(What I’m about to share is an incident I witnessed today.)
A 7 year old girl helped to buy lunch for her family’s domestic helper, but because the domestic helper doesn’t take pork, and there was pork in the lunch, the helper didn’t eat the packed lunch. Old Grandma saw the wasted packet of food and nagged about it.
The 7 year old girl returned home from school and found out what happened. She screamed and yelled at the domestic helper for not eating the packed lunch. Her mother told her that it was enough and to stop. She then told the domestic helper to help bath the girl.
In the bathroom, the 7 year old girl continued to scream at the top of her lungs at the helper. The helper stood helplessly in the bathroom as the girl screamed. The girl’s mother once again told the girl to stop but she refused to listen.
I observed for a while and could take it no longer. Call me a busybody if you will, but I went to the bathroom to talk to the 7 year old. I told her, “You have repeated yourself many times. It does not feel nice to be yelled at. How would you feel if someone yelled at you non-stop?” The 7 year old looked quietly at me. “Please know that I am not scolding you but telling you nicely. You don’t have to scream at the helper. She lives with you, so she is like your family. You won’t like it if someone kept screaming at you about the same thing.”
And then the screaming stopped.
This 7 year old is someone in my family, which is also why I interfered. Later, I told my Aunties that they have to teach her about the way she talks to the helper. Domestic helpers are humans too. What they do may not always please you or meet your expectations, but screaming and yelling doesn’t help them learn either. And I told my Aunties, if the 7 year old continues the way she is, the helper may explode one day too and we don’t know what the repercussions will be.
Parents, please, treat your domestic helpers with respect, and make sure your children do the same. Just as you wouldn’t allow your child to scream and yell at you non-stop, don’t allow your child to scream and yell non-stop at a domestic helper. The helper has dignity and pride too. Things can always be explained in better ways than screaming and yelling.
Oh, and things are not always the helper’s fault just because your child says so.