Singapore maid forces chilli padi into girl’s mouth and hits her with wooden board

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Maid has been working with the family for over seven years

Finding the right helper to take care of your little ones while you and hubby are struggling away at work can be a hit or miss. While some families find the right maid that bonds with their children, some might become child abuse by maid cases. 

And sometimes, it might take over seven years for her true colours to finally appear.

Child abuse by maid cases: Maid takes disciplinary matters into her own hands

child abuse by maid cases

The maid stuffed chilli padi into the little girl’s mouth knowing she hated it. Child abuse by maid cases in Singapore are not as uncommon as you think. | Source: File photo

Hamida, an Indonesian domestic helper, decided to punish her employer’s youngest daughter harshly because the little girl did not want to do her spelling homework and wet herself.

She stuffed a 1-2cm chilli padi into the seven year old girl’s mouth, canned the girl on her shoulder and used a 1.3kg wooden cat scratching board to hit her on side the head.

The maid was not new to the family – she had worked with them for over seven years. Hamida took care of the victim and her older sister, who is nine years old. 

The mother heard the story from the oldest daughter and immediately called the police after finding an injury on the side of her youngest daughter’s head.

Prosecutors requested for a minimum of six months jail, referring to Hamida’s deliberate use of the chilli padi knowing that the youngest daughter was scared of spicy food.

She was ultimately sentenced to six months jail under the Children and Young Persons Act, which carries a penalty of up to four years behind bars, a fine of S$4000, or both.

Is it okay to let your maid discipline your kids?

child abuse by maid cases

Child abuse by maid cases are increasing – is it ok for your maid to discipline your kids? | Source: File photo

Singapore mums – what do you think about letting your maid discipline your children, and how far can they go? Some mummies feel it’s okay as that the maid spends most of the time with the little ones, but others feel it’s a strict no-no.

We referred to two experts who provided opinions for both sides of the divide.

Dr Lim Boon Leng, a psychiatrist from the Dr BL Lim Centre for Psychological Wellness, believes that maid should have some form of power to discipline your kids. Without any form of discipline, he believes the kids may become unruly and rude. This is especially true when there is no one to control their behaviour. They feel like they can get away with anything.

However, setting disciplinary boundaries with your maid is crucial. Corporal punishments should only be meted out by parents. The most that your maid can do is give verbal warnings and reprimand where is required, all non-physical in nature. Maids should also encourage and praise the children for good behaviour. Discuss and predetermine these with your maid.

On the flip side, Brian Poh, clinical psychologist at the Institute of Mental Health, feels that everything to do with parenting, including the responsibility of discipline, should only rest on the shoulders of the parents. He maintains that they are “helpers”, and not “disciplinarians”. 

His reasoning is that the maid could leave the family and may not have an impact on your child’s life. Plus, her upbringing and her ideas of discipline might differ completely from you.

Ultimately, we feel that it is important to talk with your maid and discuss her boundaries. What do you think? Will you allow your maids to discipline your child or does that responsibility fall into your hands?

Source: Channel News Asia

Read also: 

Maid in Singapore jailed 18 months for sexually exploiting young boy

 1-Year-Old Singapore baby died after getting punched by maid

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Written by

Nicholas Yong