she's not fair!

Philippines
April 11, 2010 7:45pm CST
Our full time househelp has been staying with us for 2 years and 10 months now. I have 2 kids and they call her Ate Gie (Ate means big sister). My daughter was only 7 months when we hired her and she's been watching over her as her nanny too even though she functions as an all-around maid. When my son turned 10 last January, I instructed him to start being responsible and do his best to help Ate Gie with the chores at home. I always remind him to do things himself whenever I hear him ask Ate Gie for assistance to things he can already do like getting a glass of water, picking which clothes to wear, etc. etc. I also assigned him to do tasks like water the garden plants daily, help prepare the table for dinner and look after his younger sister when Ate Gie is busy. This past few months though, I noticed that Gie is becoming impatient and rude with my son Ellis. I will hear him ask her nicely for something he is looking for and Gie will shout back, "How do I know?", which is very much opposite to how she will approach my little girl. There was a time when they both asked Ate Gie for each respective toy. She rudely said "I don't know" Ellis and dismissed him. On the other hand, she lovingly told Lady that they will look for it, took her by the hand, and accompanied her to her room. I already talked to her and reminded her that she should treat the two kids nicely because she is not being fair having favoritism being nice to Lady while being rude to Ellis but it seems she hasn't changed. Last 2 days ago was my restday and the 2 kids had a nap with me in our bedroom. At around 4pm Lady woke up so I went to Gie's room and knocked. I was surprised when she loudly shouted, "What is it???" I couldn't believe my ears so I called her name and so she immediately opened the door and told me, "I'm sorry, I thought it was Ellis." So this was how she would treat my son if he comes knocking at her door???!!! Again I reminded her to stop being rude to Ellis but I am quite losing my confidence that she will do so. What shall I do? I don't want to replace her because aside from this I have no other problem with her and it's hard to find a loyal househelp these days? Any suggestion please...
3 people like this
11 responses
@34momma (13895)
• United States
12 Apr 10
no matter how old he is she can not and should not ever be rude or mean to him. i would sit her down and let her know she is not allowed to speak to him like that ever again or else she would be out of a job.
• Philippines
12 Apr 10
my mom also told me this but i'm really afraid to lose her too for the sake of my younger kid, it will really break Lady's heart if i suddenly fire her.
1 person likes this
@34momma (13895)
• United States
12 Apr 10
it won't be sudden. you will let her know that she can not treat your child that way. i would not have it in my home. i know your younger child my be very close to her, but you can't let the fact that one child's attachment to her come in between that fact she is not treating the other child nicely
@jazzsue58 (2672)
12 Apr 10
How does Lady feel about the hurt her brother is getting? Sibling love goes beyond the nanny.
• United Kingdom
12 Apr 10
Well,people might get a bit cranky with age and I think you might try and talk to her about all this maybe taking a different perspective.Sit with her,make her feel comfortable and ask her why she doesn't like Ellis.Don't let her escape until she gives you a convincing answer.But make sure that you are not being too harsh on her and she doesn't feel being cornered.You never know,she might need help.Try being a bit more empathetic to her and try talking things out.Even if it still doesn't work out and you are forced to throw her out,make sure you do it in a respectable way.And don't do it without forewarning her that you would do so if she doesn't change.But that should be the last resort.Till then,give her one more chance....:)
• Philippines
12 Apr 10
Actually this will be her last chance because I already talked to her before. I have always been considerate with her and she surely knows that she is always welcome to explain herself whenever she does something wrong. She wouldn't have gone this far with us if we all did not treat her well in the past years. I also hope things will turn out for the better. Thanks for your advice and I will do just that.
@jazzsue58 (2672)
12 Apr 10
If the woman can "feel cornered" when her employer raises a perfectly astute problem about her work performance - she's in the wrong job, surely?
• Philippines
12 Apr 10
Yes you are exactly right!
@xasasa (323)
• United States
12 Apr 10
If that is the only problem that you are having with your help I would suggest you speak with her. I would reccommend that you have this conversation one on one without the children being present. Then you need to let her know that for the most part that you enjoy being her employer but you do not appreciate the way that she has been treating your son. Let her know that your son needs to feel comfortable in his own house and as much as you don't want to that you will dimiss her if she does not treat your son with respect. End the conversation by asking her if she has any problems to come to you. I hope things get better.
• Philippines
12 Apr 10
Yes I will do just that and I really hope things will turn out alright. She has been efficient to us in the past years but I cannot sacrifice my own kid if she will not change. I wish she only has some personal problems, thus this sudden change. Thanks for your help.
@xasasa (323)
• United States
12 Apr 10
I am wondering if she is stressed out by something and is taking it out on your son.
