Children Raised by Maids: Good or Bad?

Who is a Good Mother?

Dr Prerna Kohli, India's Top Psychologist on Raising Children
Dr. Prerna Kohli, India’s Top Psychologist on Raising Children

Globalization has forever changed the notion and role of a ‘good mother’. Prior to the increased participation of women in the workforce, a good mother was portrayed as one who stayed at home and kept herself occupied with home responsibilities while the husband engaged in paid work. Modern ‘good mother is, however, one who participates in the workforce and to raise her income and skill levels for the benefit of her children and at the same time nurtures a warm family. This change in the ways of society, however, comes with a big question: “Who is to take care of the children at home while the mother is busy and away?”

One of the more convenient and cheaper options for urban young couples, who are far from home-cities and the care of their own parents, to meet this responsibility is to hire live-in maids who can stay home, manage the chores and take care of the kids. These maids are young girls, sometimes teenagers, typically hired from lower income backgrounds from the cities or villages. That obviously comes with the predicament that they often lack both the maturity of a mother and the necessary education on parenting skills or the right ways to raise kids. This often results in streaks of bad behavior from children and sometimes could also culminate into deep impacts on their psyche (like loss of self-esteem and feelings of insecurity) depending on how they’re treated in the absence of mothers.

Employing a Nanny for your child?

Dr Prerna Kohli, India's Top Psychologist on Raising Children
Dr. Prerna Kohli, India’s Top Psychologist on Raising Children

When we employ a maid for child-care, we are not only placing the physical needs, like bathing, feeding etc. But, most importantly we are entrusting her with the responsibility of child’s upbringing. Thus, it becomes essential to hire someone trust-worthy. More importantly, skilled in the subject of child-rearing, with whom you can comfortably communicate your parenting beliefs and ideals. Busy parents also stand the chance of becoming good parents by increasing the quality of time you spend with kids rather than fretting over the lack of quantity of time.

You can’t delegate your parental duties

Dr Prerna Kohli, India's Top Psychologist on Raising Children
Dr Prerna Kohli, India’s Top Psychologist on Raising Children

It helps to keep a watch on her activities in your absence through some trusted source. You can arrange to keep a check or by installing a camera. Make sure to communicate with her the changes. Do not hesitate or give a second thought to replacing the maid if the criteria are not met. The well-being of the child is of more importance than the hassle involved in replacing the maid. Alternatively, you can choose a well-reputed day-care in your locality. So, your kids intellectual and emotional needs are met. It also gives the opportunity for your kid to interact with other kids. Thus, fostering his/her development in the right direction.

[Disclaimer: This article acknowledges the good work of many maids who have done a great job in raising the kids they are entrusted with.]

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