How would you know if your maid is abusing your child?
The local scene is flooded with images of maids lugging heavy schoolbags and holding the hands of their wards. These children, while seemingly fussed over, are sometimes unfortunately abused by their care takers.
Children tend to hide abuse marks, or not talk about verbal abuse. However, what’s not being said does not necessarily mean it’s not happening.
On the contrary, there are also children who tend to inflict pain on themselves, which cause scars that they use to gain attention from their parents. These children usually push the blame on the easiest scapegoat in the house – the maid.
Know Your Child
Is your child usually clumsy and whines about the slightest bump? If so, then you know that little black and blue mark on their thigh could be from accidentally hitting an object while falling down.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pay attention to his or her whines. Pay special attention if the crying continues for a long period of time. Some children are usually subdued when they realise they are not getting the attention they crave.
From your child’s behaviour you would know if they are in pain and need more attention than just a little reassuring hug.
Always lookout for signs of physical abuse. Continue to be involved in certain tasks such as giving your little one a bath. Besides spending quality time with your child, this enables you to see if there are any telltale marks on their body.
Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS) usually occurs when babies are shaken in anger, and it’s important to know the signs.
A baby with SBS may seem glassy-eyed, appear rigid, lethargic, and irritable, have a decreased appetite, difficulty feeding, or start vomiting. They may be unable to focus their eyes on an object or lift his or her head. In severe cases, they may have difficulty breathing, or they may have seizures, heart failure, coma, and unconsciousness.
Shaken baby injuries usually happen to children who are younger than 2 years old, though the syndrome sometimes shows up in kids as old as 5.
There are measures parents can take to ensure their child get abused or neglected.
Talk to your helper
It is always important to maintain a good relationship with your helper. Talk to her about how she manages her workload and make sure she is not overloaded with tasks. Help her plan her daily work so she has ample time to spend with your little one.
Also set clear guidelines as to how she should treat your child. If she is to discipline and how she is to do that. Sometimes leaving things unsaid could cause her to use her own tactics – which always won’t be how you like things done.
The Hidden Camera
Every parent is curious about what goes on at home while they are at work. You could install a camera in your home to your work computer and you can track what’s happening at every moment in the house. It is best to put the cameras in the living room, the children’s rooms and the kitchen.
This way you’ll be able to track most of the movements going on in the house. Many startling discoveries of child abuse have been caught with this highly competent piece of equipment.
From time to time, you and your spouse should try to pop in unannounced. This way, your maid or child’s caregiver will be going about her usual activities with the children and you would be able to get a real feel of what is happening.
Treatment of your helper
What I’m getting at is, treat her well. She will treat your children well. The trends of child abuse by maids due to being mistreated by their employers are too high to be a coincidence. So if you treat your maid well, and they are indebted to you, the chances of them taking out anger on your kids are significantly less.
If you suspect abuse is happening, what should you do? Let her go. Even if you may be wrong, it’s easier to live with the thought that it might have or it might not have happened then to not trust a gut feeling that could be true.