• Philippines
12 Apr 10
Actually she told me last Dec that she would like to have a break after April for at least 2 months, a vacation so she can rest. I said it's alright since I can call my mom to stay with us and get a part-time househelp. After coming from her family though last January, she changed her mind and said she will totally resign because she wants to pursue her studies in College. She is 21 years old, a highschool graduate and her aunt is working abroad in a hotel as a housekeeping staff. She claims her aunt told her she just needs a two-year course to be able to work there as well. I still had no objections and told her I will not hinder any better opportunity, just tell me a month before so I can find a new one. Then last month, she said her newly graduate younger brother is asking her help so he can pursue an education course in College. She is the one financially supporting her two younger siblings in their school needs. This gave me peace of mind because it meant she is no longer leaving (she needs her 2months salary in May to enroll them so.) I suspect this might be it but I will let her explain just the same. Thanks again xasasa! :)
@sid556 (31005)
• United States
13 Apr 10
There is no excuse for her to be rude to your son nor does any amount of wonderful qualities make up for the fact that she is that way. I could up with forgetfulness or her not doing a great cleaning job or even calling out from work from time to time. I could not tolerate anyone being mean to any one of my kids. As a housekeeper and such a big part of the family, she is hurting him on a regular basis and that can be damaging to his ego. You've been more than fair in giving her chances and bringing the matter to her attention. I'm afraid if she were my housekeeper that I would tell her that the next time I heard her speak rudely to my son that she might as well not show up to work the next day. Then I would follow thru on that.
• Philippines
13 Apr 10
Thanks sid, I'll be talking to her now before I go to work. Yes you're right, I know I also wouldn't stand it the next time I hear her being rude to Ellis since I myself, could not even think of being so. He is still a child at the age of 10 and much to my regret, will have to let go of Gie despite her efficiency in the housechores if she can't change her ways. I can still find a good househelp without sacrificing my son's feelings. Thanks again and God bless.
1 person likes this
@sid556 (31005)
• United States
13 Apr 10
Its all so sad. She has been with you so long. Has she always been like this to him or is this something new. If so, what do you think is causing it? Your kids are around the same ages as my grandchildren. I love my little granddaughter and I do treat her different than I do my grandson because he is much older. Still, I can't imagine being rude to him. If anything we've grown closer as he gets older. I don't understand your houselady at all. All those years, she should have feelings toward your son.
@ada8may21 (2419)
• Philippines
12 Apr 10
Indeed she is not really fair to all of your children. I would rather sit down and talk to her nicely and seriously. Make her realized that you are indeed very darn serious about the problem that you are facing now. I agree that it would not easy to find and look for another replacement, so let her know that you would like to keep her but if she keep on doing the same thing and not even try to change her treatment towards your little boy. You dont have any choice but to let her out in your house. I guess by doing this she will feel threatened. As what they called it psych war. I am not sure if that is the term.
• Philippines
12 Apr 10
Yes, I also really don't want to lose Gie because I'm 7 months pregnant and I will be needing her assistance after my delivery since she is already doing well in her housechores. I was even planning to only get another part-time househelp when we already have another baby because Lady is still too young and still has to be watched over but of course you are all right, if she doesn't change her treatment towards Ellis, I'll have to let her go. I hope she will change to retain her job. Thanks very much for the advice.
@ada8may21 (2419)
• Philippines
12 Apr 10
I hope that suggestion would help and would make her realize that she also need to be more kind with your son. Because you are not going to tolerate such bad habits right. No matter how important the things she is contributing to your family. Good luck. Happy mylotting..
@eurekafemme (5881)
• Philippines
12 Apr 10
You are in a situation wherein you want to be fair to your maid as well as to protect your son. You had made efforts to make her be aware of what she was doing to your son and that you disapprove of it. However, it seems that she is not taking you seriously. Maybe it is about time to sit down with her and ask her what is the real issue why she is treating your son that way. When we say, sit down, do this with the sole purpose of resolving this issue with her and be attentive to whatever she has to say.THe sooner she let the rat out of her chest , the better you can find solution to the matter. Goodluck to you.
• Philippines
12 Apr 10
Oh I really plan to do this before I leave for work on Tuesday since I will be quite busy at work from Wednesday to Friday and might be leaving the house early and go home late in the evening. I am keeping my fingers crossed since like I said in my other replies, it feels much like when I asked my first and second househelp years ago what's wrong and after about some weeks, I still decided to replace them because they did not change. :(
• Philippines
12 Apr 10
Maybe the kids were truly lazy and always tease her that's why she got no fairness at all. Why be fair with rascals? Maybe she sees it as letting them win if she had a calm reaction with every tease that your kids do to her. The general view is that kids are more behaved than adults but I don't quite agree with that. I am 21 y/o and I have a female cousin younger than me by 10 years. My cousin acts like a good daughter to her parents but when they go somewhere and we were left alone, the true colors show. She kick me, throw her toys at me, tell me to get out of their house. Well she's right I'm just a nephew of her dad. In your situation i think your kids were abusing their high position in that house, they are the boss and she's just a maid. I think you should check your own kids behavior first before judging the maid. I'm very sorry for this harsh answer.
