
- Respect her as a person. Understand her moods most especially when it’s the time of the month.
- Let her know that you care to her family in the province as well.
- Give her fair wages, bonuses and salary increase yearly.
- Pay for her SSS contribution.
- Understand and forgive them when they commit mistakes.
- Don’t yell at them when they commit mistake or when you argue instead, talk to them calmly to settle your differences.
- Let them know that you appreciate their good work.
- Just be a nice and approachable boss.
Now, I’m back to square one looking for a yaya who may atleast equal the traits of the previous one. And, I know, many parents are in my same shoes. Finding our dream yaya has somehow become a struggle and far from reality now. But, let’s keep our fingers crossed, as what they always say, the right one will come along, we just have to patiently wait.
And in our search for the dream nanny, let’s not forget to ask them the following:
- NBI Clearance
- Medical Clearance (you may sponsor their medical examination like sputum test, lung x-ray, dental cleaning)
- Ask them to submit their bio-data and a photocopy of their government issued ID
I hope the qualities I listed above can serve as a guide for mommies who are also in search for their kid’s yaya like me. As always, it’s best to hire the one that is referred by a trusted person. Good luck to all of us!
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