Maid Power

a maid's power lies in her housekeeping and childming skills

Childcare is the top priority of the working mother. So it is important that the maid she hires be a nanny and not a picker-upper. But not all nannies can handle any and all children. If the nanny's young charge is not co-operative, nanny does not have the power of a mother to compel co-operation. She can't tell Johnny to go his room. She is not totally powerless though, for sometimes a domestic helper's power can achieve wonders.

As long as nanny has something junior wants, she will have some power over him. If he co-operates, she will entertain him with dramatic narration of some event real or imaginary; or read story if he is too young to read himself. If he co-operates, nanny the cook will prepare his favourite snack for him. Some domestic workers do not even realise they have this in them and consequently feel helpless.

The employer might give the helper pointers on how to manage her children for she knows her own children. Give the nanny some discretion to withhold rewards such as a story at bedtime or the children's favourite snack. Conversely the nanny may reward them with a hug or, when she serves them their favourite snack, remind them of the good behaviour that prompted the reward in the first place.

There are other ways to win over a child. Narrating an event that is peculiar to the nanny's home environment can be entertaining to the child. If she likes mangoes, will it not impress her if the nanny talks about the low-hanging mangoes (real or imaginary) in her father's farm?