• Philippines
12 Apr 10
My husband and I are both disciplinarians and we do not really allow the kids to bully the househelp even before. I am confident we, as parents, taught them well in their personal behavior towards others regardless of their social statuses. Maybe some kids are like that but I can say that my kids aren't. By nature actually, Gie is very open to us and immediately reports any unacceptable behaviour of any of our kids. She would not have learned to love Lady that much if she was also bullying her. But just the same, I will also talk to my son regarding his dealings with her Ate Gie. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
@rjvb26 (2518)
• Philippines
12 Apr 10
Hi there, i guess you are from Philippines, hello kabababayan, anyway, uhmm.. it will depend on you, you can kick her anytime or you need to have lots of patient and remind here always about her attitude. I think you can talk to her 1on1 and tell her the things that she should not be doing and she should be doing, you also need to put limits even if she already have that long service in your family. Time change and people do, and your ate Gie is not exempted on that change, well if the reminders will not be effective then i guess, you already know what to do, unless you wanted her to always shout at your son where you are gone, i am sure you do not want it. Another thing is that maybe she is thinking that you are afraid to loose her that is why she is acting a bit bossy right now, try to remind her that there are lots of people like here who wanted to have a job and are more deserving to have that job and she is lucky she is there, try to tell here that you do not need to come to a point where you will need to dismiss her with her work just for that misunderstandings and that kind of attitude.
• Philippines
12 Apr 10
Yes you are very much correct. My first and second househelp also stayed with us for more than 2 years before they actually started acting more bossy than my kids. The last nanny before Gie was replaced when I gave birth to Lady and she was being hot tempered. I thought it was only because she got used to taking care of one child before and then she had to take care of another newly-born baby. I hired a part-time househelp then too to assist her but she did not change and I had to replace her. Luckily I got Gie who's been staying with us quite long enough. Oh, I hope I don't need to look for a new one but of course it will depend on how things will turn out after we talk. Thanks for your advice and God bless.
@ybong007 (6658)
• Philippines
12 Apr 10
You're the boss and she's your employee. I'm sure you have already developed a feeling that she's part of your family but you have to do something with the way she's treating your other child. You may consider her as indispensable today but just imagine the effect of her attitude to your other kid. If she continues with the way she treats your child, there's high likelihood that he will suffer in then future for low self esteem or he will even grow up to be a bully. Don't act until it's too late. Either you put some sense to your nanny or you get rid of her. After all, your children's welfare and interests should be on top of your list.
• Philippines
12 Apr 10
Yes you are right ybong007 and I was also concerned about the effects this can have to Ellis that's why I opened this discussion. I am so thankful to all of you for being very open in giving your advice. Definitely, I'll talk to her and give her a last warning or else, we'll really have to part ways. Thanks a lot.
@overwith (101)
• United States
12 Apr 10
If these were my children I would have already said bye bye but I also don't know the bond that she has with your younger child. It sounds as if at one time she was close to both of your children so maybe something has happened to cause her to act this way with your older child now. Maybe sitting down and letting her know that there is no way you will accept her behavior with your older child. Then ask her if something has happened to cause this. Maybe if your child is at the age to sass or something of that nature this may actually be the reason it's happening. Either way if he is or if he isn't there is no behavior that would be a good enough reason for her to treat either child this way. My advice is the same as everyone elses if it don't stop I would definitely give her the boot. Your child is your responsibility and if this behavior keeps up it could cause him problems in the future. Hope everything works out for the best.
• Philippines
12 Apr 10
I also hope something is just bothering her which caused this problem. Lady is really quite attached to her already and she misses her also whenever Gie goes home to her family. I was also thinking that they really did not have much time together before because Ellis goes to school whole day and will only spend some hours with Gie before unlike now that it's vacation time and he stays the whole day at home. They might have had a little problem in the past week which they are not telling me. I hope we pass this trial and still have Gie around but if not then we will just have to find a replacement. Thank you very much for sharing too.
@SomeCowgirl (32270)
• United States
12 Apr 10
It sounds like maybe she's gotten a bit to used to your son helping her or doing things for himself that she feels he should do more if not all things for himself. It's very odd her sudden change towards your son, could there be another reason behind it? Maybe something happened between the two, a fight or something of the sort? I hope that this gets resolved soon, she seems nice enough except for her recent stint with being rude to your son.
• Philippines
12 Apr 10
She used to be fine with Ellis before although she was really more fond of Lady because my younger child is very close to her. She has been personally taking care of all her needs since she was 7 months old and acting as her second mother when I am not around. Ellis is already in Grade 2 when she started working for us so she has but few things to do for him. Last January and up to now, my husband and I have been open to all of them that we want Ellis to start being responsible and she can hear us reprimand the kid whenever he commits mistakes or fails to do the tasks assigned him. I was considering this as a reason why Gie felt confident enough to do the same since she knows that we really try to discipline him as he is growing fast and we do not want him to grow up depending on the househelp for simple things. Only, I did not expect it will come to this extent. I will of course, give Gie a chance to explain herself because there might really be another reason behind, like you said. Thanks for sharing. I really appreciate it.